Sep 092010

9/7/10 (Day 6)

We woke up to another cloudy day, bit that didn’t hold us back from
our plans. Today we were off to the Jungfraujoch, a mountain peak
reached by the tallest railway in Europe.

Breakfast and lunch preparations were at the lodge again and the we
walked to the Grindelwald train station to catch our train to Kleine
Scheidegg. We switched trains to the Jungfraubahn that would take us
to the top of Europe. This train to 16 years to build back in 1912
and tunnels 9 kilometres through the mountain to get to Jungfraujoch.
There were two 5 minute stops where we disembarked to go peer through
panoramic windows in the side of the mountain for that purpose.

Mark looks out the window on the way up to Jungfraujoch.

While on the train we learned that the Jungfraujoch station is huge.
There are several places to eat that will seat a total of 700 people.
There is an Ice Palace with ice sculptures, an area called the Ice
Gallery, and the most popular lookout point-the Sphinx. The Sphinx is
reached by a lift traveling to 108 metres above the main building
through solid rock to a indoor and outdoor viewpoint. From here, on a
clear day you can see for miles including the closer peaks of
Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger. There is also an outdoor area with
skiing, a zip line, sledding, dog sleds, and a 45 minute hike to a
hut. The hut used to be farther down the mountain and held several
dorm beds as a stopping point for those mountain climbing the Eiger.
When the hut was too small for the number of bikers it needed to
house, a new hut was built and the old one was transported by
helicopter up to this spot on the Jungfrau.

We arrived at the top and noted that visibility outside was zero. We
were in a snowy whiteout. The temp outside was -1 degrees C and it
was windy. We walked to the Ice Palace which lived up to it’s name.
We were in an ice tunnel as walls, ceiling, and floor were all smooth

Penguins!  (And my iphone app for penguins.)

At the Ice Palace
At the Ice Palace

There were several ice sculptures, but to me, the most impressive was
the palace itself. There was one tiny Joanna-sized tunnel that I went
through. I only had to duck my head in a couple spots. I and the
Asian tourists that filled the place had no problems, but Mark walked

We walked outside to a lookout and found out just how cold it was!
Without the proper clothing for the weather we were…..chilly. The
worst was the blowing icy snow that stung out faces. We couldn’t see
more than a few feet in front of us, but we walked around the area.

Joanna freezing on top of Jungfraujoch

Back inside we saw the Indian Bollywood Restaurant. Apparently this
is a popular place for filming Bollywood films and lots of Indians
make the trip out here.

We headed for the Sphinx and bundled up tight with all our rain gear
on as well as the hats and gloves we had. Somehow it wasn’t quite as
biting a wind up here and we were only a little disappointed that it
was still snowing and we couldn’t get the views famous to the area. I
have to admit it was fun in the snow, though.

We went out to the snow fun area where every outside activity was
closed. We did wander out and make a snowman at least.


We decided it was better to eat our picnic lunch inside =) so we
bought some sodas and ate in the cafeteria area.

Unfortunately, the skies did not clear up after lunch and the snow
outside even seemed worse. So, we got back on the train to go down
the mountain.

On a whim we decided to get off the train at the stop before Kleine
Scheidegg. Here we walked around and found some great views of
several massive glaciers. The clouds even cleared enough to get some
good background photos. It was still cold at just under 50 degrees.
We didn’t stay that long.

Back at the Kleine Scheidegg station we transferred to the train to
Grindelwald train and napped on the way back.

Today is laundry day so we spent the rest of the afternoon being
domestic and updating the blog. We went to a place called Memory for
dinner where we each had a hash brown German skillet.

The skies never did clear today, but there was no rain.

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