Zermatt/Gornergrat or Bernina Express?

Old Mar 9th, 2010, 09:17 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 40,492
Received 7 Likes on 4 Posts
Well, we took the Bernina Express on Sunday from Chur to Tirano and back. Last year I took it just from Pontresina to Tirano.

I much preferred the Pontresina - Tirano section to the Chur - Pontresina section. More spectacular scenery.

The full day was definitely long for us esp. since we still had the hour plus to Zurich.

Next time I would (and will) head to the Engadin, then from Pontresina go to Tirano and onward to Italy (as I did last year and enjoyed very much.)

gruezi
gruezi is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2010, 06:30 PM
  #22  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 604
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gruezi, thanks for the up-to-the moment report!
Palenque, Thanks for the info about making reservations early. I had wondered if that would be necessary. If plans change, can you exchange the reservation fro a different time if it's available?
drchris is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2010, 07:49 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 9,023
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well i think you could change the reservation on site if seats were available on the train you wanted - but i am not positive - but unlike the Glacier Express' steep $35 or so booking fee the Bernina Express is only several Swiss francs i believe so would not break the budget if could not.

and again the local trains are always available as a back up and you just hop on these (with a ticket or railpass)
Palenque is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2010, 09:15 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 40,492
Received 7 Likes on 4 Posts
The seat reservation for BE was total 18 chf for two seats. Not sure if that was 9 chf per seat or 18 chf per reservation request as the receipt did not itemize...

You will probably find that seats are 'sold out' at the train station but available on-line. This happened to me twice.

Funny thing is that there were still empty seats in the wagon even though they showed as sold out. No shows perhaps.

Also, I recommend you get seats by the window in the center of the wagon not on the frontend as you will have much better views. Twice I had to take what was left and in the front of the wagon, you cannot see as well ahead of you.

gruezi
gruezi is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2010, 01:03 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 9,023
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
gruezi - did you get recorded commentary on the Bernina Express train? I can't remember if they did like they do on the Glacier Express. Thanks

I believe it is 9 CHFrancs per person for the reservation on the official Bernina Express.
Palenque is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2010, 10:00 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 461
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There was no commentary on the Bernina Express I took. There was also no commentary on either the Voralpen or Golden Express trains.

One other note: on that same trip, I also spent time in St. Moritz and didn't care for it. Very "hard" people--one reviewer on Trip Advisor said that many people walking around SM had "mean faces"--I saw what he/she meant. OTOH, in Gstaad, people were relaxed and friendly. Although SM no doubt has on average a better ski season, Gstaad was a much more fun place to stay.
MLF611 is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2010, 07:20 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 9,023
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks MLF611 - that's what i had heard and ditto to my feelings about St Moritz - glitzy but boring to me.
Palenque is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2010, 07:24 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 40,492
Received 7 Likes on 4 Posts
I posted before that we had a commentary on the BE both times - in English and German plus a leaflet about the trip. The commentary is different heading north versus going south too.

I also didn't care for St. Moritz. I didn't even find it glitzy let alone charming. Just a let down really after hearing of this in books my whole life.
gruezi is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2010, 11:15 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 461
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We definitely had no commentary. Was yours live or a recording? Nobody was wearing headphones except for the people listening to their personal iPods. Maybe with all the track and other problems they had, it wasn't working. There was a leaflet, however.

I did like the snack/drinks cart with the "stuffed" chamois (or whatever he was). Note: he was an imitation, not the real thing ;-)
MLF611 is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2010, 08:45 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 40,492
Received 7 Likes on 4 Posts
Ours was a recording. No headphones.

We bring wine and cheese and chocolate and have a good picnic on the train. One of my favorite things about training in Switzerland is the picnic. I love seeing old Swiss couples out with their friends for the day cutting up fruit and cheese with their Swiss Army knives and drinking from real wine glasses. So cute.
gruezi is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2010, 11:47 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 9,023
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
mlf611 - perhaps due to a technical difficulty the commentary was not provided on your Bernina Express train as i also remember such commentary but i had not ridden recently so wondered - and know i don't know if it is on certain Bernina Express trains only - the last few times i have taken the regular non-Bernina Express trains and of course these offer no extra amenities as do the official Bernina Express. I actually prefer the local trains because i can hop back and forth from side to side - in first class at least these locals are sparsely full - and the windows open so i can hang out a bit going around curves, etc. - but yes watch your head for poles, etc. As mentioned elsewhere in summer there are even open-air flatbed cars on the locals and i lucked out and hopped on one of these - what a thrill - they should charge extra for that fantastic experience.
Palenque is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2010, 08:11 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 377
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
bookmarking
packed is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Pegontheroad
Europe
14
Jul 24th, 2013 03:09 PM
Sampeh
Europe
22
Oct 3rd, 2012 01:29 PM
Piya
Europe
8
Aug 11th, 2009 10:41 AM
Ani_1504
Europe
9
Jun 19th, 2005 08:21 PM
LindaG2
Europe
6
Apr 15th, 2004 07:53 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -