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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day 4 - Jungfrau

We woke up in another sunny day. The sky was so clear that we couldn't see a single cloud on it, absolutely the perfect weather to go up to a snow mountain.

After taking breakfast in the hotel, we were on our way again....

A beautiful farm house we would pass by whenever we drove out  from our hotel, for the following 4 consecutive days. 

Another typical Swiss house, 80% made of woods.

Heading to the world famous, Jungfrau this time....the so-called highlight of every visit to Switzerland.

Although this would be my 4th visitation to Switzerland, but never been once, I went up to Jungfrau. 

We are not particularly fancy about Jungfrau even though it's famous to the world. Furthermore, the train ticket fares to Jungfrau is the most expensive of all in the whole Europe. We don't know why it's especially expensive, but that's seems the way it is all these years. Anyway, since we visited Switzerland again, we thought why don't we pay her a visit this time. 

It's true that when there is a will, there is a power. After searching here and there, finally husband had figure out the cheapest way to go up to the mountain. He said we should buy a half rate pass (CHF 110) so that we can buy any tickets with half price. And then, we can apply for a family card so that children age below 16 will get a free ticket. End up, we only paid around HK$ 1700 for 2 adult tickets, and kids are free. 

If husband didn't find out this fast enough, we would need to pay around HK$ 5000 just to go up there. For this, I truly think he is a genius. 

To the genius.

The train will depart from Grinderwald and Lauterbrunnen. We had chosen Lauterbrunnen Railway. 

At around 10.30 am, we boarded to the train. 

As usual, William likes to check for the things that he can do at the destination.

This Jungfrau Railway, which leads through the heart of the mountain, will take us to the highest train station in Europe (at 3454 m above sea level). 

After we bought the tickets, we were given 4 Jungfrau Railway Centenary Passport, with a certificate to confirm the holder of this passport has visited Europe's highest-altitude railway station.

Boys in the cabin.

Lucky we, for we got the window seats at the right hand side, so we could enjoy the best view of all.

The train moves up to the mountain in a very slow speed. It will take about 1.5 hours reach the last station. So, we really got to sit back and relax. 

For me, the train journey is ok, cause I would be occupied by taking photos from time to time. 

Although the boys have started to feel bored after 30 min, they were still doing ok. 

The train journey to Jungfrau is an incredible experience, a pure enjoyment to the beautiful sight of  nature. 

The glacier that follow us for a very long time, that means it is a BIG one. 

Approaching one of the intermediate stations, Eigerwand (Eiger Wall), and Eismeer (Sea of Ice). 

Another bored kid in the train. 

Finally, we were at the highest train station in Europe. The time was around 12 pm noon. 

We got to see this as soon as we walked out of the train.


The mountain plateau is covered with thick snow,  glaciers are running across it.


In clear days, the views can extend as far as the Vosges mountains in France and Germany's Black Forest. 

Adolf Guyer-Zeller was a Swiss entrepreneur, also the founder of Jungfrau Railway (JB) and the Uerikon-Bauma Railway (UeBB). In order to finance the JB, he founded the Band Guyerzeller AG (now is known as HSBC Guyerzeller Bank AG) in 1894. It became fully owned by HSBC in 2004. 

The reflection of the sun on the snow's surface can really blind us if without the sun glasses to protect our eyes.

The magnificent view of the mountains and the Aletsch Glacier. The Jungfrau-Aletsch region with its unique plant and animal is the first UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in the entire Alpine region.

A deep hole on the surface of the glacier. Only God will know how deep it is. 

A large complex of tunnels and building has been constructed at the Jungfraujoch, mostly into the south side of the Monch. There a hotel, 2 restaurants, an observatory, a research station, a small cinema, a ski school and the Ice Palace in the complex. 

Another tunnel leads outside to a flat, snow-covered area, where one can walk around and look down to the Konkordiaplatz and the Aletsch Glacier, as well as the surrounding mountains. 

The 1st place and the most important place that we went straight to is the Snow Fun Park. The boys have been looking forward to it since day 1. 

We were on the way to fun park...just wanted to take some photos here.

William was getting very impatient, he kept pushing us to move faster.

Apparently, their heart has flew to the Snow Fun Part already. 

Ok, one last shot.

When Vincent saw this, he was thrilled and asked us to let him try on it. He is always the most dare devil one among the 4 of us. 

While husband was checking for the price to play on that thrill thing , the boys and I move ahead first.

Walking towards the snow park that is located on our right hand side.

That's the place...

While walking, I look backward...

and forward...

and the people who were walking on the ice field slowly.

The Snow Park offers 3 activities to the tourist, which is snow tubing, sledge park, ski & board. Husband had paid to play for the snow tubing & sledge park. 

The ski & board is quite expensive to sign up. Furthermore, it requires basic skill. So, we ignored skiing but paid to play for the snow tubing & sledge park. 

We have never tried snow tubing before. So, we went to take the tube quickly and line up for our turn.  

While waiting, I looked around...

The entrance to the conveyor lift which can save our effort to walk up the slope repeatedly. 

