Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Jungfrau - High Alpine For All

The real Switzerland is in the Alps so that's where we wanted to spend most of our time away from populous Lucerne.

A return day-trip from Lucerne to the king of the Swiss alps was an ambitious plan but Rick Steves said it could be done! So we did and also included a hike. The ridiculously early 5:38am train to Interlaken ensured we were drowsy but the breathtaking landscape almost woke us up to apologise for sleeping! It felt like Bernese Oberland was the most gifted place on earth and this portion of it, had to be savoured with a hike where no cog-wheel could go. 

Wanderweg #42 from Wengen to Wengeralp was in the direction of Junfraujoch terminus and gave us uninterrupted views of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau that grew closer with the climb. The air was crisp and the sun was kind. Snow-capped mountains, rocky landscape and lazy but lovely brown swiss cows completed the post-card worthy surrounds. 

"Top of Europe" was, well, of course spectacular with the expanse of ice and snow almost blinding. But more impressive was to see the manifestation of Swiss pioneer Adolf Guyer-Zeller's vision, in making high alpine areas accessible to the common man and enabling ground-breaking alpine research at such elevations. 

It does comes at the cost of obstructed access for mountaineers and takes away the exclusiveness of the area, but I guess it's only fair. Apart from the fact that it pulls in approximately 110m franks from tourists each year!