A long stretch of snowy peaks, clean air and chilling wind. You just close your eyes, breathe deeply at the endless height, spread your arms and shout loudly, “Oh! My goodness. What a breathtaking scenery!
After stuffing healthy breakfast (eggs, nuts, improvised potato sandwiches by cheese) from the hotel, we waited for the driver in the lobby area. How can I forget those awesome cheese bars during breakfast time? A real Swiss cheese.
A Frosty Day
Our second day at Switzerland was indeed a frosty day. We boarded the bus and reached Lauterbrunnen train station, and bought tickets for the entire trip which took us to Klein Scheidegg via Wengen and then boarded another train to go the Jungfraujoch (the highest railway station in Europe).
All trains to the top depart from Klein Scheidegg. We went up via Lauterbrunnen and returned via Grindelwald to see the spectacular Alpine area.
Kleine Scheidegg railway station was a beautiful spot surrounded by mountains. I looked up at the peaks and took a deep breath. The cold air inflated my lungs and send a chill down my spine.
From Kleine Scheidegg, we embarked on the train to Jungfrau. I kept a fleece to weather the piercing cold up there and wore it in the train while going up.
The steep ascent of the mountain and the vast expanse of greenery rolling past the window exhilarated me. The train climbed steadily higher and various thoughts started simmering in my mind. How much efforts have been put in by the Swiss labors to construct that track through the snowy-peaks? I just marveled at the strenuous hard work and thought about the lot of opportunities in Pakistan to promote tourism in Swat, Sakurdu and Kaghan Naran valley.
The train entered a steep section of tunnel, with two stations within the tunnel— Eigerwand and Eismeer.
The train made a five minute stop at the Eismeer and the most enthusiastic travelers leapt forward to have a panoramic view from the gallery. A short stop could not do justice to the breathtaking wilderness of the glaciers, but it was really a wonderful experience for practically everyone which otherwise was accessible to hikers only.
The train was teeming with tourists from different nations. A patriotic feeling swept over us and we sang our national songs with zeal and zest.
On reaching the station, we jumped from the train and walked forward. The station was adorned with restaurants and souvenir shops. The station had various attraction at different levels but we’d to go for the ones we could manage within the time.
We ascended toward the Glacier Plateau where tourists were flinging snow balls at each other. My fingers got numb and ring was stuck on my swollen finger. So, I rubbed my hands vigorously until my palms felt hot. A Swiss flag was fluttering in the center and tourists were busy taking photographs for a keepsake memory of their trip to Jungfrau. A long stretch of snowy peaks, clean air and chilling wind made that trip a worthwhile experience.
What an amazing experience of Jungfrau Panorama! It’s a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding peaks. In case of inclement weather outside, you can enjoy a unique virtual experience of the snowy environs.
There was an Ice Palace, where we walked through the tunnels and saw crystal clear ice sculptures. It was a memorable experience, holding each other’s hand and our feet sliding on the slippery ice, shouting and laughing.
An Alpine Sensation walkthrough displayed history of Jungfraujoch and railway line. One can get an experience of the construction process being done by the labors and the crew involved in the completion of such a behemoth project.
The Sphinx Observatory
The Sphinx Observatory is one of the highest observatories in the world. It’s named after the peak on which it is located.
The Sphinx Observatory is not accessible to public but one can visit the Sphinx observation deck, an open viewing deck, adjacent to the observatory. We had to run for it because we were short of time and it was only accessible through a lift. A few of our group members could not reach the top. It’s a metal platform with small openings in the grates (a viewing platform) so you can see the snowy ground and have an exhilarating experience of floating in the air. A lot of people were having “Titanic Pose” pictures and were waiting for their turn to stand in the corner of that area to take the best shot.
I was a bit dizzy while going down, but my mind was still there, left behind, wandering in the wilderness and vastness of Swiss Alps.
After visiting Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland, we embarked on a journey toward Lucerne. The most famous landmark of Lucerne is Chapel Bridge, a wooden bridge across the lake Lucerne. I just felt like transported to the medieval times while walking across the bridge, adorned with blooming flowers and paintings and white swans swimming in the sparkling water of the lake.
Commencing from the shore of Mediterranean Sea to the land of snow-clad peaks and verdant expanse, our next destination was Italy.