If you find yourself in Switzerland and plan to book panoramic train rides, look no further than this blog. Today, we experienced a train ride like no other. The Glacier Express is touted as the world’s slowest express train. The entire journey from St. Moritz to Zermatt takes 8 hours, traveling 181 miles (291 kilometers) over 290 bridges and through 91 tunnels!
The passenger cars have fully glassed panoramic windows giving you non-stop access to the breathtaking scenery enveloping the train as it travels. There is truly no better way to get a full view of the Alps across this trek of Switzerland.
Now for picture taking, the space between the two cars has a window on each side that opens. Knowing I would get glare off the windows, I had to document at least portions of the trip with photos. However, I looked like a jack-in-the-box jumping up every time something amazing was ahead – only to make it to the window in time for yet another tunnel! Did I mention we traveled through 91 tunnels?!
There was such a diversity of terrains, including mountain forests, alpine meadows, and too many lakes, glaciers, peaks, waterfalls, and streams to count! We also passed the arches of the Landwasser Viaduct, the Rhine Gorge – known as the Grand Canyon of Switzerland, and we cut through the deepest cleft valley in Switzerland, the Nikolai Valley. We also experienced all types of weather – from bright sunshine to rain, sleet, snow, and total fog with zero visibility.
And while these views are what you are after, there is an option to experience the Glacier Express in Excellence Class…a step above first class. If you are going to splurge on something, this is it. Tons of room (only one row of seats on each side of the train), impeccable service, and a five-course gourmet meal with wine pairings. If there is a foodie option, the Crosbys will find it!
Tartar mini tart, cheese tart and curry spiced nuts
Trout smoked with oven-roasted beetroots, apples, salad and horseradish cream cheese
Pea mint soup with dried Alpine flower blossoms
Swiss beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes, truffle oil, carrots, and spring onions
Regional Swiss cheeses
We had a memory-making, incredible day all while experiencing the vast beauty of the Alps at every turn.
We arrived in the charming mountain town of Zermatt a little after 5:00 pm. Zermatt is famous for its proximity in the valley below the iconic Matterhorn. No cars are allowed in the city (only small “electro cars” that look like tiny electric buses).
After checking into Hotel Daniela – a charming chalet, we walked off our long day of travel by exploring this picturesque town.
Tomorrow is our first day of hiking, while we attempt to get views of the Matterhorn. We hear it can be a game of peekaboo to actually see the famous peak. If it’s a cloudy day, you’re simply out of luck. Fingers crossed the clouds from today lift if only for the morning to give us a peak!