Friday, April 30, 2010

Trip to Switzerland 2010 - Jungfrau area

Wednesday 28 April

08:08 Bus Bonigen to Interlaken Ost
09:05 Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald 09:39
09:47 Grindelwald to Kleine Scheideg 10:20
10:31 Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen 11:04
12:02 Wengen to Lauterbrunnen 12:19
12:31 Lauterbrunnen (cable car and train) to Murren 12:51
13:06 Murren (train and cable car) to Lauterbrunnen 13:27
14:33 Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken Ost 14:54
15:10 Interlaken Ost (funicular) to Harder
16:10 Harder (funicular) to Interlaken Ost
16:38 Interlaken Ost bus to Bonigen.

Click above to see a slideshow of pictures taken this day.
Early morning views of the lake from our room have been great in the last few days. The weather has been superb. It is good to be woken up by the ducks.

Today was our “free” day and we decided to go on the Jungfrau Railways but omit the climb to the Jungfrau summit because of the two hour ride in tunnel and also the cost. The weather was clear, sunny and without clouds all day. It was pretty hot and I didn't need my jacket or my fleece. One problem at this time of year is that very few places are open and it is consequently difficult to find a restaurant.

The first part of the ride is through a lovely valley with tremendous views of the mountains on each side. Once again we saw many crocus in those areas where the snow has just gone.

We were not enticed to linger at either Grindelwald or Kleine Scheidegg but stopped at Wengen for a coffee. Up to Kleine Scheidegg we spoke with a couple from Neuchatel who spoke French. It was good to finally hear some French spoken. