Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Lauterbrunnen - Day 2

This morning we had one goal - and that was to take the train up to the "Top of Europe" - Jungfraujoch.  It is the highest mountain in Europe and it has been on our list to see for awhile.  11,300 feet (over 4000 meters) in the air - this mountain is something to behold.

The train leaves right from Lauterbrunnen, and we could walk to the train stop from our Airbnb.

Normally I would recommend getting tickets for this adventure in advance becuase it is so popular.  However - in the time of Coronavirus - Switzerland is not allowing tourist really in the area.  So all that are traveling right now are the Swiss and maybe a few people who drove from surrounding countries.  So no advanced tickets were needed.

This is a pricey adventure, but 100% worth it.  The train ride is about 75-80 minutes to the top of the mountain and requires two trains.  The first train takes you to the beautiful mountain town of Wengen - a lot of people got off here to explore.  We got off and had to hop on the second train that took us the rest of the way.  The second train is the true mountain climber - it was so steep - and the reason for the high ticket price.  Kids were cheap, but if you are coming with a group of adults, be prepared to pay for it.

We saw a lot of Swiss cows on the way up and down.  There were even some of the train tracks!

 The view from the train was incredible
 I took this one of the train coming down the mountain - see it in the grass area?  Just to give you an idea of how big these mountains are

 We stopped near the top and they had a picture spot

 At the top!  I love this picture where these enormous mountains are on either side of this deep valley

Once we were at the top, we entered the mountain itself had a few tunnels that lead to various activities we could do.  There are restaurants and cafes, an ice palace, a movie, a Lindt chocolate shop and of course - the outdoor observatories.  We decided to head right for the views first.  No pictures could ever do it justice.  It is magnificent.

 This is Jungfrau

 Looking down in the valley

 Wearing our masks even at a high elevation.  The two July birthday girls taking in the scenery

The temperature was 30F

The air is very very thin.  We were all breathing hard, and even developed headaches while we were there due to the thin air.  We kept our walking to a minimum.  After exploring outside we had fun walking around the ice palace.  And then we had lunch while admiring the gorgeous view of the alps.

 That is Jungfrau behind them

 The ice palace

 We found this funny - a stuffed animal of the Squirrel from the movie "Ice Age" was trapped in the ice

We were there about 3 hours.  I think this was plenty of time to do everything we wanted.  Unless your plan is to snow shoe or hiking around the snow a bit - you don't need much more time.  The train rides down were just as spectacular as the way up.  What a trip.

Today is my 45th birthday so this was a special treat.  I loved that I got to spend my birthday with my family in the Swiss Alps.  A dream come true.

1 comment:

  1. The Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald valleys were my favorite part of Switzerland since I first visited that area in 1989. When we moved there it was my go to place several times a year - there is so much to see and do and only two hours away. A couple of days is no where near enough. My favorite Klettersteig starts with a hike from the Eigergletcher station taking the Eiger Trail up the Rostock mountain and then hike back down the back side on the glacier side to the Eigergletcher station - not something to do if you are afraid of heights. I know very well the headache you felt at the Jungfraujoch - I have been there many times and the trick is to drink lots of fluids on the way up and then immediately get something to eat at the top in the cafe - sit and eat before you walk around - solves the headache problem right away - leaving you able to do all the snow activities (if they are open). I hope one day you get to go back and explore the other other side of the Mountain range - Murren and Shilthorn and the Grindelwald valley.