This is Switzerland: Gotthard Panorama Express (yourself)

on Saturday, September 14, 2019

We left Zurich today via a commuter train to Lucerne. At Lucerne, we boarded a steamboat to take us to Fluelen. I’m fast realizing that you can take your dog everywhere in Switzerland. These dogs have ridden more boats and trains than I ever will. However, the canines are nonplussed about the trains, boats, and trams, whereas I am fascinated by all of it. The Gotthard Panorama Express took is from Fluelen to Bellinzona on first-class carriages that were about as posh and plush inside as the views from their gigantic windows were spectacular. Pictures through the windows have tremendous glare. You will just have to ride this train yourself to see what I saw. BUT … the onboard attendant was kind enough to give us tips to walk to the next carriage, which was older and had windows that he had opened for us. Yes please! As the wind blew my hair back and dried out my gaping mouth, I snapped as many pictures as I could. The trouble was the photo opportunities were boundless. The train tracks loop around three times and the train goes through a series of tunnels as well, while you get three views of the church at Wassen. The attendant said the church itself is unimpressive and quite small, but the train is what has made it famous the world over. As you enter the 9.3-mile-long, 1882-built Gotthard tunnel, you are treated to a brief history of its construction projected on the interior walls, while a prerecorded history, complete with pick-axe sound effects, plays through the PA system. On at least a few occasions, you can two sections of tracks where the Express had already been only moments prior! I was absolutely elated when we disembarked at Bellinzona, and the engineer of our train was casually waiting at the entry of his locomotive cab. Did he know that I was going to take his picture? You be the judge. Please follow Trains Instagram page for more photos at instagram.com/trainsmagazine

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