Swiss-Bliss (Part 3.3): Jungfraujoch Diaries

On Top of the World youre sure to feel dizzy but on Top of Europe its just a wee bit tizzy. Going by the hordes of people visiting atop the peak each year, its moderately assumable to find chaos and a mess created by over-population. But stunningly its not so, not so at all.

From the beautiful town Interlaken the peak Jungfrau is accessible by  a cog-wheel train and it entails two stops. A part of the Bernese Alps the Jungfraujoch is a col or a saddle between the Monch and Jungfrau. It’s railway station at 3454 m high is the highest railway station in Europe while the Sphinx on Jungfraujoch at 3571 is where the Alps summit. A trip there is paramount when in Schweiss. There are no two ways about it. In June the harsh sun on the Alps actually make the mountains beautiful and bearable. Its that one time in the year were you really can dance like the tinsel town heroines in chiffon sarees without turning ice!

The ride to the train station is pleasant, and gets even better once on the “cog-wheel” train making way up to the alps. The train goes through three tunnels to be precise. These tunnels are more like caves and are freezing cold. With viewpoints at the three stations in the tunnels its only a preview to what lays ahead. The clouds on the glass of the view-windows almost seem smashed on and hardly leave a sight to view. The altitudinal stops are actually useful to get the lungs to accustom to the rarified mountain air. Walk-slowly, Talk-less and Be calmer, the children were being told such again and again. I could make do with a lot of advice as I started moving in slow motion too! After Ladakh, in the Himalayas, Ladakh is also at a similar altitude, I was acquainted to the thinner air once again. Fat is so much more comforting! In air, atleast!

Once up, the built spaces and the pure white gleaming snow are sights to reckon with. Eating options are plenty, the Swiss I assume play all their cards right, from Indian food, to Chinese food they have a decent collection of food to satiate the various palates even at this height. But trail-blazers that we are, we chose to go the Swiss way! Rosti it was! For those who love cheese and potato the Rosti spells a blissful encounter. Grated potato mixed with cheese, flattened and fried, served with sour cream. Now this is what I call “Happy food”! Trusting the mountain air implicitly to burn the extra calories, I gorged on traditional Swiss Rosti happily. It was worth it as later I discovered the challenges snow poses to simply walk on it.

Following the yellow path from the station the Husband and I made way to the fun-filled activity zone in the alps. Here’s where one can zip-line through the alps with depths of snow in the valley below. Sunglassed most of the time, I discovered the glaring whiteness of the snow every now and then, and then I was smitten by the Alps! Zip-lining was crazy fun, but walking back all the way in the snow just did what I expected the mountain air to do. It left me voraciously hungry again and completely breathless. An ensuing walk across the caves and across the station is the Ice Plateau. Perfect for pictures, we posed and clicked for others. Some people brought their lovely canine friends along. There are few sights as handsome as a alpine canine creature in the wake of gleaming white snow. The dogs were getting their bone of the bliss that entails Swiss!

Then we trugded along to the last sight on our schedule, the Sphinx. Its technically the Top of Europe. A sign at the Ice-cave is a proof. Penguin figures dot the path. They are made of ice and look impeccable. Ironically they looked warm and fuzzy. It was the eyes I swear! With a good sense of humour one can really slide on the ice in these caves. Slipping up on ice however, is not the best case scenario. Jungfraujoch is truly spectacular, and I would put all my coins on it. So what if the air tires you out. Zip-lining through the Alps is an experience in itself. So much so I cant stop gushing about it! With three trails to follow, lots of things to do, comfortable eating options, many many tourists, like they say, its merrier with the more,its a ball at the Alps! The day at Jungfraujoch, the snow-pelting, watching the endless Alps ended, the happy happy food, the glorious moments, like all others in Switzerland, so very reluctantly!

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