The Bernina Express deposited us in sunny Tirano, Italy. It’s not a big town. We planned to stay the night in Lugano. Switzerland’s railway network provides bus transport from Tirano to Lugano. Easy peasy.
It is a 2 hour trip through through the Valtelina Valley, past Veltlin‘s vineyards, along the banks of Lake Como, and climbs the mountain to Lake Lugano (Lago di Lugano or Ceresio). While it’s not a naturally beautiful as the Bernina Express, it is interesting (and air-conditioned).
The bus route was operated by an Italian transport company. Rhätische Bahn (Rhaetian Railway) now has the Swiss Postbus operating it. Postal buses serve more rural hard to reach areas in Switzerland (very useful for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts).
Our Swiss driver must have grown up driving narrow, winding mountain roads because he did a great job. Several times, he had to honk heading into tiny towns. This let cars on the opposite side of town know not to enter the town’s narrow streets. The roads are not wide enough for more than one vehicle at a time. I don’t mean one in each direction. I mean they are only wide enough for a single vehicle. Every once in awhile, there was a wisenheimer who thought he could make through. They had to back out of town on the narrow roads because there was no way they were getting past our bus.
The experience confirmed that I should never take a bus tour. It was all I could do not to get up and run from one side of the bus to the other taking pictures.
Note: If you are interested in taking this route, please be aware that the bus doesn’t run year-round.
- The Bernina Express Out Of The Alps And Into Sunny Italy (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
- Switzerland’s Panoramic Train, The Bernina Express (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
- Epic Ride Through The Alps On The Bernina Express (Part Two) (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)
- Bumper Spaghetti Harvest In Southern (Italian) Switzerland (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)