Our train winds around the mountains, a red snake on a vertical merry-go-round, climbing a rocky cathedral sprinkled with Queen Anne's Lace and buttercups. We negotiate 55 tunnels and 196 bridges, snowy glaciers and plunging waterfalls. Steeples rise from remote villages overlooking the world. Cresting 7,392 feet, the views are breathtaking.
The Bernina Express connects Switzerland with Italy, a ride that bridges languages and cultures and offers a testimony to engineering, but for me, even more to the spectacle of nature. We pass towering cliffs, amazing rock formations, snow capped peaks, polka dotted meadows, big brown cows with bells slung around their necks.
Venice here we come.