Besides the snow tubing, sledging is very popular too. 

Everyone would be sliding down from this end to the other far end. 

The kiddos love sledging, they have played this repeatedly for more than 15X, I guess. 

Luckily there is this conveyor lift that save them from pulling up the sledge again and again.

After playing here for more than 1 hour, Vincent said he was ready to go for that thrill hang. Sounds like he really meant it, so husband bought him a ride. 

As expected, William didn't want to try that on...I was relieved to hear that cause I think he is a bit too small for that.

He rather stick on the sledge, and he tried every different ways to play with it.

As I've promised Vincent that I would help him to video record his bravery hang, I got to find a good spot so that I could catch him from the beginning to the ends. 

I checked the where-about of them, and saw them still in the line. Gosh, it was really hot standing under the hot sun, even though everywhere is covered by snow.  

I found a good spot where I could capture the whole process. Soon, my son was going to be hang like this... 

Finally it was Vincent's turn. I saw him passing by fast in front of me. Within a minute, he had reached the other end already. He has a safe ride, and he was just cool when he released himself from the hook.

By then, we have exposed our self under the hot sun for more than 2 hours already. Feeling so hot and tired, I made both the boys left the snow park and joined husband who was wasting for us at the exit there. 

As part of the Jungfrau Railway centenary celebration, a 250-m long experience round tour, the Alpine Sensation was open on 1-April 2012. It creates a direct link between the Sphinx Hall and the Ice Palace. 

There is this big snow ball in the Alpine Sensation Hall, called Little dreams of Switzerland.

They would stand there and stare at this big ball for a long time if we didn't make them move. 

Husband rested his sore legs on the bench. Looking at his condition, I really prayed hard that he would get well soon. 

After a while, we proceed. Luckily, there is this moving walkway that transport the tourists on steeper sections so that husband didn't need to walk that much.

All along the moving walkway is the highlight experience caverns in which the touristic development in the Alps and the history of the Jungfrau Railway are presented. 

It's really like a time travel back to the early days of tourism in the Jungfrau Region....

With captivating individual pictures, lighting and music, the experience round tour depicts the past and present of tourism in the Jungfrau Region. 

A tribute to the ingenious idea of Adolf Guyer-Zeller, and the extreme efforts made during construction of the railway. 

The moving walkways ended at the entrance of Ice Palace....We got to walk on the ice from here.

Some of the ice sculptures....

Nothing too special about the sculptures though.

Both of them looked tired.

Feeling tired, we took a break in a small kiosk. While the kids were eating their sandwiches, husband told me there is still a place, called Sphinx where I should go to visit. But since his knee was feeling painful, he said he better take more rest. Instead, I should go there to take a look if I want.  

So, after I finished a packet of biscuit, I carried my camera and found the way to the place alone...

By going through the same moving walkways, skipping the Ice Palace, finally I made it to Sphinx Hall (3571m above the sea level) by taking the fast lift in Switzerland. 

The glazed sightseeing hall allow the visitors to catch sight of the glacier world in any weather. 

In sunny weather, the vantage terrace encircling the building is the ideal place to relax and marvel a 360-degree panoramic view stretching as far as France, Germany and Italy. 

Aletsch Glacier is at my feet now...this longest ice stream in the Alps (22 km) is also belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage of the Alps. 

Besides Aletsch Glacier, one can see the whole view of the mountain giants, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau from here. 

I was too tired to walk further to that open platform though.

Personally, I like snow mountain. They give me so much good energy that can light up my mind for a long time. 

And I really cherish for having chance to go up to the snow mountain to recharge myself all these years.

The 3 mountain giants, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau (the middle one). Jungfrau is the 3rd highest mountain of the Bernese Alps, after the nearby Finsteraarhorn and Aletschhorn. 

This weather station was operated since 1922. The data it measures can track the atmospheric pollution and climate change in the Alpine region. 

15 minutes later, I had decided to leave the Sphinx and go back to the kiosk to meet husband and the boys. 

Finally, I got a clear shot without anyone blocking my view finder.

Oh, now I know that Jungfrau is the twin sister of Huangshau Mountain. But why? What's the connection except that both of them are famous mountain in the world?

At around 4 pm, we took the same train and left Jungfrau behind us. 

Met 3 Singaporean who sat next to us. When they watch our video records about having fun in the snow park, then they realized there is this place up there.

It's funny to see their all-so-surprising-and-regret face, like they have never been there before though they have just came down from the mountain. Too bad they were leaving on the next day, so I guess they have to carry this regret with them. 

Descending means another 1.5 hour to go...

Luckily the view is as beautiful as ever, that made the slow ride a tolerable one. 

Slowly, those views are all behind us...

Back to the station at 5.30 pm. 

The kids were so exhausted. So did I. 


Medio Zulkary said...

Hi, thank you for your post. I've been looking for this information anywhere in the net about Snow Fun Park in Jungfrau. I think yours is the most complete. Don't want to be like those Singaporean :)

Cheers from Indonesia

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