Switzerland’s Glacier Express takes you on a magical journey through nature
Written by Irene Chuang
On 23 May 2024

The Glacier Express, Switzerland’s famous train trip, is not just about pretty pictures – it is a full-on immersion in nature. As you travel through the heart of the Swiss Alps, get ready for diverse plant and animal life but also fascinating secrets hiding beneath the surface.  

Taking you to the Ice Age and the sights of nature

The train travels across massive glaciers, remains of the Ice Age. These are where the mighty Rhône River begins and features in local legends. 

While the huge glaciers dominate the landscape, a lesser-known secret awaits. Small glaciers known as ‘permafrost glaciers’ can be found in the mountains’ nooks and crannies. These are permanently frozen pockets of ice located in rock crevices and moraines.

Permafrost glaciers silently regulate water flow throughout the year. They serve as natural reservoirs, carefully releasing meltwater during the dry summer months and preserving the delicate balance of the alpine ecosystem.

As you climb higher, the landscape changes into a colourful carpet of wildflowers.

Edelweiss, a symbol of purity in Switzerland, shares the space with all sorts of other wildflowers, each with a job to do in the delicate alpine balance. Look closely at the moist and cold understory. A hidden realm awaits: a a rich and colourful world of mushrooms.

Some of these mushrooms are crucial to the health of the forest. They act as natural decomposers, breaking down fallen leaves and branches to restore important nutrients to the soil. Others create symbiotic partnerships with trees, with complicated networks transferring water and nutrients to ensure the health of both partners. 

So, the next time you’re on the Glacier Express, keep a lookout for these interesting mushrooms, which are proof of the hidden beauties that live in the Swiss Alps.

Check out our related stories

Pakistan, from Karachi to Kashmir

Pakistan, from Karachi to Kashmir

Pakistan is a country renowned for its complex history, rich culture and most importantly, an exquisite gastronomic portfolio. Its ...

Reaching New Heights: A trek to Everest Base Camp.

Reaching New Heights: A trek to Everest Base Camp.

Mount Everest is renowned worldwide as a symbol of sacrifice. Referred to as the 'Goddess of the Sky' or Sagarmatha in Nepalese ...

Zanzibar, the island of spice and flavours

Zanzibar, the island of spice and flavours

In the heart of the Indian Ocean lies a paradise - Zanzibar. The archipelago situated just off the coast of the Tanzania has become a ...

Tonga, the last Polynesian kingdom in Oceania

Tonga, the last Polynesian kingdom in Oceania

Tucked away in the vast expanse of the South Pacific, a little-known island kingdom beckons the intrepid traveller with the allure of ...

Turkey, the Istanbul journey that connects the East with the West

Turkey, the Istanbul journey that connects the East with the West

Known as the city where East meets the West, Istanbul is a mesmerising experience filled with historic landmarks and cultural richness.

Palau, the hidden island country in the Pacific Ocean

Palau, the hidden island country in the Pacific Ocean

Located in the western Pacific Ocean, the Republic of Palau is a hidden gem that offers not only stunning natural beauty but also a ...

Suzhou, the Chinese city of embroidery with Yao Jianping

May 31, 2024

Suzhou, is a major city in Jiangsu province, China. As part of the Yangtze Delta megalopolis, it is a major economic centre and focal point of trade and commerce. Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou rapidly grew in size by the Eastern Han dynasty, mostly due to emigration from...

GET ON BOARD WITH OUR NEWSLETTER

For our cultural travellers looking for a deeper and detailed insight, this is for you.

Join our mailing list to receive our first newsletter edition filled with exclusive features. From local events in Corsica, to Hong Kong best hiking spots.

Welcome on board the Global Odyssey flight