July 19, 2011

Bernese Oberland & Jungfrau- Switzerland

In the 3rd series of my Swiss trip :)

If you plan to travel by public transport in Switzerland, the best and most economical way is to take the Swiss Pass. This allows unlimited travel on all trains, busses and trams for the specified period. With the mountain trains, cable cars and boats you get a 25% to 50% discount, here's the site. Children up to 16 years go free if traveling with an adult, phew that was  a big help :)

The Golden Pass Line travels between Montreux (south) to Zweisimmen (central region) and from Interlaken Ost to Lucern (north) just 45 minutes by train south of Zurich. The Golden Pass trains have huge windows and really beautiful carriages. As you leave Montreux, you will be chugging along right beside Lake Geneva with its clear blue waters and as the train moves up into the mountains, the scenery changes to green rolling hills with typical swiss houses and cows grazing in the fields, huge christmas trees dot the landscape. A reservation of Chf5 per seat for the Golden Pass in advance is mandatory


Going up the mountain, bye bye Montreux

After changing to a regional train at Zweisimmen, we reach Interlaken Ost. This is essentially the main gate to the Bernese Oberland Region. I've managed to scan a local map below


From here, we made a trip to Jungfraujoch or Top Of Europe, it is the highest train station in Europe at 11,333 feet! If you refer to the map, you can go either of 2 ways, via Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald and from there a beautiful mountain train will take you up to Kleine Scheidegg, a really beautiful mountain resort. The return train ticket to Jungfraujoch costs Chf160 even after the Swiss Pass discount :(

We decided to go up via Lauterbrunnen, beautiful scenery as you chug up the mountain side, this side of the mountain is more wild and rugged and you can see small swiss chalets nestled in the mountains with a pile of wooden logs ready for the fire.


From Kleine Scheidegg 6762 Feet, the train will travel within a tunnel in the Alps for the remainder 5000 Feet in 30 minutes! You suddenly start to feel the cold and everyone in the train starts pulling on their long pants and fleece jackets. We emerge from the train at Jungfraujoch in a cave ! The Swiss have really made it into an amazing tourist spot, there's even an Indian Restaurant! We emerge into the blinding sunlight and onto pure white snow in the middle of June! There's snow on the Jungfrau 365 days a year, but at -3C it somehow felt chilled and hot at the same time, quite an experience. But for those with altitude sickness, not to be recommended, the thin air can really get to you. After 1/2 an hour of toboganning I was ready to sink into the snow, you feel extra tired being up so high. But it really was an amazing experience and a feeling like non other to be so high up in the Alps, felt like I could reach up and touch the sky.


Adam had problems adjusting to the altitude, poor him, luckily it took a few minutes.



Danny having such a blast going down the slopes :) 


Living my dream of being Heidi of the Mountains :) @ Kleine Scheidegg

Make sure you try to get back down not too late because the que in the dark cave can get very long and the train is only every 1/2 an hour, there were a few who fainted :( We went back down via Grindelwald, a more touristy swiss town compared to Lauterbrunnen with more hotels and restaurants but still very beautiful. We stayed in Wilderswil, a small town only a 4min train ride from Interlaken Ost and it was perfect, beautiful winding hiking paths and pretty chalets, I wished I could have stayed longer to walk on the mountains.




This area is the main tourist spot of Switzerland so be prepared for the over inflated prices, urghh. But so many awesome things are here, among those that I wished I had time to do :-
- Cruising on the Brienz Lake
- Taking the cable car at Murren
- Going up Schynige Platte
- Mountain climbing in the pretty alpine town of Wengen

InsyALLAH I will be here again :)

next stop : The Bernina Express

2 comments:

  1. bestnya dpt jln2.. bole bg i ur email address tak? nak tanya pasal holland.. thanks dear...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi tini, can emaill me at princessdiaries71@gmail.com, will try to help if boleh

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