Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chur, Switzerland - the Beautiful Alpine Bottleneck

Planning the Europe trip has involved a lot of itinerary work, especially for our trains in and out of Switzerland. The current plan has us travelling from Paris to Chur, Switzerland, one of the oldest inhabited areas in the country and historically a strategic location.

The Bernina Express runs north to south through the alps from Chur to Tirano, Italy.

Booking Trains in Europe

Travelling around Europe on a Eurail Pass is definitely cool, but it also requires more than a little planning if you want to maintain any sort of schedule. With the family of four on the trip I want to have reservations for trains and lodging along the way, but this creates some flexibility challenges since we are fixing a lot of dates.

Very helpful in determining specific train times and schedules is the magnificent German train website Bahn.com . Another site with Europe-wide schedules is Austrian Rail. However even with these powerful tools it's tricky to match up the more frequent trains in and out of Chur and Lugano with with the Alps magnificent Bernina Express, which itself is not a simple single line but basically goes between Chur / Davos / or St Moritz Switzerland to Tirano, Italy and then on in summer by bus to Lugano, Italy. Confused? Here's the Bernina Express site. This is one of the world's great train rides and it's included in the Eurail Pass.

Note: Eurail Pass has helped to sponsor of our European family blogging adventure. Thanks Eurail Pass!