It feels weird writing a blog post about our trip around Switzerland while living on a tropical island in Raja Ampat. And it feels special too, writing about the beauty of Switzerland and while choosing the best pictures I can’t help but daydreaming about our home country. The Jungfraujoch is definetly a must see in Switzerland
Last December and January we intensively explored our home country. Our bucket list of things to see in Switzerland was huge and there are still many more places to visit. But at least we can tick off the box for two attractions on our must see in Switzerland list: The Jungfraujoch, also known as Top of Europe, and Mount Rigi. We are so glad that we made it up to the Top of Europe. It is really spectacular to ride on a train up to the highest train station of Europe. The Jungfraujoch is not the only highlight of our trip around Switzerland.
Switzerland is our home country but the last few years we spent more time abroad than back home. Therefore whenever we’re in Switzerland it’s our holiday.
We’re tourists in our home country. It feels superb.
We love to travel around Switzerland for many reasons. On top of the list is the unique landscape, more reasons are: Everybody speaks our language, we can order in a restaurant without language problems, we can read the traffic signs and we know by heart in which shops we get what. Easy travelling. It may not sound very exotic but sometimes we like it the easy way.
The Jungfraujoch ‘Top of Europe’ is a must see in Switzerland
It took us 42 years to get up to the Jungfraujoch but better late than never. And one thing is for sure, it was not the last time we’ve been up there. This time we visit the Top of Europe in winter and the landscape this time of the year is spectacular. Now, that we have seen it this way we would love to visit the Jungfrau region in spring, summer or autumn to go hiking or mountain biking.
While travelling through Southeast Asia or Australia we met so many people telling us about the Jungfraujoch, Interlaken or the Schynige Platte. Foreigners come in flocks to visit the famous Top of Europe and we always had to tell them, that we’ve never been to any of these places. How embarrassing, we thought. But well, next time we can proudly say: Yes, we have been to the Jungfraujoch too.
A perfect start into the travel year 2015
We visited the Jungfraujoch in the first week of January and we were fortunate with the weather and the number of tourists. The weather forecast predicted a sunny day and no snowfall. The perfect day.
We decided to visit the Jungfraujoch on a daytrip hence we had an early start. We hopped on one of the first trains which left 5:45 am. It is doable to visit the Jungfraujoch from the eastern part of Switzerland as a daytrip but we highly recommend to stay overnight in Interlaken, Grindelwald, Wengen or any other village close by to get more out of the trip.
Coming from greater Zurich area we arrived in Interlaken Ost around 9:00 am and changed trains to Lauterbrunnen, Wengen and finally to the Kleine Scheidegg. It is also possible to get to the Kleine Scheidegg via Grindelwald.
The journey on the cogwheel train of the Jungfraubahn going up to the Top of Europe starts at the Kleine Scheidegg station (2’061 m).
Seven of the nine kilometres up to the Jungfraujoch are through a tunnel crossing the mountains Eiger and Mönch and the railway covers 1’400 metres height difference. It is a crazy feeling knowing that we are in the middle of a mountain.
On the way up to the Jungfraujoch the train stops twice for 5 minutes. Visitors can experience high-alpine wonderland of ice, snow and rocks. Everybody disembarks the train to snap a cool picture of the Eismeer and the Eigerwand. An amazing view opens up through windows in the mountain.
50 minutes after leaving the Kleine Scheidegg we arrive at Europe’s highest railway station on 3’454 metres above sea level. Juhuu…. how exiting!
Our search for good coffee fails but instead we’re finding the elevator to the Sphinx lookout. We’re going out to the platform and wow… a priceless view!
It took us 42 years to get to the Top of Europe
There is the Aletsch Glacier on one side and all around us we get this amazing high-alpine mountain view. The temperature is mild for a day in January and luckily there is just a slight breeze.
Seeing the platform almost abandoned is unusual and we are wondering how it looks like in the summer months. Probably a lot more crowded. It looks like we are spoilt now having so much space and not having many people in the way for taking pictures.
Our cameras and Smartphone’s have to work hard. We take picture after picture that we almost forget to enjoy the view without a lens in front of our eyes.
The Ice Palace
We’re diving into another world. The Ice Palace is a very special experience for us. We are in the middle of a glacier. Kind of a special feeling when knowing, that we are surrounded by ice – thick ice.
The floor of the tunnels to the different ice sculptures look very slippery but strangely they are not. Of course we have to walk slowly and cautiously but we expected walking on ice would be a lot more difficult.
Time is running quickly and we’re getting ready for the long train ride back home. The Jungfraubahn is currently operating twice an hour. Another amazing day travelling in Switzerland ends.
For more information
Check out the Website of Jungfrau Tourism for information about the Jungfrau region, hiking trails, timetables and prices.
Switzerland tourism offers a wide range of useful information for visitors. Check out MySwitzerland.com for details.
Where to buy the Swiss Travel Pass
For international visitors, the Swiss Travel Pass is a great option if you plan on travelling through Switzerland by local transport. The Swiss Travel Pass is an all-in-one ticket for trains, buses and ships and is valid throughout Switzerland. The Swiss Travel Pass is available online at Swiss Travel System
There are many outlets around the world where you can buy the Swiss Travel Pass. Information on individual countries and sales offices can be found on Swiss Travel System – Where to buy
A big thank you to Mrs Bickel and Mrs Roth from Jungfraubahnen for the support. We had a wonderful trip, one that we’ll never forget.
Thank you to Swiss Travel System for sponsoring a ticket to travel around Switzerland by public transport for one month. Switzerland is an amazing country.