Showing posts with label cog-wheel train. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cog-wheel train. Show all posts

Mount Jungfraujoch - 23rd June

Top of Europe

Today we woke up very early as to move towards our next destination Interlaken (means between two lakes). I immediately peered out the window to check out what the weather was like. I was very concerned about our trip to Mt. Jungfrau. But to me it seems to be a perfect day. Santanu was bit hesitant as it was cloudy & gloomy all the way while coming down from Mt. Rigi. He rather mentioned it appeared to be nice down at the bottom of the mountain, nothing was promised way up top. Since, the journey to Interlaken takes around 3 hours by train so we left Zurich around 7AM leaving our host still sleeping.

Anywayz, at Interlaken we already had a booking for an apartment hotel which was cheap, cozy with all kitchen amenities in the room; that means we can cook our own food if we want. So, we first went to our apartment-hotel to keep our luggage .Then headed to Mount Jungfrau- top of Europe.


In Switzerland prices are always astronomical so ticket to Jungfrau was no exception. Like always we carried “take-away” lunch before boarding the train. After reaching Lauterbrunnen from Interlaken we were to change and take cog-wheel train to reach to Kleine-Scheidegg a tiny, isolated resort surrounded by vertiginous scenery. In a short time, as we ascended, the villages below were barely visible. The presence of snow gradually increased, while the temperature gradually decreased.

From Kleine-Scheidegg we changed to the Jungfraubahn, another train, which tunnels straight into the rock of the Eiger. Stopping briefly for panoramic picture; looking at glacier from a rock window to say in simple words. This ride up is by world's longest existing cog-rail and quite extraordinary. I assume it is among the most fascinating scenery in the world we have ever seen.


There were several things to visit like ice palace and experience the breathtaking panoramic view from the Sphinx Observation Terrace overlooking the Aletsch Glacier (Europe's longest glacier). After getting down from the train we first went to Swiss-sphinx. It was the highest point of the whole place. We went outside onto the observation deck and relished the views. As parts of the observation deck extended past the building, the floor beneath us was made up of metal grates. Looking down, it was making me feel giddy Santanu was bold enough to take me around the whole building. Day was really bright and sunny as if meant for taking pictures so throughout whole trip we took plenty of photos.


From there we went to ice palace. This consisted of basically an underground ice sculpture exhibition. Everything was ice; the ceilings, the walls and even the floors. Something really amazing. From there we went to snow where one can slide or do James Bond stuns on a ropeway.
The trip to Mt. Jungfrau will undoubtedly remain among the first things we think back on. What a difference some nice weather made for us that day. After spending few hours we descended via Grindelwald to Interlaken.

Hiking Mt.Rigi - 22nd June

Queen of Swiss Mountains

From Zurich we went to Mt. Rigi via Arth-Goldau a very short train ride. From there we took the cogwheel train to the summit at Rigi-Kulm (1,800m). Incredible vistas, typical Swiss farmhouses, and hundreds of cows with bells will surprise one throughout the trip. Reward on going to top is magnificent panorama of Alpine peaks crowding around the convoluted contours of Lake Lucerne. While going up it was a nice weather but slowly & slowly it started getting dark. On a clear day it seems one can see Mount Titlis.

Perhaps the most glorious hike I’ve enjoyed in Switzerland is from Rigi Kulm to Vitznau. This trail is not listed in the guide map. But we wanted to reach Vitzanu to take ferry to Luzern. As we did not wanted to spent any more money on those special Swiss mountain cog-wheel train. The trail is well defined. I believe most people prefer to hike up but it was just opposite in our case. The first part till Rigi Kaltbad (1438m) is easy. After that, steepness of down hill increased as we came down with a view of Lake Luzern from time to time.


With greenery all around & Swiss cows wearing engraved and embroidered cowbells; the lazy grazing of the placid beasts sends a tinkling melody rippling across the clear mountain air. Serenity all the way far from those hustle –bustle busy life of city is something worth. Lake stretching all the way on one side and while on other is Europe’s greatest mountains. Believe me, now I understand what it means to have hiking poles as at the end of this hike I almost killed two of my legs. After that I lost my normal walking style for next few days.


On reaching Vitznau we had our afternoon meal. We boarded a ferry and enjoyed the lovely boat ride to Luzern (one hour). Time at leisure, visited the city’s main sights of the Old Town, like the famous Chapel Bridge which is a main touristy sight of the city. After visiting top sights of the city we returned to Zurich for one last time.