Tales of a non-Swiss miss in Switzerland - part Jungfraujoch and the Bernase Oberland (March 15, 2012)

Day 4 - March 15, 2012

Getting to the Jungfraujoch takes a few hours, so you definitely want to make sure to head out before 10am. We had a nice breakfast at the Rugenpark before getting our tickets and information from Ursula to go up to the Jungfrau - Top of Europe.

Rugenpark B&B Hotel breakfast spread

Kris and our breakfast spread.  He had to check Facebook.

Vending machine by the train station had condoms and a pregnancy test.  
The test cost 3 times as much as the protection.

Filming passing scenery.
The Jungfrau Experience is a train ride to the highest train station in Europe.  It really bothered a fellow train passenger that there is reference to the Jungfrau being the "Top of Europe" since Mount Blanc in France is taller.  (Can you guess...they were French.)

Waiting for the train

Train going into the mountain
They have set up several things for people to do once at the Jungfraujoch including touring their ice caves, restaurants, terraces (some enclosed and others open), and, at some times during the year, tubing or other snow activities.

Chilly in the ice caves of the Jungfraujoch

Ice caves of the Jungfraujoch


Kris on the Top of Europe

We did everything that was open and spent a lot of time outside soaking up the views and watching the crazies.
Ignoring the signs seems like a great idea.

While at the first outdoor section, a man carrying an alpenhorn set up and started to play. I thought he was playing for tips, but he didn't have out a bucket or bag. It is my understanding that the alpenhorn is difficult to play...I can't even imagine how difficult it must be at that elevation. I marveled in the experience...a free, impromptu, authentic Swiss alpenhorn being played. Wow!

Soaking up the views

Queetar really is an alpine mammal!
I think it's intriguing to watch the various cultures of people react to something new...especially while traveling. Immediately after the alpenhorner started playing, a few tourists moved to stand within realm to have someone take their photo with the man. Most were doing some kind of sideways peace sign. However, one guy decided to get as physically close to the alpenhorner as possible and started doing his interpretation of a German/Swiss dance. It was really rude - especially right next to the guy.

Most amazing views.  We went to the top of the building on the top.
Later on, after we'd visited the ice caves, saw a man wipe out on some ice, and visited the restaurants and cafe to see that even a cup o noodles (ramen style) cost 7 Swiss francs, we went to another open-air area of the Jungfraujoch. This area was called Ice Fun, but, due to the weather, the fun was closed. You were able to sit on the snow for a while soaking up the atmosphere though.

Kris soaks it up.

Skitler swings from the locks of love tree.
Note to all...bring small snacks with you when traveling in Switzerland...and a bottle of water. We had water but no food. When hunger sneaks up on you, you don't want to pay over $7 for a cup of noodle water.

So back to my story...along comes the alpenhorner again to play his songs to a much more appreciative audience. We got to hear him play two more songs - as he kept moving the alpenhorn to get the ideal sound. A pupperdoodle wearing socks even joined in the mix bounding across the lane to lick a woman in the face before returning to his owner.

Pupperdoodle in socks

Alpenhorner on the Jungfrau

Kris and Kristy on the Jungfraujoch
Starving by this point, Kris and I decided to catch the train in the Jungfraujoch station to head back to Kleine Scheidegg.  While in Kleine Scheidegg, a skiing area, we stopped at an outdoor eating area for some tasty bratwurst mit rosti.  It was fantastic.  Kris and I split it so we could also split some apple cake.

Bratwurst with rosti (hashbrowns)
Apfelkuchen mit rahm

We were quickly on the train to the village of Wengen.

Snow covered playground in Wengen, Switzerland

Wengen, Switzerland

Swiss Cadillac
We enjoyed our jaunt around Wengen.  Music played in the background, people were milling about, but there were no crowds.  It was a peaceful place.  

Back in Interlaken, we grabbed food from the local grocer to make sandwiches for dinner.
Kris eats his Mortadella, Salami, and Gruyere sandwich on the balcony at the Rugenpark.

Mustard comes in paint tubes?
The trip up to the Jungfraujoch from Interlaken takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes one way.  I would buy snacks or make sandwiches in Interlaken before you go.

How to get to the Jungfraujoch from Interlaken:
  1. Catch the train from Interlaken West to Interlaken Ost
  2. Get off the train at Interlaken Ost and go to Platform 2 for the connecting train to Grindelwald (section B) and Lauterbrunnen (section A)
  3. Go up via the Grindelwald side (sun rises on this side)
  4. In Grindelwald, change trains to the connecting train to Kleine Scheidegg (if you don't have any snacks, get some sealed snacks here before going up to the Jungfraujoch)
  5. In Kleine Scheidegg, catch the connecting train to the Jungfraujoch

How to get to Interlaken from the Jungfraujoch:
  1. Catch the train at the Jungfraujoch station heading to Kleine Scheidegg
  2. In Kleine Scheidegg change trains to the one going to Wengen/ Lauterbrunnen
  3. Visit the town of Wengen
  4. From Wengen catch the next train to Lauterbrunnen
  5. From Lauterbrunnen get the next connecting train to Interlaken Ost
  6. From Interlaken Ost catch the next train to Interlaken West

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