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Proposing on a Eurail trip: one couple's romantic engagement story

 

 

Rachel Schnalzer

Senior Writer

18 December 2023

 

Dazzled, inspired, overwhelmed by nature’s beauty – these are the emotions many travellers report feeling during a ride on the Bernina Express train route

 

But stressed? Not usually. 

 

Yet Tom, a content creator from Argentina, experienced serious nerves in the middle of his journey from Tirano to St. Moritz. 

 

The reason: he was about to propose to his longtime partner, Facu, on the train.

 

“My hands were sweating so much,” Tom said, with a laugh. “I knew he would say ‘yes,’ for sure. But you don't know how anyone will react, right?” 

 

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Tom, who received two complimentary Global Passes from Eurail, first got the idea to propose on the Bernina Express when he saw an Instagram Reel of the iconic train route, which stretches from Chur to Tirano. 

 

“I thought it would be so romantic to do it there,” Tom explained. “It's beautiful, the speed, how things go by, how colours change…it's just so poetic.” 

 

On a train, “you just feel safe,” he continued. “And safety gives you the chance to be loving and present.”  

 

Tom and Facu began their Eurail journey on an October morning in Tropea, a small coastal town in southern Italy, with the summer crowds long since dispersed. A quick note about our Passes: the Eurail Pass is only available to non-European citizens or non-European residents. European citizens can use an Interrail Pass instead. 

 

“It was our first time travelling together in Europe,” Tom said. From Tropea, the two took the train across Italy – first to Naples, and then to Pisa, Livorno and Florence. 

 

Their next stop Mantua was deeply personal – part of Facu’s family came from nearby the Northern Italian city. It’s important “to go to the soil where your great-grandfather was born,” Tom explained. 

 

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After stops in Milan and Tirano, it was time for Tom and Facu to board the Bernina Express, where Tom planned to propose. “It was a super exciting day because I knew it all along,” he said. 

 

The train ride through the mountains “was so, so beautiful,” Tom said, remembering the wonder he felt at experiencing the Alps alongside Facu. “I love nature and he also does.”

 

As the train slowed down, navigating through turns, and the sun came down over the mountains, Tom began setting up his camera, using a book and two juice boxes as a makeshift tripod. 

 

The improvised set-up added to Tom’s feelings of nervousness. “The camera kept falling,” he said. “The sun was coming down over the mountain, so I didn't know if there was going to be too much shadow, or if the lights in the train would reflect in the windows.” 

 

Yet Facu, accustomed to Tom’s work as a social media creator, didn’t suspect a thing, Tom said. “He basically just thought we would be doing a Reel of [the two of us], sitting there enjoying the scenery.” 

 

Tom subtly pulled the ring box out of his luggage. Meanwhile, a train attendant came by to pour Tom and Facu two glasses of wine. 

 

After the attendant left the car, Tom – gathering up his courage – got down on one knee facing Facu and pulled out the ring box. 

 

Facu, with a shocked look on his face, “didn't even open it,” Tom recalls. He asked Tom, “What is going on?” to which Tom replied, “Do you want to marry me?” 

 

Facu then set the ring box gently on the train table and pulled Tom into an embrace.  

 

And – of course – he said yes! 

 

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In Tom’s video of the proposal, “you can tell he's actually surprised,” Tom said. “He's a Pisces. He lives in the clouds.” 

 

The two celebrated their engagement by spending the late afternoon in St. Moritz after their train’s arrival. “There was a beautiful sunset over the lake,” Tom remembers.

 

That evening, the two headed to Zurich, where they stayed with a friend and her children, taking walks in the woods and riding bicycles for a few days. After Zurich, Tom and Facu used their Eurail Passes to reach Berlin to visit another close friend.

 

“There's so many different kinds of trains from the eight countries we've been,” said Tom, marvelling at the differences between the high-speed bullet trains and slower, scenic trains they took on their journey.  “Being able to travel all around Europe with a train was a dream.”

 

After a stop in Copenhagen, Tom and Facu travelled further into Scandinavia, visiting Stockholm, where they connected with another loved one. 

 

“We have a friend that has a super amazing tango dance company, and this year, they got hired by this Nordic cruise line,” Tom explained. Tom and Facu’s friend invited them to come along on the cruise across the Baltic sea from Stockholm to Helsinki and back again.   

 

“We were so overwhelmed with happiness and the feeling of blessing and abundance,” Tom said, thinking back on all of the friends he and Facu celebrated with across Europe. 

 

A visit to Amsterdam using the Pass proved similarly meaningful for Tom and Facu. Years before, “I worked there for three months as a volunteer, as a landscaper assistant,” Tom said. “I showed [Facu] all around the community gardens, the places where I worked, the places where I would go to have coffee.” 

 

“It was so nice to show him where my life developed,” Tom said. 

 

London, the birthplace of Tom’s great-grandparents, was the couple’s last stop on their Eurail adventure. After spending his childhood reading Paddington Bear books, “it was a nice feeling of going home, in a way,” Tom said. 

 

Now, back in Argentina, Tom and Facu are planning their wedding and celebrating their engagement with friends and family. “I'm overwhelmed with happiness and gratefulness,” Tom said. 

 

Since Tom posted the Reel in mid-October, it’s been viewed more than one million times on Instagram. “It was so nice to feel all the love…people sending us messages from all around the world, all sharing their stories,” he said.  

 

His advice to couples who are thinking about exploring Europe by train with a Eurail Pass?  “You’ve got to study your trains, your schedules, planning like [you do for] every trip but with a different twist – you can hop on and off on trains and go wherever you want,” he said. “Just do it.” 

 

Chances are, trains will be in Tom and Facu’s future as a married couple. It’s “complete freedom,” Tom said. “I would take all the trains in the world.” 

 

Inspired by Tom and Facu's Eurail journey?