Heart of swiss alps and top of europe! (Jungfrau)

Trip Start Jul 26, 2005
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Trip End Nov 01, 2005


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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Well... I'm gonna start of with this...

One word can describe this place "beautiful", wait... i'll try it again... "PPEERRFFEECCTT!!!!"

As we moved from Venice on the long train ride here, we went from nothing too special to some scenic places as we headed north of Italy heading towards the Swiss border. As we got close to the border i started to see some mountains building up. Now coming from Adelaide, Australia - I'd tend to say they were very very reasonable sized ones, as we dont have any big ones what so ever back home. As we crossed the border the scenery started getting quite gorgeous! There was lakes that have crystal light blue colours shining off with the sun in the clear blue sky beating down lighting up all the greenery of the lush mountains. As we entered the mountains, the train was just bending around these verticle ascents... It was like a toy train set that you can buy when your a kid with the train going around all this cool scenery... - except this time i was in that toy train! THe mountains started getting bigger and bigger and the train was going high and higher. They were just so beautiful. 2 hours later, i can definatly say that they are REALLY big! And we're definatly in what you can define as "alps" now :o) My eyes have hardly blinked as they've locked into position staring out of the window. What i love, that in the crevises of the mountains, there are all these small villages randomly scattered througout. They must be so lucky to just step out there door and be surrounded by such beauty everyday.

Well the beauty just continued and continued and the mountains just got bigger and bigger with more and more of them... (hard to believe heh?) - me tries to imagine the himalaya's! haha!

We finally arrived at Interlaken a couple of hours later. Now this place i have been dreaming about ever since i wanted to travel. I had such high expectations of this place and within minutes of arriving those expectations were just so far passed! This place is a sight for sore eyes! The beautiful, clean, old style village type town is just awesome. All you have to do is look up and you are copmletely surrounded in every direction by gigantic alps. Interlaken is in the heart of the Swiss Alps :o) I've never seen such a picture perfect place before i think to myself as i walk through the streets of Interlaken. We took photo's and headed off with these 2 canadian girls to find funny farm hostel as we were keen on staying there for the time we're here. We checked in and went in up to our room "305". The roomw as cool and had a view that we couldnt see as it was dark, and low clouds had rolled in. So we headed out for dinner and a bit of a walk around. All of the souvenier shops here are pretty cool and yes all of them have swiss army knives. They are everywhere! We eventually settled down at one restaurant. There we had meat Fondou! It was awesome. Its where they give you all this uncooked meat and they give you this pot with oil in it over a flaming gas and once the oil has boiled you cook it yourself. Twas quite nice and you get all these spices to dip your meat in after. Mind you, it was pretty expensive as everything is here. I work it out to be equivelant as london pretty much. - yeah - ouch! From this awesome tea and beers, we were ewatching these guys play this huge thing which sounded like a trumpet. Looked like a redicuously huge tobaco pipe that reached from the ground up to your mouth to blow in haha! Again they're everywhere here. We walked around for a bit more after tea and gazed at how clean and lovely this little town looks. Then went back to the hostel for bed as we were pretty buggered from travlling most of the day. There we met 2 U.S. guys and 2 Aussie chicks from Canberra, Oz.

The next morning we awoke after a freezing night... - hahaha in the siwss alps and someone bloody left the window open! - nice move!!! haha! I got up to close the window and was hit with an AMAZING view. Directly out our window were all these alps and a valley right between them. In the distance was this huge snowy Alps and you could tell they were just soooo huge and right in the distance the tip of Jungfrau! Oh yeah! I had been told about this view on a clear day from a couple of people, and here i am looking at it! An absolutely awesome view and there was this old cottage with a swiss flag sticking up to make it even more beautiful. I just keep thinking to myself how much i love this place. (appolagies to anyone reading this that thinks i go on about it to much, i am just having the best time of my life, and i've looked forward to this place for so so long). We were thinking about going canyoning with the american guys, but as soon as i saw that view of Jungfrau i knew exactly what i was doing! - I'm going up the bugger! (bugger is an aussie slang term by the way).

