A trip to Switzerland requires a “must see and do” to Jungfrau better know as “Top of Europe”. If you are a James Bond movie fan, Jungfrau was featured in On her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
Jungfrau has an elevation of 4,158 meters (13,642 ft) and is one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps located between Bern and the Valais. The main train connector city is Interlaken. In other word, the only way to get to Jungfrau is via a train.
From where I was staying (Wilderswil), it was about a 2-hour train ride one-way. From Zurich or Lucerne, it is about 4 hours. Let me tell you it was worth the journey.
Jungfrau railway station at 3,454 m (11,332 ft) which is the highest in Europe. The train into the mountain leaves from Kleine Scheidegg, which can be reached by trains from Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen via Wengen.
The ride from Wilderswil and Grindelwald to Kleine is very scenic just like a holiday postcard.
“The train enters the tunnel running eastward through the Eiger shortly above Kleine Scheidegg. Before arriving at the Jungfraujoch, it stops for a few minutes at two other stations, Eigerwand (on the north face of the Eiger) and Eismeer.”
The journey from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch takes approximately 50 minutes including the stops; the downhill return journey taking only 35 minutes. Make sure to stick you head out of the train.
Once you have arrived at Jungfraujoch, there are two things you must see and do. There are other activities, however, the two are the highlights of the trip
Number 1: Ice Palace
“The more transient something is, the more beautiful. This is especially true of the Ice Palace and its treasures. Today, artists create the ice – with a great deal of flair. On a mirror-smooth tour through a frosty world, visitors will discover their works of art in nooks and crannies. An eagle, ibex or bear, as though they had just been frozen, appear quite natural.”
And yes it is cold regardless of the season.
Number 2: Sphinx Observation Deck
An ultrafast lift takes you to the observatory, an international research station. It climbs 108 meters in 25 seconds.
Where you need do nothing more than enjoy the view up
Then it is time to be silly and play in the snow.
Admiring the Swiss flag
Then you realize that you are at the Top of Europe
Jungfrau @ Sunset
With the train ride back to your accommodations, you get to see a glimpse of a sunset
Most importantly make sure to take a nap on the train because you had a full day of adventure and excitement.
By the way, I was so knocked out that I had no they (tour mates) did this happened until my guide sent the picture. LOL!