Headed to the Jungfraujoch today!
We were excited to experience the cogwheel train and the "Top Of Europe"
going to the Jungfraujoch today!
Jungfrau means virgin and the Jungfraujoch is the Jungfrau yoke/saddle, the highest railway station in Europe. There are views of the snow-capped peaks and the Aletsch glacier.
Down in the valley, it was sunny and chilly.
We were able to walk to the Grund train station,
and appreciated all the beauty along the way.
We saw the Mannlichenbahn (it went across the vista we saw from our chalet balcony),
but it wasn't open for guests. They were doing construction.
You can see construction equipment going up (or down)!
Mannlichen bahn closed.
I wore this:
|coat: DKNY from TurnStyle consignment shop|
jeans: Style & Co from Macy's
blouse, sweater, shoes, socks: Target
The field next to our chalet had a donkey as well as sheep!!!
It was chilly enough that Greg had his hood up and gloves on.
On the upper right is the sign that says to Grund station, where
we could catch the train to Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfraujoch.
When we bought our tickets, we reserved a place for the trains back down because those can get full and if they get full, we would have just had to stay up there.
They gave us cute little fake Swiss passports to read and get stamped.
They have all sorts of interesting details about the Jungfraujoch and its construction.
Here's the inside of the train:
And we started going UP, past cows and barns and flowers and sheep.
It was steep in places.
The lighting was terrible, and it makes me look green,
but I was feeling a little green at this point because of the heat in the train car and the motion and angle of the train.
Bridges like this are to protect the train track from avalanches.
Every once in a while, we'd see a building.
Some of them were weather recording stations or did other sorts of science stuff.
We had to change trains in transit.
Our tickets just needed to be waved in front of the kiosk and the gate would let us through.
The kiosk was icy!
There's the first train.
And here's the second one!
This one was Eigergletscher (Eiger glacier):
And Eigerwand (Eiger wall):
Here are some of the views from up there:
And then there was Eismeer (Ice sea):
Getting colder . . . the windows had cool ice "claw prints" on them:
And then we got to the top!
Here's some video of the process:
There is a building up there, and various different ways to experience the beauty.
There are a couple of different viewing platforms at different heights, and there's a door right out onto the snow/ice, and there's an underground walk through the ice of the glacier.
We decided on the highest platform first because we're intrepid explorers!
Some of the outdoor platform was closed:
And the platform itself was grating, not solid (I assume so they don't have to shovel out there; the snow falls right through when it gets slushy enough.
There's the Jungfrau peak herself!
There were these crazy birds up there that were extra smart and always watching
for someone to drop food.
It was a forbidding environment and I find it difficult to understand how creatures can survive!
"We don't pay attention to signs. Or icicles!"
Then we went inside to warm up a bit and see the other sights.
They have a little walk with some of the history of the Jungfrau and the building of the Sphnix at the top (that's the building itself).
Of course there was a wooden ibex!
And then down into the Ice Castle!
It is carved into the glacier itself.
And it's very slippery!
We pretty much shuffled along in order to not fall down!
Except when we felt like sliding - then we skated along and felt like little kids!
We found a little saber-toothed squirrel, clutching an acorn desperately
(Just like in "Ice Age"!)
As we went through small tunnels, Greg made funny low noises
like a whale, which echoed all around.
I made corresponding GIRL whale noises.
There were ice carvings inside - here's a little herd of penguins.
And then we headed outside to the plateau, a nice flat area (fenced off so no one falls down the mountain!) to play in the snow and take pictures.
Stay behind the protective lines!
Don't worry; I stayed behind the ropes!
So did Greg.
It was all snow on top of ice. Near the door, the snow was all packed down and easy to walk on.
See the clouds down below us?
Beyond the ropes and up further away from the door, the snow was deeper and fluffier, and we got a bit wet.
As you can see, it's chilly up there - and WINDY!
Here's the base part of the building.
Brr. Everything looks very cold!
Even the rocks look like they need a vacation to the beach!
We got cold and went inside to see what we could see.
There's a (heavily promoted and not especially noteworthy) Lindt Chocolate shop up there.
With a picture point so we could advertise for them by sending their promotional information to all our friends!
So here you go!
It was Swiss Chocolate Heaven
(though I prefer the Concocoa vegan chocolate I got in the grocery store!)
Greg had some curry for lunch.
I had the lunch I had brought with me (see this video for more information about what I ate while in Switzerland as a vegan, plant-based person).
Then we walked all over the place again. The light changes all the time and the mountains look different in all lights.
There was a plaque at the top reminding us Whose Hands formed all the world.
We could have chosen to walk 45 minutes over the ice and snow to reach the
Monchsjochhutte, a hotel and restaurant (in the middle of nowhere in a sea of ice and snow!), but we were already really chilly and didn't have that amount of time to walk there and back before our train would leave.
Helicopter tours took off from there.
And the sky was a beautiful color.
We didn't expect this, but the reflection off the snow gave Greg quite a sunburn.
I didn't get one, and we aren't sure if it is the cocoa powder I eat almost every day or the fact that I live off plants, which have lots of anti-oxidents. We decided it was the cocoa, so Greg ate dark chocolate all the rest of the days of our trip (and I send some dark chocolate chips in his lunch every day now to protect him at home, too!)
There's the Sphnix, viewed from down on the plateau.
We had some time left before our train, so we went back through the ice museum.
This sculpture is in honor of the man who had the idea of building the Jungfraujoch train.
And then we waited for our train down!
They had "Ice Age" playing in the waiting area - nice touch!
The view on the way down was just as beautiful.
Wow! What a day!