Doc Martens Are Useless For Walking On Glaciers!

Trip Start Jan 08, 2011
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Trip End Feb 25, 2011


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Flag of Switzerland  , Swiss Alps,
Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hi

We had a big day today. We went to the 'Top Of Europe' on the Jungfrau mountain. It was a fantastic day and a once in a lifetime experience.

Our day started quite early on the 8.30am train to Lauterbrunnen. The journey consists of three mountain railways which are nearly 100 years old. The journey up is amazing in itself as it travels through snow-laden alpine countryside. There are many picture perfect villages along the way. There are numerous ski runs and it was very busy as it was a Sunday.The second stop at Kleine Scheidegg is directly under the Eiger Mountain's North Face. The railways are amazing feats of engineering and the final train to the Jungfrau travels inside three mountains. It takes around three hours to reach the top.

Once we reached the top of 3489 meters, we headed to the first attraction; the Sphinx Observatory. It was -14 outside which wasn't too bad as the previous days were down to -33. We coped very well except when the wind blew which wasn't to often. Paul had a little bit of altitude sickness but was OK on the whole. It was so cold that his camera memory card stopped working. We are glad we bought an 'extreme' card for the SLR as it will function down to -20.

There are plenty restaurants and inside viewing areas within the complex. The complex is built into the side of the mountain and amazing in itself.

Our next stop was The Plateau were you can go for a walk (or slide) on the glacier. We had a bit of trouble getting traction on the ice as our docs were useless. Everyone else was just wandering around and we looked like a couple of old ladies trying to walk without falling on our bottoms. We especially had trouble going back down the glacier and a nice lady had to help us after we were stuck, unable to move and freezing to death for about ten minutes.

After thawing out, we visited the Ice Palace. We thought this was just going to be ice carvings but it is actually tunnels cut down into the glacier itself. This was absolutely amazing and a weird feeling. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

We were up there for about three hours and at 2.30pm we headed back down via a nice ski village called Grindelwald. We had a look around for an hour. It was very busy as everyone was heading back from the slopes. We then caught the train back to Interlaken and arrived at around 6pm.

A great day and one we will never forget. We even managed to stay vertical the whole time which we can't believe.
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