Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

Decisions, decisions

We'll be going to Switzerland in August, and one of the things I wanted to try to do was have a look at Grisons for one day, possibly two.

With "look at" possibly including a trip to Pontresina, or somewhere Romance-speaking, or Juf (possibly the highest inhabited village in Europe), or just looking around bookstores in Chur, or to Samnaum with its interesting customs status.

Or with the Bernina-Express. Which not only takes you up a scenic route through the Albula Range, but (if you continue on past Pontresina) into an apparently also rather scenic valley, ending just over the Italian border in Tirano.

So I'd been looking into timetables to see whether this was even feasible given how long the journey would take.

And it would work, with a total round-trip time of around 15 hours (leave around 6, get back around 9)—and with two enticing options: take the Bernina-Express to Tirano, then the bus from there to Lugano (about three hours, past palm trees and supposedly also very nice, only goes once a day), and then back via Arth-Goldau; or take the "Engadin Star" from Samedan via the Vereina Tunnel, which is also interesting and something I had vaguely considered doing but didn't know whether a trip through it would work given the other things I wanted to see. So hmm.

(Also, the Bernina Express needs reservations. So if I do that, I kind of have to decide in advance which day to go, rather than being able to decide on the spot, e.g. by whether the weather will be good that day.)

As for long-distance bus routes there, the "Palm Express" (St. Moritz–Lugano) and the St. Bernard route ((Chur–)Thusis–San Bernardino–Bellinzona) both also sound interesting, and would also tie in well with a return via Arth-Goldau (there are direct trains which go Lugano–Bellinzona–Arth-Goldau and ones which go Arth-Goldau–Degersheim).

Hm, decisions, decisions.

(And exploring around there would be easier if I could be based in, say, Chur for a couple of days, to save the trip there and back. But that's probably not feasible, though it was in consideration for a while, with Peter investigating getting a holiday home or a hotel for a few days.)

Has anyone got any experience of Grisons/Graubünden and want to recommend some "must-see" things, in their opinion?

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