|Sphinx observatory - this was our Christmas card pic|
Background: in November 2011 I was watching the Today Show and saw Matt Lauer broadcast from here (I did a blog post about it too!) I sent the link to Nick and we agreed we had to go there.
We were up bright and early on the first train up
|tickets purchased - on our wait to the mountains right behind me|
|Sit on the right side of the train - the best views are on that side|
From Lauterbrunnen we took the first leg of our train journey to Kleine Scheidegg (point A to B). From there it was another hour on the Jungfraubahn train up to the top (point B to C). The railway has been called the "train to heaven" and it is easy to see why
|Sunrise over the alps|
|Up and up we go|
|Beautiful sunrise views on the way up|
You can see from my fancy homemade map above that the trek from B to C is a tunnel IN the mountain! Very impressive engineering and the train tracks are 100 years old! While you are on the B to C leg of the journey the train makes two stop for you to get out to look at the view of the glaciers right outside.
|inside the train, a video plays about your journey|
|We're inside the Eiger|
Once we got to the Jungfraujoch train station we made a b-line to the Sphinx Obersation deck. Here is a little map and you can see how big the actual area is.
An elevator takes you to the top and this is the view we got to see...
|panorama view - click to enlarge|
|another panorama - click to enlarge|
|The Sphinx Observatory - lots of climate research is done here|
|Europe's longest glacier - Aletsch Glacier- 14 miles long|
|The Monch - I'll just enjoy the view from here :)|
|panorama of the Mönch - click to enlarge|
|the viewing platform overlooking the Mönch|
Speaking of climbing, this is also a starting point for people who are going to climb the mountains - they come from all over the world to take on the Swiss peaks
|Our new friends from Germany getting ready to take on a climb|
Couple of things about the top - it was about 30 degrees and cloudless and the sun is very intense at that high of an altitude - even though we were bundled up we layered on a lot sunscreen on our faces. And sunglasses are absolutely necessary - intense sun + lots of white snow = bad for the eyes!
There are also signs everywhere reminding you to take it easy - the air up there had about 20-30% less oxygen then what we we breathe down here at sea level. We did a little walking on the glacier and even though we are in pretty good shape we were noticeably a little slower with our steps. If you're pregnant, not in the best of health or elderly probably best to skip the trip. They give advise on the high altitude on their website too.
|Walking paths for those who want to hike in the snow |
(we just went a little ways - didn't have the best shoes on)
|How they built the Sphinx on that rock I will never know...|
|Zoomed in picture - impressive engineering|
There are tons of activities you can do at the Jungfrau - zip-lining sledding, they have inside exhibits and a neat ice cave area!
|surrounded by ice|
|the Top Of Europe|
|A cow wearing a watch - Classic Switzerland|
A beautiful morning Nick and I will never forget!
|We love you Switzerland|
|where we were heading down to hike|