Jungfraujoch is a considerable feat of engineering. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that every traveler must experience. Passing through the seven kilometers long tunnel that took 3000 men 16 years to drill it, fills one’s heart with reverence for those who went through the unimaginable hardships. And with great courage, skill and strength, they made Jungfraujoch the highest train station in Europe (it opened in 1916) that still draws millions of tourists every year. While coming back, we lingered at Kleine Scheidegg for a while before getting on to the train that would take us to Grindewald (we did the round trip). The station has restaurants where you can sit and soak in the sun and some dazzling views of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. Watching the red train snake on the snow-covered mountain is a treat in itself. From Interlaken, one can choose either of the two routes, one that goes via Lauterbrunnen and other takes you via Grindewald. Trains from Grindewald and Lauterbrunnen stop at Klein Scheidegg, from where the last stage of the journey begins and takes you to Jungfraujoch. In between, the train makes two stops at Eismeer and Eigerwand where panoramic windows on the stations offer incredible views. Many tourists also base themselves at Interlaken for making a day visit to Jungfraujoch. While we chose to stay at Lauterbrunnen, a small village nestled in the deep valley and surrounded by rising rocky cliffs and some seventy-two waterfalls.
Those of us familiar with the idea of "Himalayas" as the abode of "Shiva" would be pleasantly surprised when you reach "Top of Europe" Jungfrau. The head of a young woman, etched by nature on permanent snow at a height of nearly 4000 meters, bears a striking resemblance to Lord Shiva, with his tresses and the third eye. The Jungfrau (maiden/virgin in German) is the highest peak located in the Bernese Oberland region of Swiss Alps. Accessible by train, hotels/restaurants, an Ice Palace,an Observatory are some of the attractions at Jungfrau.
Trummelbach is the place in Switzerland where you can watch a waterfall inside a mountain! 20 km from Interlaken, Switzerland, is 'Trummelbach' where you can watch the glacier waterfalls finding their way through the mountains before jumping out of the mountain heights as a waterfall. The Swiss have built a tunnel lift inside the mountain which carries you to the top where the glacier melts of Eiger, Monk and Jungfrau enter the mountain crevices. The well illuminated stairways with landings constructed at vantage points, enable the tourist to watch the path of the waterfall inside the mountain. The roar of 20,000 litres of water per second carrying boulder debris takes one close to raw nature.
Most of us have seen Schilthorn -in the Bond movie "On her majesty's secret service". Here is what it feels like to be there in real. Schilthorn is a 2970 meter high summit in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. The panoramic views from this summit, of the Jungfrau, Thun, Black forest and Mont Blanc(in clear weather) makes this mountain a photographer's delight.
Although I was very amused by the name for some inexplicable reason, Harder Kulm is a paradise for hikers and those looking to have a grand view of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau as well as the town of Interlaken flanked by the lakes Thun and Brienz. 1322 meters above sea level, a 10 minute long funicular on the Harder Railway from the Interlaken Ost station gets you to Harder Kulm. There is a playground in order to keep children and even adults occupied and a restaurant that serves delicious local fare. 30 CHF should be enough to get you to and back from Interlaken's home mountain.
Swiss Inn Hotel & Apartments
Situated in the heart of Interlaken, in a relatively quiet residential neighbourhood, Swiss Inn is a small, cosy hotel run by the most amicable couple I have ever met. The apartments are spacious and family-friendly and free WiFi is also available. You will however have to pay an extra charge for breakfast (Around 15 CHF). Veronica and her husband are always ready to help with directions and the smallest of problems that one might face and even provided us a complimentary pick up and drop at the train station. Expect to shell out anything around 300 CHF per night and go back with wonderful memories. This place is an example of Swiss hospitality at its finest. For additional information, do visit www.swiss-inn.ch/.