To Italy and Back

As planned, we took a train to Bernina-Diavotezza this morning and boarded a cable car for a ridgetop vista; unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and our views were limited by dense clouds.  We thus descended much earlier than planned and made the fortunate decision to continue southward to Tirano, just across the border with Italy.

While Tirano offered a taste of Italian life and architecture, including a host of outdoor cafes, our journey to and from that  town was the highlight of our day.  On our way south, we climbed to a pass at Lago Blanco and then began a long, winding descent through a broad glacial valley to Poschiavo and its scenic lake; the latter is drained by the Poschiavino River, which we followed to Tirano.  This entire stretch of railroad, from St. Moritz to Tirano, is the southernmost section of the UNESCO World Heritage Railway, mentioned in yesterday's post.

Along our journey we crossed alpine tundra, passed remnant glaciers, hugged the edge of sheer cliffs, observed magnificent waterfalls, wound through rich subalpine forests and took in breathtaking views of deep glacial valleys and the scenic towns that grace their floors.  Had the weather been clear and sunny this morning we might not have travelled to Tirano and would have missed some of the most spectacular alpine scenery in Switzerland.