From the very first day of my professional life in Zurich, on the way to work I frequently used to see the ad ”Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe”. Since then it has been on my bucket list. Last Saturday when I was invited to my aunt‘s place for dinner, I never thought, 12hrs later I will end up on Top of Europe. She had visitors from UK and Germany and they were discussing about the possible day trip options for Sunday. Me being a chatty person, I was fully engrossed in the discussion. I had no plans to join them however the discussion was so persuasive, I ended up committing to the spontaneous excursion.
We started our journey around 8:30 in the morning and after a couple of hick ups, train changes and lunch we finally reached Kleine Scheidegg.
From there we take the final train, Jungfraubahn to reach the top. In other words the real journey starts at Kleine Scheidegg station (2061m above sea level). The cogwheel train takes almost an hour to cover 9km because the ascent grade is that steep (has to overcome an altitude difference of 1400m). The train goes through a tunnel crossing the mountains Eiger and Mönch. The construction of the Jungfrau Railway began over a hundred years ago with 300 men and lasted for 16 years. It is incredible how they cut these tunnels out of sheer rock by hand.
During these 50 minutes the Jungfraubahn makes two stops at Eigerwand (2,320m) and Eismeer (3160m) for 5 min. The Eismeer glacier sits snugly between these beautiful peaks. On each stops there are viewpoints, allowing us to admire the breath taking view of alpine wonderland of glaciers, ice, snow and rocks. The thought of being inside a huge, gigantic mountain, gave me goosebumps and a slight adrenaline kick.
Cogwheel train is the only way to reach the highest rail station in Europe, Junfraujoch, which is 3454 m high. A bronze statue of Mr. A. Guyer Zeller, the initiator of the Jungfrau Railway, welcomes you to this stunning, overwhelming, heart-stopping wonderland.
It may sound silly but my top priority was to Go Live from top of Europe. Having that in mind, I headed to the Sphinx observatory, the highest point of the route, where you will get the best panoramic views of the mountains. While glancing through the direction board, I saw Bollywood on the sign post.
Oh boy…I felt like winning the biggest lottery – Can you imagine, how awesome it would be to meet Shahrukh Khan, Amir, Ranbir, Hrithik, Shahid & co on top of the Europe? For a moment I forgot about everything else and without hesitating I followed the direction to Bollywood! Guys, guess what? You won’t believe it; It was just a restaurant. To be honest I was a bit disappointed, but on the positive side the only restaurant (according to what I saw) on top of Europe is an Indian restaurant, how cool is that?
Finally my mind was back on track and without wasting any second, I headed to top eagerly to Go Live – I couldn’t go live because of poor reception☺. The view from there is worth a billion dollars. I have never ever seen something as magnificent as this. Lunacy took over me as I ran around the Sphinx to capture as many pictures as possible, before my mobile battery ran out for good. I felt like diving into the sugar coated mountains to take a big bite of it. The clean and crisp air was so addictive that I just kept inhaling more and more. I wanted to keep this freshness in me and so didn’t feel like exhaling. To be honest I don’t know the right words to describe what I felt there.
After spending nearly 1hour on the terrace of the observatory, I decided to go to the Snow Fun area. You can walk through the “Ice Palace” where a tunnel has been dug out of solid ice with beautiful ice sculptures lining the halls. Since I wasn’t carrying proper footwear, I couldn’t go there. As I mentioned before, it was a spontaneous trip so naturally we were running against time.
It is undoubtedly an expensive excursion; the normal tariff is around 200 CHF per person. The Price of the train ticket includes access to the entire Jungfrau area. I will definitely go there again and who knows may be I will be able to Go Live ☺ If you are planning to go there, these are my suggestions:
- Start early and plan properly
- Bring some snacks and water for the trip.
- Pack your lunch, as you wouldn’t want to pay for an expensive mediocre meal.
- Check the weather report before booking!
- Have your cameras & mobile Phones always ready for action.
- Don’t forget your selfie stick
- Don’t forget your power bank
- Dress in multiple layers as the temperature will fluctuate throughout the travel day.
- Wear good tracking/ hiking shoes.
- It is possible to get altitude sickness. Make sure to take things slow and drink plenty of water.