Swiss Alps

After days on end in big cities, we were excited to head to the mountains and spend some time in the Swiss Alps. The views began before we even set foot off the train.

speiz

lake thun

the train winds along the water’s edge

We stayed in Wengen (pronounced VEHN-gehn), a car-free Swiss Alpine village in the Bernese Oberland region. This area is widely considered the most scenic in all of Switzerland. We stayed in the heart of Wengen, in a studio that we found through Airbnb. We had picked the place because of the balcony and the views. And wow, the views did not disappoint.

airbnb balcony

view of the valley

view toward wengen

this was right outside where we stayed, the supermarket “coop” on the far right was where we bought all our food

the main drag in wengen

We checked the weather forecast and saw that the best weather would likely be the next day, so we decided to book train tickets to the Top of Europe, Jungfrajoch. It’s pronounced Yong-frau-YACH…it only took me about 10 tries to sort of say it right. Anyway, it’s an expensive trip, so best to check the weather first, for a clear day. We decided to buy a 3-day Jungfrau Travel Pass, which provides unlimited travel in the region. The cost of the pass plus the connecting ticket to Jungfraujoch cost roughly $250 USD per person. Did I mention that Switzerland is expensive? At least we got our money’s worth with the travel pass as we took trains and cable cars all over the place. On a side note…this area of Switzerland would be a great place to visit for those that love the great outdoors, but don’t hike. There are incredible views from all the many trains and cable cars.

The next morning, we took the first train to Jungfrajoch (less crowds and early bird ticket pricing). The Jungfrau Railway was finished in 1912. It’s 5.6 miles long and runs almost entirely through the Jungfrau Tunnel, built into the Eiger and Monch mountains.

view from window at the station in the middle of the tunnel

When you get to the top and step off the train, you’re at over 11,000 feet elevation, and surrounded by Switzerland’s most breathtaking scenery. It feels as though you have been transported into another world.

on the sphinx observation deck

breathtaking

a swiss flag on top of course

alpine glacier world

walking to the hut

alpine wonderland

picture perfect day

view from the hut

view from other side of the hut

happy place

on the hike back

see the building with the dome perched on top of the mountain?

closer view of jungfrajoch

The hike to the hut and back takes about 1.5 hours round trip. Afterwards, we checked out the rest of Jungfrajoch.

exhibit of various sporting events held here

There’s even an Ice Palace at this place. Mountain guides created the aisles and halls in the 1930s with picks and saws in the middle of the Jungfraufirn (part of the Aletsch Glacier).

ice sculptures

IMG_9256.JPG

exploring the tunnels of the ice palace…so cool

on the plateau

From Jungfraujoch, we took the train down to the Eigergletscher Station. From there, we hiked down to Alpiglen. It was incredibly scenic.

Eigergletscher

the village on that hillside is Wengen

kleine scheidegg below

endless views

eiger mountain reflected on crystal clear waters

eider north wall behind me

love the autumn leaves

jungfraubahn – the train that goes up to jungfraujoch

eiger and mönch mountains

above alpiglen

more fall colors

From Alpiglen, we took the train to Grindelwald. Then from Grindelwald, we took the cable car to Männlichen. It was a beautiful day and we soaked in all the views.

only fitting that the cable car would be branded ricola

above grindelwald

view from männlichen

I bought two souvenirs on this trip…this swiss hat and a berlin marathon hat

At Männlichen, there is a park with all sorts of activities that we checked out.

huge cow with a fun slide 

bowling on a mountain top

After our time at Männlichen, we took the last cable car of the day down to Wengen.

waiting to board the cable car

that is one steep hillside…hence all the snow fences

the wengen–männlichen cable car

idyllic wengen 

We arrived back in Wengen with tired legs and full hearts. This was one of those days to cherish for a lifetime.

5 responses to “Swiss Alps

  1. I remember being at the JungFraujoch in July 1960 with my parents and brother. We took several trains from Austria (Innsbruck) to the summit. My mother stayed below so I could wear her warm clothes over mine. At the top it was snowing so hard that we were not allowed to go outside. We did see the ice sculptures. A blizzard in July!!

    So glad your photos show me what we missed!

    Kathy

    Kathy Hutman khutman@frii.com 303.444.3392

    >

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