This morning began early with a 2-hour car ride from Menaggio to Tirano, Italy where we boarded the panoramic Bernina Express through southern Switzerland up to the swanky resort town of St. Moritz.
You really can’t put into words the beauty of this country – and we are just getting our first looks at it. The two-and-a-half-hour train ride up to the start of the Alps was breathtaking, even with the overcast, sleety weather. It’s difficult to take your eyes off of the panoramic windows for even a second for fear of missing something beautiful.
Our one-night stay in St. Moritz was simply a stop between two scheduled trains. Unfortunately for us, May is the month the entire town shuts down for a break between their insanely busy ski season and summer tourism.
We arrived around 12:30 and made our way to our hotel on the southern edge of the picturesque lake. After dropping off our bags, we decided to explore the town and walked along the lakefront toward the old town center. When I say the town shuts down, I mean it literally. All the bougie shops were closed (Mark breathed a sigh of relief)!
We did happen upon a huge celebrity sighting here – just not of the human kind! Hannah spotted a rare Mandarin duck on the lake! These are native to Southeast Asia, with only an estimated 60,000 or so still in existence. Crazy, right? They are believed to mate for life and are regarded as a symbol of affection and fidelity.
After a late lunch at the only restaurant we found to be open (which had surprisingly delicious salads and sandwiches!), we made our way back down to the lake and over to our next stop…the Devil’s Place in the Waldhaus am See Hotel. This is the largest whiskey bar in the world!
I opted for a Coke Zero, while the rest chose to partake. Let’s just say, Zack enjoyed his, Mark loved his…the girls, not so much. Mark finished three shots before it was said and done!
We ventured back to our hotel late afternoon, where I caught up on uploading pics from the day and writing this travel blog! While it can sometimes feel like a chore, this is how I capture and journal our memories of these trips. Mark and I often enjoy reading my previous blogs; the words and images transport us right back.
A side note: in this part of Southern Switzerland, there is quite an interesting mix of languages. Do you say, “Grazie,” “Danke schön,” “Merci,” or “Thank you?” It’s a mystery! We gauged our choices by the accent of the locals speaking to us and took our best guess. We were using all four languages interchangeably throughout our short visit here!
Tomorrow we depart on the Glacier Express, one of the most scenic train rides in the world. We’ll take the 8-hour train ride across the top of the Alps and end in Zermatt, where we hope we are lucky enough to view the Matterhorn! Until then, guten nacht, buona notte, bonne nuit, and good night!