Lucerne –> Interlaken, day three.
Next mountain: Jungfrau! Did you know that Jungfrau mountain is located 3,454 meters above sea level making it the highest train station in all of Europe?! Essentially that means the highest point any joe-schmoe can reach by sitting their butt down on a train. Chris and I s t r u g g l e d with the crazy altitude changes we faced yesterday. We’ve done mountains in our time, but this was the highest and forever will be the highest we ever get. 😏
To get to the top of Jungfrau, we started at the bottom in Interlaken, where we dropped off our bags at the hotel and raced back to the hauptbahhof in order to make the 11:00 train up to Jungfrau – otherwise we would’ve been cut short on time up there and our entire vacation would’ve been ruined (kidding).
From Interlaken, you have to take the Bernese Oberland Railway up to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen – both take the same amount of time and you essentially see the same things but Chris and I were dumbfounded that they made travelers even have to CHOOSE which train to take. Don’t they know decision making is the last thing we want to do?! Anyway, we chose Grindelwald and met those that took Lauterbrunnen at the next train stop in Kleine Scheidegg. From there, we hopped on the Jungfrau Railway to take us up to the tip top of Europe. Is there anyone out there cause it’s getting harder and harder to breathe. – Maroon 5
That’s right, a TRAIN pulled us up the mountain and it took around two hours all together to get to the top. Once again, we picked up skiers all along the way and once again I had the yearning to go skiing because they made it look so fun! The fact that they are nonchalantly skiing down this gigantic mountain still rattles me.
At the top of Jungfrau there is a little tour giving you the history how back in the late 1800s the idea came about to make Europes highest train station up Jungfrau and by1912 it was up and running. Crazy! There also was also an “eispalast” up there and you literally had to glide on the ice to get around and see the ice sculptures.
As for the viewing deck – terrifying! Chris has this irrational fear of walking over grates and when the outdoor portion of the viewing deck was made entirely of grates, the stomachs dropped and phones were clutched. It was pretty cold up there but again, the sunshine made it a lot more tolerable. Needless to say, it was gorgeous and really really cool to be able to conquer.
On the way back down the mountain we decided to stay for dinner in Grindelwald. So, we ate our Swiss rösti and chicken halfway down a mountain in the Alps and it was pretty special. Grindelwald and Kleine Scheidegg were ski resort towns and were bustling with people settling down from their day activities – skis parked outside and a beer in hand on the inside.
When we finally got back down to Interlaken we strolled through the streets a little bit and bought some more Swiss chocolate for dessert. 😋 It is a small town but really pretty and completely surrounded by mountains, so I would never get sick of the view.