Day 5 Jungfraujoch Sunny, Blue skies 1° to -10° Wind at summit 50kph

Another early start – we were at the station at 7.45am to catch a series of trains to get us to Jungfraujoch, which is the highest station in Europe at 3454m – the mountain Jungfrau is 4158m.  Shortly after leaving Interlaken Ost, we were in snow country again.

We changed trains at Zweilütschinen and again at Kleine Scheidegg.  With each change of train, came an increase in the gradient and an increase in the awesomeness of the scenery!  To assist the engine to pull the carriages up the mountains, a third geared track has been added in between the other two.  The last ½ hour of the journey was, however, spent inside the mountain.  Jungfrauchoch station is also inside the mountain and, via a series of tunnels and lifts, we were able to get to the Sphinx Observation Terrace.  We walked out onto the deck and were in awe of the beautiful snow covered mountains, bathed in sunshine – lots of photos were taken before we headed off to explore further.

From there we made our way back down in the lifts, along some tunnels, until we got to the Plateau, which is an area outside on the mountain.  The wind here was blowing at 50kph and it was -10, but exhilarating. We were amazed at how easily we were able to get around outside in the open air, considering the high altitude and that we had been warned that some people can get altitude sickness at Jungfraujoch. We stayed outside for quite some time on the fresh snow, soaking up the sunshine and beautiful surrounds -we loved it!

Next on the agenda was to find our way to the Ice Palace, via some stairs, a lift and some more tunnels.  We were a little disappointed as quite a large section of the Ice Palace tunnels were closed and so we only saw a few ice sculptures.  It was interesting walking through ice tunnels as we had to be careful not to slip over.

Part of Jungfraujoch was closed because of falling ice, but as we had seen what we came to see, we decided to go back down to Klein Scheidegg for a late lunch.  We had a light lunch in the restaurant overlooking the ski fields and had a wander through the snow.  We saw some people skiing and further down the mountain we saw a middle-aged lady having fun on a toboggan.  We also saw several people getting around on snowmobiles.

From Klein Scheidegg, we came back a different way than the way we went up this morning.  We got the train to Grindelwald through more beautiful scenery and took this opportunity to go for a walk through the little town, before catching a later train back to Interlaken.  By the time we got to Grindelwald it was 2.15pm and the town was completely in the shadow of the Alps and quite cold – approximately -3° or -4°.  We had to be careful walking as the streets and footpaths were still covered with snow and ice.  We enjoyed our walk through this pretty little town. On the train from Klein Scheidegg, there was a young couple with a baby all rugged up and they arrived at the train with the baby in a papoose, which was attached to a little sled – we were thrilled when we saw one for sale in Grindelwald and were able to take a photo of it.

When we arrived back at Interlaken, we walked back to the hotel, stopping at some shops along the way.

Yesterday and today have been everything that we could have imagined or dreamed that a trip to Switzerland could possibly be!

We are going to have a quiet evening because the last few days have been big days and tomorrow we are travelling to Geneva via a series of trains.

We will sort through our 300+ photos and put some of them in the photo gallery.

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