So this time, it wasn’t my fault.
Heather and Sean yesterday had put forward the idea of catching the train up to Arosa, a skiing village to the south east that would take around an hour to get there. The information we had received was that the Chur Guest Card from Chur Tourism would give us free travel on the buses and mountain railways for the duration of our stay. As none of us had any other plans we decided to go for it even though the weather was not ideal as you can see in the picture above. The plan was to check out how things were looking and potentially catch the cable car to the mountain top overseeing Chur to get some town views.
We popped in to the servo next to the hotel to pick up some supplies and jumped on the bus to head to the station. The station was one of the stops on the street, where the train travels from Chur central station up the road to Chur Altstadt (where we were getting on) before leaving the streets to head through the mountains to Arosa. There was a 20 minute wait, but that was fine we watched the raging torrent of glacial and snow melt running down the channel and spoke about some of the history of Switzerland while we waited.
We jumped on at the back of the train where we were the only ones in the carriage and were able to spread out a bit, the openable windows in these carriages would come in handy as we made our way through the idyllic scenery. As we progressed up the mountain through various tunnels and across various bridges, along came a ticket inspector.
We showed the Chur Guest Card assuming it was the correct ticket to show for the train ride, as the terminology suggested:
“Free use of public transport in the TransReno fare network, Zone 1 (2nd Class). Not valid for bikes and dogs. Valid after check-in. Not included: Bernina Express and Glacier Express. In addition, the guest card is not valid if the train does pass the station Felsberg, Chur West, Chur Altstadt Chur, Wiesental and Haldenstein without stopping.”
As we got on at Chur Altstadt we had figured we were in the clear. The inspector confirmed with us that it was not the entire Arosa line. There I was thinking “Well shit, this time I don’t have a ticket at all unlike yesterday so I’m proper fucked now” especially after Sean mentioned they had Interrail passes. However, the inspector had a machine and costed up some fares for us for the outbound and return trip. I’m lucky that I have physical tickets for everything associated with the next four days of train trips I’m doing because I feel like my luck is running out with these inspectors already and I’m only 5 days in to my 42 day journey.
That issue aside though the train ride was amazing and was a taster for what’s to come over the next few days. Between the Bernina Express to Tirano, the standard train back from Tirano, and the Glacier Express this is where I’ll be putting the hammer down on the photo tally.
The only downside was that it was raining at Arosa, and the mist meant we didn’t really get a good look at the mountains. Depending on my timing getting back from Tirano on Friday, I might attempt to get back there again and see if I get more favourable weather. It had started to clear on the way back down, as you can see, the middle photo of the three above and the one below are the same bridge.
When we got back down to the station we made our way through the old town, a section of the city that was missed in my self-guided walking tour. So now I do kind of feel like I’ve seen all of Chur. It was interesting to walk through and see all the narrow laneways and historic architecture of the old city, where you then cross a road and it’s all new and modern.
We walked around and got to the base station for the cable car… and it was closed. Until June it’s only open on weekends. Just to add salt into the wound the staff member that showed up (where I actually did not see where he came from, it was like he just appeared from around the corner) to inform us of this then took a ride up on the cable car himself. Oh well.
We ended up making our way back to the hotel for a while then popped back into town to check on some final information before heading out tomorrow. It turns out we are on the same Bernina Express train and even in the same carriage. I’m on an earlier train getting to St Moritz so I’ve said I’ll scout out what we need to do and have a quick look around. The forecast is for it to be only 3 degrees. So that’ll be fun!
Anyway that’s just about it for today, I had dinner in a nice restaurant where everything was in German. I had bolognese in the end, but didn’t take any photos as I got a vibe that it was not the place for that sort of thing as I got a couple of looks the minute I got my phone out to double check some translations. But hey, the food was delicious so I butchered saying “Das war lecker, danke” (that was delicious, thanks) to the wait staff, paid for the food and made my way out.
Tomorrow is the first of four pretty big days of rail travel that will see me visit 5 destinations across 8 different train services and 2 countries. So I’m off to sort through my luggage to make sure I have everything for an overnight bag as my suitcase is staying here in Chur until I come back on Friday.