We got ready and headed out! Dainelle was trying to get her emergency credit card working at the local bank in the town so i walked around the town for a bit longer and had a look at the views. The town yet again is just amazing - everythings so clean, the air is so crisp, the grass and trees are so green, the buildings are so pretty with so much character, surrounded by perfection as you look up. Well time for Jungfrau! We went to Interlaken West station and bought ticktes. My credit card nearly got stuck in the machine - i've had a gut full of these rounded edge credit cards! ( warning for anyone that has a rounded edge on their credit cards - nothing but trouble over here!). But it eventually as the guy threatened it with a screw driver - haha. The ticket was 180CHF, but with Eurail it was 130CHF - so around 145 aussie $. We headed off to Interlaken OST then swapped train to Lauterbrunnen. The sun was out, the sky was clear, the air was crisp, my face had the biggest smile on it, and we're off to the top of the alps!!! The train trip was pretty cool, it had so many creeks and rivers flowing underneath the tracks and it looked like we were in foresty area, as the train kept getting higher and higher up the side of the alps. Everynow and then there would be a peak at the huge snow tipped alps as there was no snow what so ever where we were. There water was falling for hundreds of metres on some waterfalls - amazing.We finally reached Lauterbrunned and got off to swap trains to goto Klein Schneidegg. THe town we were at now was pretty cool, and all cabins were made out of these wooden logs - looks pretty descent place to stay in all honesty. Ok, we now hopped on a cog train as the tracks all of a sudden went very steep! The views got better and better the higher we went. All the little villages and cotteges people lived in look all very scenic upon the green grasses of the sloping alps. We now got longer views in between the surrounding lower alps of the bigger snow capped ones. Its unbelievable how high these things are. From the valleys below straight up the cliff face to the enourmous peaks above! Now we're pretty much seeing nothing but huge snow capped alps. Its funny, everyone is in this cog train huddling in the back of the carrage with the windows up, but i thought "stuff ya's!" and went up the front and slammed the window down to stick my head out for the rest of the trip! - i had my beanie on, so all good! Life's just so good! We finally arrived at Klein Schneidegg and i've already gone through about 50 photo's on my digital camera. We got off to get on to our last cog train to head to europes highest trainstation - Jungfraujoch! Its now absolutely freezing! One side of tKlein Schneidegg there's huge green pretty valleys in between these alps and the otherside are these huge peaks that ascent at such a steep rate up and up. The train arrives... I am excited! On this train we met another Ausie couple and these 2 older American woman who are doing Amsterdam and Switzerland for a womans week away! haha good on em! This train entered a hole in the swiss alp Eiger. All of a sudden the temperature dropped about 25 degrees instanty! It stopped 3 times to let us out and take photo's through these holes blastered in the side of the mountain. Was a pretty good view. We finally arrived at Jungfraujoch! We all got out and headed off. We got to the view point and .... ok i've said alot of things are awesome and beautiufl... But if i could only use these words once in the entire trip... I was use them right here, as when i stepped outside it was the most perfect sight you can imagine. I'm staring directly at this glacier that is covered in snow that stretches on as far as you can see and surrounding it are these huge steep, Alps absolutely covered in snow that goes on foerver. ITS SOO SOO BEAUTIFULL!!!! I just could not even blink my eyes and definatly could not whipe the smile off my face. I've been waiting for tihs view for such a long time. You see these mountains in pictures and others in movies and you think "wow!" but i tell you, its nothing compared to standing directly infront of it with your own eyes. This is the life and the most rewarding experience ever! no money in the world can make you feel the way that i am feeling right now with this. I walked around the other side of the platform and it was such a clear day that you can see Interlaken so small in the distance. Again for each side - beautiful peaks reaching 13,642 foot above sea level - Jungfrau being the highest, and the 2 Eigers each side of it. After a while of standing just gazing at this perfect view - trying to take it all in and trying to believe that it isn't a dream we headed down to where you can walk out onto the glacier. I stepped onto the snow for the 2nd time in my life, but this now was swiss alp snow and a thousand times better and softer than back home. Had to make a snow ball and yes!!! - got danielle right in the head with it! hahaha! We started walking up this slope and soon found how buggered you can get in this altitude, from sipmly walking. There were these guys cruising down this slope in a raft! hahaha, doing jumps off this little mound. It was funny as! We kept on walking and was told there was europe's highest cafe around the corner of Jungfrau peak. We kept going, slipping, throwing snowballs and taking in these more than perfect views untill we arrived around the peaks corner nearly an hour later.

I found myself standing all alone on the very edge of a mountain edge with hundreds of metre's drop half a foot infront of me staring striaght down to another glacier sighting and another view of more amazing alps. We went in the restaurant, we i did as she already was. We didn't have much cash on us, but managed to order some hot vegetable soup - oh so so so good, and turning around to stare out the window next to us! haha... oh yeah! Is this where you come when you die??? to eat hot vegetable soup with a more than perfect view??? you'd think so hey! So buggered from the thin oxygen as well so it was a good rest point. After nearly falling asleep we got out and headed back to where we came from. In the soft snow i wrote "JUNGFRAU '05" and took a picture. All good but i couldnt feel my finger for about an hour after because it was so cold... Once back at the station we walked through the ice palace. It had carvings of penguins - so very very shweet! We walked out to the other exit of Jungfraujoch to the other side of jungfrau peak. and looked around at the beauty then back to a seat with a window infront of it so we could just relax and stare at the glacier for a while. It had been hours and hourd we spent here so time to head back down... I was already filled with sorrow and nostalgic for leaving. One last gze at this once in a life time view before saying goodybe.

The rest of the place was now in mist as we went below the cloud line (as the last hour of the mist we were above the weather). Once changing trains at klein schneidegg i fell asleep with my head on her lap, and she let me sleep till we hit Lauterbrunned 2 hours later -isn't she lovely :oP That night we unfortunatly resorted to macca's as it was by far the cheapest option and we were kinda skimp at this leg of the trip with her missing credit card n all. We had an early night sleep as it took so much energy out of you. I discovered that my empty water bottle that i finished up the top of Jungfrau had completely imploaded and crushed itself from the Altitude difference. Hahaha pretty cool to see how much less oxygen was in the air up there... - no wonder it took it out of us.

Good night for us as we have Canyoning the next day :o)

Can life get any better???? me thinks not!
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Comments

Marcus Clarke on

i have been here before and it was just '!!!!!!!!!!' however i would go to a place in France called Annecy first and then the next year go here, they are very similar, Interlaken is the prettiest place in Europe, a fact for many people, but Annecy has Europe's warmest lake and has more and better attractions. However Interlaken has the bluest lake you will ever see as it is one one the cleanest in Europe.

Jenny on

That sounds really cool and the pictures are beutiful i bet you had a great time!

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