Bacon, sausage and eggs for breakfast, and pizza for dinner two days in a row. Thank goodness for the hiking, swimming and mountain air in St. Moritz because the diet certainly hasn’t been healthy! An early start for me and the complimentary shuttle to the station from the hotel (I love the perks here) for the first leg of my journey to Paris, the 9am to Chur. The early morning mist was clearing away and low clouds hung around the lake as I waited for my train.
This part of the line is still part of the UNESCO heritage railway and the scenery is beautiful, but I’d been spoilt by my trip through Alp Grüm and the Bernina Pass. Under any circumstances this is still an incredibly scenic journey though.
There aren’t the lakes or glaciers, but there are lush green valleys far beneath the mountainside, as the train snakes downwards in and out of tunnels carved into the rockface. There’s also the Landwasserviadukt, an amazing feat of engineering built 65 meters above the valley floor.
Two hours later you arrive in the small town of Chur, which looks very pretty, but unfortunately I have no time to look around as the connecting train to Zurich is waiting on the adjacent platform. The trains from Tirano to St. Moritz and Chur are all on the narrower metre-gauge Rhätische Bahn railway, to allow them to make the tight twists and turns required to ascend the mountains. The Zurich train from Chur was a fast Standard gauge InterCity train.
It’s a pleasant journey, and there’s long stretches running alongside lakes, first the Walensee then the Zurichsee as the train approaches the city of the same name.
I only had just over an hour before my TGV to Paris, but found enough time to wander away from the station to a little square for a drink, before it was time to take my seat on the train.
The journey to Paris takes a little over four hours, calling at Basel, Mulhouse and Dijon and runs mainly on high speed lines. Unfortunately the high speed element of the journey ended on the outskirts of Paris, as we were held up for 40 minutes due to “traffic congestion”. My two TGV’s this holiday have not been great examples of punctuality.
Eventually arriving at Gare de Lyon, I hopped on a couple of Metro’s to my hotel at Place de Clichy, only a few minutes from where I stayed on my outward journey – which seems like a lifetime ago. I had a few drinks locally before turning in for the night, and reflected on all the things that had happened since I was last in Paris.