Jungfraujoch

The most dramatic destination for regular tourists in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland is arguably the Jungfraujoch; opened in 1912 when the Jungfraubahn (Jungfrau Railway) was completed after a sixteen year building process. The train tunnel leading to the mountain-top station, the highest in Europe at 3,471 metres (11,388 feet) above sea level, was originally intended to run on to a neghbouring summit, but the plans were modified during the tunnelling process to be completed on the “Joch”, or alpine saddle, between the Jungfrau and Mönch peaks. Modern trains run from the hamlet of Kleine Scheidegg and stop off briefly at the Eigergletscher, Eigernordwand and Eismeer stations en route.

Over the past 100 years, the mountain-top destination has been extended with an increasing number of ever-more modern conveniences, such as restaurants, viewing platforms, lifts and an extensive network of tunnels and concrete buildings set into the rock. The views across the surrounding Alps and northward to France and Germany are spectacular; not least because the Aletsch Glacier – a UNESCO World Heritage Centre – and the Männlichen ski area above the Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald valleys are at your feet.

Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

The Jungfraujoch is the prime tourist destination in Switzerland’s Jungfrau region. High atop a mountain “saddle” between the Mönch and Jungfrau peaks, it’s accessible by taking a cog-wheel train which makes its way to the summit through a tunnel carved into the mountain. Temperatures in winter can plunge a low way below freezing, but we were lucky enough to…

Jungfraujoch, Switzerland

The Saddle

The Jungfraujoch station, tourist destination and meteorological research centre sits on the “saddle” between the Mönch and Jungfrau peaks. The weather was fine enough to spend some time outside when we visited, so I took the opportunity to stomp through the snow to the very base of the Mathildespitze, a high outcrop beneath the main Jungfrau peak. From…

The Saddle

Into another world

Last weekend, we chose to head for the Eigergletscher ("Eiger Glacier") station high above Grindelwald: to appreciate the astounding beauty of the autumnal landscapes below the station, to be enthralled by the massive cliffs of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, and also to visit the polar dogs who are kenneled next to the station.

Into another world