Day two, we visited Jungfraujouch and we took a train from Grindelwald. As we were reaching the Grindelwald train station, it started snowing and we were all very excited. Once we hopped off our coach, we went playing in the snow. I was enjoying the snow tremendously. The weather really reminded me of England, where I used to study and I really miss the cold.
We took the 9:47am train, while waiting, we took lots of pictures and had a cup of hot chocolate. It was freezing – haven’t been this cold for many years and I am loving every bit of it. Just before we set off, the snow fall became heavier.
From Grindelwald, we had to change to another train which takes us up to Jungfraujoch with several stops in between like Eigergletcher, Eigerwand and Eismeer. The trains were really clean and very well maintained. The entire journey took approximately 2.5 hours and the views out from the train’s window are beyond amazing – I wish they stop every 2 minutes for photo taking.
Once we alighted at the Jungfraujoch Train Station, we visited the Ice Palace.
A blue revolving door opens the way to a blue stairway were the rocky vaulted roof above us changes into a glacier. We stand in the heart of the Jungfraufirn. 20 metres below the vantage plateau, on the watershed of Europe, the ice masses creep slowly northwards, their waters eventually flowing into the North Sea. The Ice Palace features a long cave-like passageways which open out into rooms and halls.
For lunch, we had the most expensive cup noodles at the Self-service Restaurant. If I remember correctly, each costs CHF7 or something. But having said that, this CHF7 hot and spicy Korean cup noodle tasted extra delicious and satisfying – perfect match for the extreme weather outside.
The arrival on the roof of Europe is a truly unique experience. On clear days, you will be able to ski in eternal snow and see breath-taking views of France, Germany and Italy from the Sphinx but the day we visited wasn’t – strong wind, wet and icy. We couldn’t even open our eyes properly.
The Jungfraujoch is not only one of Switzerland’s most attractive excursion destinations and vantage points. It has also proved to be an excellent location for a wide variety of research projects. The high altitude, clear air and easy access by mountain railway are ideal conditions for a wide range of scientific work. Astronomers, geologist, physicists, meteorologists and hydrologists – they all make an essential contribution towards our understanding of the environment.
The Jungfraujoch is also a small village not lacking in the appropriate amenities for its guests. Europe’s highest post office is at your service (I saw many tourists writing and sending post cards at the Gift Shop). And for Alpinists the “Joch” is the starting point for a memorable tour.
The Jungfrau Railway has created an exhibition – situated at various locations – together with a series of explanatory brochures. The aim is to assist visitors in understanding the type of research work carried out on the Jungfraujoch and provide a glimpse into the history of this unique Alpine station and life on the “Top of Europe”.
To end this post, I would like to share the temperature and wind speed of the day we visited Jungfraujouch, Top Of Europe.
Truly between heaven and earth.