Perched at a height of about 3466 meters above sea level, have you ever imagined being brushed by chilled icy air and startle your eyes with breathtaking views of white snow-clad mountain ranges and glaciers? Yes, that's exactly the unique combo one can witness at Jungfraujoch Top of Europe in Switzerland. It is one of the prominent tourist destinations of Switzerland, significant in hosting the highest railway station in Europe. In this article, I will float your minds into the enigmatic world of a saddle of glaciers.
A Brief History of Jungfraujoch Top of Europe
Reaching amid the glaciers and witness nature's brilliant aura, was a concern for Swiss architects and designers almost 100 years back. Hiking is one part but that restricts mostly to adventure enthusiasts and maybe perilous sometimes due to the glaciers all around Jungfraujoch Top of Europe. The best way was to create a railway track for transporting tourists to the top of the snow-clad mountain.
But constructing a railway line to reach the glacier was challenging and complex. In 1893, Swiss entrepreneur Adolf Guyer-Zeller came up with a brilliant idea to create a tunnel which resulted in the creating of Europe's highest railway station. The Jungfrau railway line was opened for the tourists in 1912 connecting the Swiss town Interlaken and the mountain pass Kleine Scheidegg. The route is partly through the tunnel and then it emerges out to reach Jungfraujoch Top of Europe.
The Exciting Train Ride
The train ride to Jungfraujoch Top of Europe can be availed from three places, Interlaken or Grindelwald or Wengen. If you are eager to experience the entire rail journey and do not wish to miss any of the beauty then best is to board the train from Interlaken. The luxurious railway coaches are sure to provide you a wonderful journey amid the whitish beauty of the glaciers while enjoying a mysterious feeling inside the tunnel.
You need to first reach Kleine Scheidegg for a train change and proceed towards Jungfraujoch. Some tourists often avail the cable ride to reach Kleine. Usually the first train starts at 8 AM in the morning, traversing inside the tunnel and presenting you the astonishing view of the Swiss Alps. The Jungfraujoch Top of Europe train station is located inside the tunnel itself. You need to board down and walk towards your destination.
The Aletsch Glacier
The key attraction of Jungfraujoch Top of Europe is the Aletsch Glacier, the largest in Europe. Located in the Bernese Alps, the view of the glacier is captivating and enchanting. Covered by sheets of snow, the entire place presents a magical panorama of beauty. You can walk towards the glacier to feel the chilling and soothing breeze around you.
The glacier stretches to a length of about 23 km and is considered as one of the UNESCO's World Heritage sites. If you are an adventure seeker, then you can go hiking along the different glacier trails. It is an absolutely breathtaking experience to stroll across the wonderful gift of Mother Nature. It is believed that if the entire ice mass melted, then it could feed almost every single person on the Earth at least 1 litre of water daily for 5 to 6 days.
The Ice Palace
The Ice Palace is another exciting place to check out during your visit to Jungfraujoch Top of Europe. Beautiful and artistic sculptures of ice can be found inside the palace. You can find penguins, eagles, polar bears, igloos throughout the Ice Palace. There are even different vehicles, people and furniture carved out of ice.
Guarded rails protect the sculptures from the visitors, helping to keep them preserved and intact. It is amazing to witness the artistic skill of the craftsmen in creating intrinsic details of the structures and images.
The Sphinx Observatory
The Sphinx Observatory is the must place to visit at Jungfraujoch Top of Europe. It is one of the world's highest astronomical observatories. You can move on to the stand the observation deck for a spectacular view of the place. Once you descend at the railway station, you can hop on the elevator to reach the observatory. It consists of a weather observation station and two terraces. Different scientific experiments are conducted at its laboratories and terraces. It has two cupolas, rounded dome structures, for astronomical and meteorological activities. There is 76 cm long telescope at the observatory for watching the marvels of astronomy.
You need a total of approximately 2 hours to complete the entire trip of Jungfraujoch Top of Europe. If you want to hike into one of the glacier trails then you will need an additional 3 to 4 hours of time.
Visiting Jungfraujoch is like touring through a snowy dreamland filled with icy marvels. It is a trip to be remembered and cherished all throughout your life. The beauty of the Swiss Alps along with its astounding glaciers and pristine meadows are worthy of repeated visits.
COVID-19 has held up travel plans of many, especially travel freaks like us. But as soon as the world heals, we will all immerse again into our travel world. Do not forget to include this ecstatically beautiful place in your bucket list, if you have not done so. I bet you will feel like coming back again and again. Till then friends stay safe and stay healthy.
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.