May 15, 2016 - 7:10 AM
Hi Susan, welcome to MySwissAlps!
The Bernina Express starts in Chur, so indeed that's the town to go to. Once you've reached Tirano you can go back via Pontresina - Zuoz - Sagliains - Klosters to prevent backtracking all of the route. Afterwards you can take the A13 highway towards Bellinzona and Italy.
I assume you'll have a day to reach Chur from Basel. Zurich, Lucerne (Luzern) and Zug are all worth a stop. I'd suggest to pick one of them to explore a bit. Zug is the smallest so it will also be the easiest one to reach and navigate with a car. You can walk along the lake promenade and explore the small historical town center. The weather forecast can be found here.