Exploring Interlaken: Journey To The Jungfraujoch - Train Ride And Excursion

This post is a part of the Switzerland travel series, where I write down the itinerary of the trip as I try to recall the series of events that happened back in November 2017. 

First night spent in Interlaken and this is the view that I woke up to. After showering and all, I had some time enjoying the view and snapping (or spamming) away shots of it. It was still quite dark but I already got a glimpse of how gorgeous it is when the sky's bright.






In the previous post, I mentioned about the big fields that would be transformed into an ice field. Here, you have a slightly better view in the picture above (although the photo's kinda not in the right exposure).

Time to head for breakfast! Simple spread.






Went back to my room for awhile after I finished breakfast for another round of photos of the view from the room. Simply couldn't get enough of it.




Anyway for the main agenda of the day, it was all about Jungfraujoch - journey to the Top of Europe. Obviously, for a place to be named as Top of Europe, there has to be some kind of significance - so if you have to know, this place is home to the highest railway station in the continent. Needless to say, we took the train. The journey took about 2 hours and we took three different trains up there (if my memory and photos served me right).



Our guide showing us the routes - there are two popular routes to get to Jungfraujoch from Interlaken.

From my photos, I can tell you that we departed from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald via the blue-and-yellow train of the Bernese Oberland Railway (a.k.a. Berner Oberland-Bahn, BOB). From there, we headed to Kleine Scheidegg, then took the Jungfrau Railway directly from there to Jungfraujoch. The other way was getting to Lauterbrunnen instead of Grindelwald. When returning to Interlaken from Jungfraujoch, we used the other way, cause.. different view.


Found this map on the train. Cool piece of visual.



Most of the train comes with huge panoramic side windows - serve the very purpose of letting you enjoy the scenery.


So we made our stop here at the Grindelwald railway station. Take a look at that spectacular view below.  Looks so unreal. Also, as you can see, although it's supposed to be low-peak season, but quite a number of people spotted here. Wonder how's the crowd like when it's peak season.




Up we go, some photos I took from the inside of the moving train:















Was handed this Jungfrau Railways Passport. It's more like a merchandise or a memorabilia for tourists to stamp on when they reach the designated destination later.



Our guide gave us a chocolate bar each to enjoy during our ride up to Jungfraujoch. And there's also a practical reason for it -  a quick dose of sugar just in case any of us felt a lil dizzy from the altitude.





This was the station to stamp the passport that I mentioned earlier. I did it too to prove that I made it to the highest point of Europe.



When at Jungfraujoch, you must visit the Sphinx Observatory. We made our way to the observation deck except it was freezing cold outside. I meant it literally. It's probably the coldest place I've been on Earth, at -22 to -24 degrees Celcius that day. What made it unbearable was the wind!

Truth is, I could sweat even during winter (it has happened before). But here, while my body could withstand the cold - my hands (my fingers in particular) and my face just couldn't stand the chilly weather.

Still, it'll be a waste if we just stayed inside and not experience this for ourselves. And so each of us just walked around, breathing the cold air in and took as many pictures as we could. On a good day, we should be able to enjoy the great view too but all we saw was just just fog and land covered bt white snow. 



One of the most famous landmark in Jungfraujoch is the giant snow globe.


Another attraction is the Ice Palace, which is like a cave with many tunnels and ice sculptures. The magic temperature here is -3 degrees Celcius. It's not the most interesting thing to see, but it was nice to touch those smooth ice and walk through the tunnels - might not be a good idea for those who are claustrophobic though. 



Lol. Vandalism.

After all that icy trip, we went to Restaurant Crystal for lunch. It was a nice break to get the body a bit warmed up (there's also the possibility of the body overheating during winter, so gotta be careful). Also, the altitude was no joke but thankfully I was okay. 





Had lobster soup and then some veal with rosti for mains. So, the truth is, I don't remember whether it tastes good or not. But I don't remember it being bad, so I guess it was alright? Haha. 


Funny... I didn't take much photos here. I must have been busy looking at the chocolates and their prices.

Anyway, this pretty marks the end of our trip at Jungfraujoch as we had to make our way back to Interlaken.

Well, I guess one of the perks of being on a media trip is being treated to some of these exclusive privileges. Like our guide, who got us into the carriage at the front of the train, so we got up close to the conductor and got a full, unobstructed view of the train going through the tunnel. 





























Here was one of the rare occasions when there was not enough seats on the train and some had to stand.










One thing that I could never get used to is when it's 5pm but the sky was already dark.




Chocolate selections at the supermarket. 


As we were walking towards a restaurant nearby for dinner, it started snowing!





Took us about 10 minute walk from Hotel Metropole to Restaurant Stadthaus, located at the old town area. The restaurant was quite busy and I imagine it to be a quite popular place for the locals as well.





I had the lamb shank with pickled cabbage rosti and mustard. Rosti is a typical Swiss dish so it was a treat to be able to have this.  Hard to take a good photo cause of the lighting, but it was delish.


I remembered that this was the night that I started developing some rashes - which I suspect was due to me consuming alcohol cause it always happened after a meal.

Anyway when we went back, we got the chocolates we made delivered to us by Funky Chocolate Club. So here's the end product from the class from the previous day.


That's it. Goodnight for the second time, Interlaken.

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