Journey to the Top of Europe

Journey to the Top of Europe

Jungfraujoch, Swiss Alps, Switzerland, Europe
There comes a day in your life when waiting anymore feels like a waste of time. Euro Trip was just that for me. There came a time when I decided to take the plunge all by myself. Sounds like m talking about getting married or some bigger decision in my life? It was big to me. Introvert by birth, in this trip, I was like a panda trying to learn kungfu. But just like in the movie, I started to enjoy every minute of it.
 
Now that I had decided to fly solo, I decided to put myself in self created experiment by not only travelling alone but also making sure that I am surrounded by more and more strangers – instead of cozy hotels, I decided to crash at hostels sharing room with other travelers and I purposely did not carry any internet or phone with me when I was out on roads.
 
How did it feel? On the first day, it felt like I was a self torture trip but as days passed by, I became more comfortable with choosing my own path, deciding my own routes, and dealing with last minute gate changes at airport, finding my way around the cities while taking directions from strangers, and meeting some great people on the way. All in all, the trip changed my opinion about myself. I, quite literally, surprised myself.

Switzerland known for its beautiful alps is much more than just those. Yes, this beautiful country is on must visit list of almost every savvy traveler or tourist. I visited a few places in Switzerland on a trip where our main highlights were memorable journey of Bernina Express and climb to the top of Europe on Jungfrau Mountain.

Jungfrau was my first stint with real show covered mountain. I have to admit, coming from the land of Himalayas, it’s a shame that my first encounter with beautiful snow covered mountains was in Europe. This year, I promise myself to get some stories back from the Himalayan range.

Jungfraujoch, Swiss Alps, Switzerland, Europe

As of now let’s focus on Jungfraujoch (place covered in snow all 12 months in a year). It is a saddle in Bernese Alps which connects Jungfrau and Mönch – two four thousander mountains. This saddle has been accessible to tourists via Jungfrau line, a railway line running from Interlaken and Kleine Scheidegg. This railway line to reach Jungfraujoch is about 9km long and passes through 7km long Eiger and Mönch tunnel. At the elevation of 3,454 metres, Jungfraujoch is the highest railway station in Europe. There are two stations within the tunnel which provide amazing views to the glacier world outside through the windows. Train stops for 5 minutes at these stations, so you have enough time to soak everything in.

The idea about this tunnel first came to Adolf Guyer-Zeller in 1893. He was a Swiss entrepreneur who led his father’s company of spinning mill and textile export trade in Zurich to success. The tunnel construction started on July 27, 1896 and took 16 years to reach a point where it was opened to tourists.
 
Once at the Jungfraujoch, there are lot of things that one can enjoy apart from the spectacular views. You can visit The Sphinx Observatory which can be reached through an elevator from Jungfraujoch. It is one of the world’s highest astronomical observatories from where you can enjoy 360 degree views from a terrace or from inside the building with windows.
 
There is Ice palace where you can admire lot of ice sculptures and multiple restaurants. You can also go out in the snow at “The Plateau” and enjoy the views of Grosser Aletsch glacier and more snow covered mountains. With proper gears and permissions you can also go hiking across the across the glacier to the Mönchsjoch hut.
Jungfraujoch, Swiss Alps, Switzerland, Europe
Jungfraujoch, Swiss Alps, Switzerland, Europe
Jungfraujoch, Swiss Alps, Switzerland, Europe
And now the best part, Lindt has a Swiss Chocolate Heaven right there are Jungfraujoch. You can see how chocolate is made and its history. If you are fan of Lindt chocolates, like me, you can buy chocolates from here.
 
We stayed at a beautiful Swiss cottage in Wengen and took our train to Jungfraujoch around late morning. Our trip was made more comfortable by Swiss pass, although it looks expensive at first but it does include a lot of journeys in it including the panoramic trains and Jungfraujoch. If you buy these trips separately, you will end up paying more than the pass itself.
 
Visit Switzerland to experience this first hand and if you want to plan your trip to Switzerland, message me through comments section and I will definitely revert.

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