Ticino Route Express – From Wallis, Through Nufenen, To Airolo

The yellow Post bus starts rolling with it’s passengers in Oberwald, Wallis.  The Ticino Route Express begins it’s approximately four hour journey to Andermatt.  Oberwald lies at the feet of the Alps.  The small village in Swiss Wallis is tranquil and has remained original.  Oberwald has had a railway connection, with Furka Oberalp Rail, to Brig and other villages since 1915.

The first thing on the timetable is the crossing of the Alps over the Nufenen Pass.  Since the 1960s, there has been pass streets over the Alps, from the canton Wallis to the canton Tessin.  The Nufenen Pass is almost 2500 metres high.  The journey then goes downhill to Val Bedretto – the Bedretto valley.  The Swiss valley reaches from the Nufenen Pass up to the Stalvedro gorge and on to Airolo.  If you notice it sparkling here, it is because of the crystals, that break and reflect the sunlight.  Mountain crystals are often found in Bedretto valley.  You can even go on a treasure hunt yourself for a small fee.  Leventina is the name of the Tessin valley that stretches from Airolo to St. Gotthard.  Airolo lies in Alta Leventina, above the Piottino gorge.  The Gotthardmassiv and the Gotthard Pass have played important roles in the development of the village.  Airolo has been an important traffic junction from the beginning.  Many skiers come here in winter and hikers and other sports people explore the area in the summer.

 With the Ticino Route Express Over the Gotthard

The Ticino Route Express travels towards the Gotthard Pass.  The crest of the Gotthardmassiv is over 2100 metres high.  Interested visitors can learn a lot about the St. Gotthard, the pass street and much more in the Gotthard museum.  In the 19th century, as the St. Gotthard Pass still had to be defended against enemies, Castle Airolo was built.  The old fortress of Castle Airolo now serves as exhibition area for the military museum.  The Post bus follows the pass street down into the valley until the destination -Andermatt – has been reached.

The Reuss flows through the Schöllenen gorge not far from Andermatt.  This deep gorge made it possible to pass the Gotthard for a long time.  Following the successful building of the Teufelsbrücke (Devils Bridge) in the 13th century, the Gotthard Pass became the most important transport route over the mountains.  At the end of the 18th century, bitter battles were fought around the Schöllenen gorge.  Napoleon’s soldiers met up with Russian fighters under General Suworow.  A cross that has been carefully chiselled into the rocks, remembers the soldiers that dies in these battles.

TIP: People in possession of the Swiss Pass, or the Swiss Travel Pass Flex , can travel with the PostAuto free of charge.

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