Monday, 19 August 2013

My trip up the Jungfrau

If you ever visit Switzerland, then this trip is a must. The Jungfraujoch offers the most amazing views, even up to Germany, France and Italy on a very clear day. The Jungfraujoch is also referred to as the Top of Europe, and it is the highest railway station in Europe being located 3,454 metres above sea level. 

The trip is a day trip, as it takes quite a while to travel up the mountain, with two stops within the Eiger mountain where you can take in some the the views. The Eigerwand is one of these points, located at 2,865 metres. This observation point once was secured by a fence, however, today it is safe behind windows and offers views of the Kleine Scheidegg, Männlichen, Grindelwald and the Thunersee. The railway journey leads through both the Eiger and the Mönch - quite an unusual experience travelling inside the mountains. Once you reach the top, the views are just incredible, with access to a wonderland of ice, snow and rock, admired from the viewing platforms in the Ice Palace or Aletsch Glacier. When I went the weather was -1 degrees at the top - quite a difference to the 30 degrees that it was at the bottom! However, as it was sunny it didn't feel this cold!

My journey was from Interlaken, and I took 2 different routes when I went up and down in order to stop off at some different places on the way. On the way up, I went via Grindelwald, and on the way back I went via Wengen and Lauterbrunnen. I'd definitely recommend visiting Wengen if you have a chance, as it's one of the prettiest villages that I went to, with some amazing views of the mountains and Lauterbrunnen Valley.

As you can see from the images above, the platform gets very busy and it doesn't feel too secure, even though it obviously has to be very secure - but it feels quite odd going out on it at first, especially when you can look directly down!

As you can see, the ice palace was one of the many things to do at the top of the Jungfraujoch, with a wide variety of ice sculptures. This was probably the coldest area, with the whole palace being made of ice! So you literally were walking through tunnels made of ice - very slippery! The sculptures were really amazing though, and well worth a visit.

Above: train journey down the mountain

Above: View of Kleine Scheidegg, from the Eigerwand station

If you fancy going here and would like some more information, then the Jungfrau website is a great place to start. You can also take a look at some of the activities to do at the Snow Fun Park, including floating on a cable over crevasses, skiing or snowboarding as well as gliding through the sledging park on sledges. For some more of my recommendations for Swizerland, take a look at my other recent post.