Day 10 – Journey to the top of Europe – Jungfraujoch

We have enjoyed the beauty of Switzerland in each and every place we have visited so far. Everything is just so green and natural, plus exceptionally clean. I can honestly say I have never breathed in such fresh air and I am relishing every breath.

Today we visited a mountaintop location known as Jungfraujoch. It is called the Top of Europe because it is the highest train station in all of Europe. It is located in the saddle between the peaks of the Eiger, Monsch and Jungfrau at an altitude of 3571 M or 11,782 ft. More on this later, but trust me – it’s beautiful!

So our journey began with a train ride from our home base of Interlaken to the town of Lauterbrunnen. We switched trains at Lauterbrunnen and then traveled up to Kleine Scheidegg by way of Wengen.

At Kleine Scheidegg, you board another train that takes you up to Jungfraujoch. There is some spectacular scenery, however the bulk of the trip is up through a tunnel carved into the North Face of the Eiger Mountain. When you arrive up at the station, you have a few different activities you can participate in. As for Sue and I, we were there for the views, not to play in the snow.

You take an elevator up to the observation platform where you can step outside and get some heavenly views. When we first arrived, we both could really feel the effects of the altitude. I was definitely more affected by the thin air and struggled to catch my breath more than a few times. We just took it slow and moseyed through the passages.

When we went outside, the clouds had very nearly blanketed the neighboring peaks and left us looking at a fog-like mist. Additionally, it was raining / snowing and was not as pleasant as we had hoped. However, just a few minutes later the clouds moved on and we had some gorgeous views. We made sure we took pictures and got a look from every possible angle before the clouds returned to obscure the views.

Snowy, cloudy glacier

A little snow collecting on the sign.

That black spot is actually a bird

Edge of the clouds as it clears out

A view to remember

Clouding up on one side

Still clear on the other side

I’m sure a sunny day with bright sunshine would have made for even better views, but we were both awestruck by the surrounding mountains, the views of the Aletsch Glacier and the incredible engineering feat of getting a railroad and all the facilities up to the top.

I hope the pictures give you an idea of what it was like.

After viewing the mountains and the glacier, we headed over towards the station to head back down. Along the way we walked through a couple of exhibits that told the story of the men who dug the tunnels and built the railroad, plus there was a fabulous snow globe that was all carved out of wood and with its animated characters, brought a smile to everyone’s face.

An old goat – wooden, of course!

No shaking this snow globe

Murals

High cave found while digging

Shoppers

Once on the train, we headed back down to Kleine Scheidegg, where we connected with our return train. For the ride back to Interlaken, we chose to go through the town of Grindelwald. Grindelwald is another quaint little town with charming shops and restaurants.

Once back in Interlaken, we needed a little while to take in all we had seen. That’s one of our favorite things about traveling – settling back and comparing notes, looking at the pictures we took and talking about our day.

After resting up for a little while, we cleaned up for dinner. The restaurant is called Chalet Beizli and is connected to our hotel, which is a good thing because that rain the weatherman had threatened finally arrived. We both smiled knowing that we had enjoyed a great day under the threat of rain and then got to have a romantic dinner on the restaurant’s covered terrace with the rain now falling.

We enjoyed a bottle of wine, salads and a plate of Wiener Schnitzel. The meal was delicious, the waitress was very nice and the evening was romantic. I definitely like this traveling thing.

We headed back to the room to change and relax before heading to bed a little earlier. Tomorrow we’re just going to hang around town as the weather is not suppose to be so nice. We’ll wait to go to Bern on Sunday.

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