The Jungfraujoch (Switserland)

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Switserland is a beautifull country. I have been there for several holidays and every year we are going back
to walk in the mountains. This year we (my wife and I) visited the Jungfraujoch and I like it to share it with you.

General information

The Jugfrau is a mountain located in Berner Oberland (kanton Bern)in Switserland and is near to the city Interlaken.
To get up these mountains you can drive your car up to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen. From there you
have to take the train, because you are not allowed to drive up this mountains. The train takes you up to Kleine Schiedegg.
This is not as bad as you might think, because you have a lovely view over the valley as the train climbs higher and higher.

Joch is the German name for a passtrought between two (or more) mountians. Usually they get the name of a mountain (the Jungfrau in this case) in the direct surrounding. Maybe you have heard about the Gotthardpass. It is similar, but the difference is that on a pass you can go there by car and on a joch you get there mostly by walking and climbing. Therefore this place is so special while you can get there by train.

The journey to the Jungfraujoch

I recommend that you drive to Lauterbrunnen and take the train there instead of Grindelwald. At first Lauterbrunnen has good
parking facilities and it is less touristic then Grindelwald. Also the view over the valley is better on this track then the one
from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg. On the trip up you pass the lovely village Wengen. This place is car-free and therefore
very popular by people who love peace and quiet during their holidays. After leaving the train station of Wengen the train makes
a turn and you will see the Jungfrau (4158m), left from it the Monch (4109m) and next to the Monch the Eiger (3970m).

After arrival at Kleine Scheidegg you will have a good view of these three mountains. To get to the Jungfraujoch you have to
transfer to another train. The railroad goes mainly through the mountains with two stops. One in the North wall of the Eiger and
one near the Eigergletscher. Here you have a lovely view over the valleys. You are standing in the mountain and are looking
through glass. After a journey of two hours you arive at the Jungfraujoch, the highest train station of the world (3475m).

What to do at the joch

Due to the height (3475 metres above sealevel) you have to do everything in a slow pace.
If you are running you will be soon out of breath and recovering takes a while due to the
thin air.

Once you have arived at the "joch" you have to go up to the weather station to enjoy the view. When the weather is good you have a perfect view into Germany, you can even see the Black Forest. On the platea where you are standing there are several maps on which the mountains In each direction ( north, southe, east and west) are drawn, it is documtented with the hights above sealevel in metres.
When you have enjoyed the view there are are several activities you can do.

At first you can drink and eat something in the restaurant. Here you can rest and enjoy the view from behind the window. The food and drinks are good. Try one of the local specialties they are very nice.

On the joch you can ski if you like. There is a short parcours set out complete with skilifts to tak you up again. This one off the few places where you can ski alseasons of the year.

If you find skiing to intensive (remind you that you are 3700 m. above sealevel) you can take a ride in a sled which is pulled by huskies. THis is fun but rather expensive and in my opinion is the track too short.

If you have the right shoes you can walk to a cabin on the Monchjoch. The Swiss do this in about 45 minutes, but it took us an hour and a half to get there. It is lovely walking through the snow with only waering a t-shirt and shorts. During the walk you have a perfect view over the Aletschgletsjer. Once arrived at the cabin you have a view over another valley in Switserland. The cabin is less touristic and has a local look, it is also much cheaper then eating at the Jungfraujoch and it is much more fun.

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