January 2019 - I was in Madrid, Spain for work and I had the Schengen visa which gave me access to 25 other European countries. Wasting a full weekend sitting in my hotel room looking at the walls would have been a crime. A friend had once told me about the breathtaking train rides in Switzerland and I always dreamt about taking that ride one day. So I started searching on the net about the most beautiful train ride in the world, The Bernina Express. Moreover Roman history has always been my favorite part of history and visiting Rome would have been a dream come true as well. As we all know Switzerland and Italy are right next to each other, so why not do both together. I know you must be thinking I was crazy to even think about doing both in just one weekend in the freezing temperature when I don't know their language and have nobody to help me out but that's the magic of the unknown. My research started and I felt like I was about to give an exam.
Finally the day of journey arrives and I was super excited and a little bit afraid to start this backpacking trip across 2 countries in 2 days absolutely solo.
Friday night at 9pm, I took a Ryanair flight from Madrid (Barajas Airport) and reached Milan (Bergamo Airport), Italy at 11.20pm. I waited at the airport till 4.25 am and boarded a bus from the airport to the Milan Central station. Buses start from right outside the airport departure gate and it costs 5 € (₹ 390). The sun was yet to rise, the temperature was 2 degrees Celsius and there was only one other girl in the bus with me.
Reached the station at 5am and waited till 6.20 am when I had my train to Tirano. I had already booked the tickets on trainline.com and it costs 11.50 € (₹ 900). Tirano is the last station in Italy from where the Bernina Express starts its journey towards Switzerland. I reached Tirano at 9am and I could see the majestic Bernina Express waiting at the station. Be it winter or summer, Bernina is always full so please book your tickets from before ( https://www.rhb.ch/en/panoramic-trains/bernina-express ) and make sure you book the window seat because the view you get from the panoramic windows will take your breath away.
Bernina starts from Tirano in Italy and goes upto Chur in Switzerland in 4 hours. But I had to return the same day so I booked the ride till St. Moritz in Switzerland (2.5 hours).
At 9.40am my train started and for the next 2.5 hours I was absolutely transfixed by the view outside my window. Completely covered in snow, the mighty Swiss Alps, the breathtaking scenery made me realize that coming on this trip was the one of the best decisions I had taken in my life.