2021 Europe: Day 7 – Zermatt to St. Moritz via the Glacier Express

For Saturday we really just had one thing on the agenda: a train to St. Moritz that would take most of the day. But this particular train is called the Glacier Express, and it takes you through the Swiss Alps in a beautiful way.

I was up about 4am and got Friday’s blog posted before Ash got up. And with that I was finally back on my regular schedule again. We packed what little we had unpacked just for 2 nights, had strawberries, cheese and bread for breakfast and made our way out about 8am.

A guy had asked us to take a photo of him and his wife so he returned the favor.

They equipped you with a map, information about the ride (291 bridges and 91 tunnels!) which is 181 miles long, and earphones to use with their sound system. You could plug them into your seat, select your language, and a gong would sound when there was some presentation about the area you were passing. It was well done (although after awhile I started to feel a little like Pavlov’s dog).

The main attraction was the view. This was our first glacier early in the trip and there were several. It’s actually pretty hard to get decent photos due to glare from the windows and how quickly things change. Despite it’s name, however, it’s not a high speed train. “Express” refers to the lack of stops it makes compared to a local train. The like to refer to it as “the slowest express train in the world.”

All luggage is stored at floor level because the train is designed for viewing. Originally our seats were with the two woman on the left one row up. But these 8 seats on the end were empty at the start, and the conductor verified that the section where Ash is now would be empty the whole time so we moved. It was perfect.

I pretty little river flowed next to us much of the way.

We left around 9am. These folks joined across the way around 11am. We joked at the end of the trip we should have counted how many churches we saw. Over

salads and bread now on the table.

There was decent food available and they started serving lunch around 11:45am with the last course served around 1:30pm.

This is one of my favorite shots, I was able to get a decent perspective on an entire valley (there were hundreds like this) without any window glare.

This was a chicken stroganoff with rice and perfectly booked carrots. It was fine comfort food (and I mean that in the best way!).

A cheese course.

Apple cake and vanilla sauce.

A little bit of the river again. At some point the audio presentation said “we are now on the Rhine” and I couldn’t believe it. I looked at the map on my phone and sure enough it named the river Vorderrhein. As I followed it along it changed to just Rhine and snaked its way around and up to Germany along a path I’ve been several times from Mainz to Cologne. It blew my mind that it was the same river.

Ash looking seriously at something.

I zoomed in on this to try to omit some of the glare but clearly didn’t work! There’s a lovely little remote church thought.

guys in kayaks on the beach of the river about to go in

I have to believe that waster is very cold.

The couple left around 3pm I think and the guy by himself changed sides because after last stopped we changed directions. The train back tracks a little before taking a turn to head to St. Moritz. Ash moved to next to me as well so that he wasn’t riding backwards. But that view out the window is pretty representative of what we watched for 7.5 hours.

Another lovely village without too much glare.

They are very proud of this bridge, the Landwasser Viaduct, built between 1901 and 1902.

We arrived at the train station in St. Moritz on time.

Ash suggested a taxi but Google Maps indicated it was just a 12 minute walk so I wanted to do that since we’d literally been sitting all day. I didn’t know then it was 12 minutes uphill. Every step. That’s Ash on the left. Nice view though, huh?

room showing the bed

Our room is small but we’re just here for one night. The original plan was two nights but that changed on the way to Zermatt. I’ll cover the details of what changed as we go through the rest of the trip.

Room showing the kitchen area

And it’s good we’re only here one night given the size here and there doesn’t seem to be much to do when there’s no snow, but it’s beautiful.

This is the building our room is in. It’s a studio apartment.

We made reservations for dinner at an Italian place literally across the street from where we’re staying and walked around for about 90 minutes. We are staying in the sort of admin and shopping district of the town.

St. Moritz is a playground for the wealthy, especially during the winter, given its easy access to snow yet somehow has sun almost 300 days a year. Today wasn’t necessarily one of those days. It also hosted the winder Olympics in 1928 and 1948. You’ll see that church behind Ash again in a bit.

Decorative St Moritz sign in the middle of a roundabout next to the lake, with mountains and town in the background.

We made our way to the lake and walked by it to get to the older section of town which you see there center and left.

Pretty, no? It gets better.

The sky behind us was clearing up a bit and it made for a beautiful reflection on the water.

That’s the same church in the middle we’d walked by earlier.

Stunning if I do say so myself. This will go down as one of my favorite photos of the trip.

We’d made our way to the other side of town but decided when we got here that it was more interesting from a distance!, and made our way back to dinner.

But snapped a few more photos along the way.

We loved the architecture and gardens of this building. we think it’s apartments.

We went to La Stalla. I started with their signature salad which included prosciutto.

Ash had the tomato soup which was lovely.

We both got pizzas. Mine was spicy salami and gorgonzola.

Ash’s had black olives, mushrooms, artichokes, ham. We didn’t realize they would be this big and only ate half, the rest will be breakfast this morning.

As has been our experience because we eat early for these parts, it was empty when we got there at 7pm and packed when we left around 8:20pm.

We came back to our room. Ash watched a little TV while I uploaded the photos and we were in bed by 10pm. All that sitting in a train all day was exhausting!

Today will be another travel day: a train ride to Zurich, and then we’re renting a car to go to Interlaken. That was the big change we made while coming into Zermatt – getting a car. More on that as the trip continues….

1 thought on “2021 Europe: Day 7 – Zermatt to St. Moritz via the Glacier Express”

  1. Spectacular photos! Switzerland is incredible, so happy for you that you can take this incredible trip. Safe travels, Karen Keene

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