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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Jungfraujoch: A Journey to the Top of Europe

One of the highlights of our trip to Switzerland was visiting the Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe! We took an incredible train journey from Grindelwald all the way to the highest railway station in Europe which is located 3,454 metres above sea level! It was a beautiful, scenic train ride and an incredible experience to be standing at the Top of Europe! It was a wonderful experience and despite not having great visibility at the top due to the weather we still had an amazing day out!

Jungfraujoch

We were staying in Grindelwald at the lovely Hotel Belvedere and so began our journey from the Grindelwald train station. Many people begin their journey in Interlaken and transfer to the Wengern Alpbahn train in Grindelwald. The train then makes its way through Grindelwald up to Kleine Scheidegg where you transfer to the Jungfraubahn.

Grindelwald
Grindelwald Train Station
Jungfraujoch Train
Grindelwald

I love train travel and think it is truly a wonderful feeling to sit back and relax whilst taking in the beautiful scenery around you. The train journey from Grindelwald to the Jungfraujoch was by far the most scenic train journey I've ever taken. We travelled though snow covered villages, past thousands of real life Christmas trees, past rugged mountainside, through tunnels and were lucky enough to enjoy some of the most majestic alpine scenery I could possibly imagine. The train journey was one of the highlights of our trip to Switzerland and something we will never forget.

Jungfraujoch Train
Jungfraujoch Train
Jungfraujoch Train
Jungfraujoch Train
Grindelwald
Snow Switzerland Jungfrau
Jungfraujoch View Train
Jungfraujoch View Train
Jungfraujoch View Train
Jungfraujoch Train View
Jungfraujoch Train Views

After changing trains at Kleine Scheidegg we had a few short stops at Eigerwand and Eismeer which on a clear day will show you spectacular views over the Aletsch Glacier. There was a very large storm outside and we could truly see the harsh forces of nature occurring on the other side of the glass!

Jungfraujoch
Jungfraujoch Tunnel
Jungfraujoch Eismeer

Our journey took around two hours and we finally arrived at the Top of Europe! We were incredibly impressed with how smoothly and regularly the trains ran as well as how clean and comfortable they were. The staff were very friendly, welcoming and happy to answer any questions! The Jungfraujoch is 3571 metres above sea level and the last time I was at an altitude like this was when we were in South America! You can certainly feel the altitude and just be sure to take it slow when exploring!

Jungfraujoch Top of Europe Sign

Our visit to Switzerland coincided with the first snow of the season and we couldn't believe our luck! We absolutely fell in love with Grindelwald and the Jungfrau region. All that snow and the very heavy snow showers meant that the visbility at the top of the Jungfraujoch unfortunately wasn't great. We didn't mind though because we still got to experience the incredibly cold, windy & snowy conditions at the Top of Europe and were lucky enough to witness some of the most breathtaking scenery I've ever seen on our train journey.

Jungfraujoch
Jungfraujoch
Jungfraujoch
Jungfraujoch

I can tell you though that without a doubt it was the coldest I've ever been in my life (I think our faces give it away too) but luckily it is nice and warm inside. It was an incredible and humbling experience to be standing at the highest point in Europe that most people ever get to!

I've included a few photos of what the Jungfraujoch looks like on a clear day for those who are interested in visiting. We certainly plan on visiting again and experiencing it during completely different conditions! Switzerland is truly one of the most magical and breathtakingly beautiful countries and I don't think there is a better way to see it then by a train journey to the Top of Europe! These views are the type of views you see on postcards! 

Jungfraujoch Views
Jungfraujoch Views
Jungfraujoch Views
In addition to the amazing views, one of the most impressive parts of the Jungfraujoch is the Ice Palace which contains impressive ice sculptures of animals and many other figures and has been created 30 metres below the surface of the glacier! The Ice Palace is over 1000m² and has countless tunnels and alcoves! We loved exploring and were completely blown away by the Ice Palace which was originally created in the 1930s!

Jungfraujoch Ice Palace
Jungfraujoch Ice Palace
Jungfraujoch Ice Palace
Jungfraujoch Ice Palace

There is also a lot of interactive activities and tours including the Alpine Sensation and 360° cinematic experience which portray the history of the region and the Jungfrau Railway and you can also witness the incredible Karst Cavern! It was incredible to learn about how the Railway and Top of Europe experience was constructed, it is truly a feat of architecture and incredibly hard work!

During the summer there is also a number of outdoor activities which include summer skiing, snowboarding, sledding and zip lining!

Jungfraujoch
JungfraujochJungfraujoch
Jungfraujoch
Jungfraujoch

There are a number of gift shops and 5 restaurants at the top of the mountain and our favourite would have had to be the Lindt Chocolate shop! It is the highest chocolate shop in the world and in addition to selling all types of delicious Lindt chocolate there is also a number of interactive exhibits which demonstrate the processes that go into making Lindt chocolate!

Jungfraujoch LindtJungfraujoch Lindt

We had an amazing day travelling to the Jungfraujoch & Top of Europe! We were completely blown away by the scenery that we enjoyed on the train ride and loved the journey. We knew it was luck of the draw to get clear skies at the top at this time of the year and we loved Grindelwald and the region so much that we are planning on coming back next year! We are hoping to journey up the Jungfrau again when we visit in April to complete our Jungfraujoch experience and take in the incredible views!

If you are visiting Switzerland (or even Europe for that matter), I highly recommend a trip to the Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe! It is an incredible experience and one to add to the bucket list! You can purchase tickets here: www.jungfrau.ch

Jungfraujoch Train Ride
Jungfraujoch Top of Europe

Thanks to Jungfrau Railways for hosting our trip.
Our opinions are as always, our own.

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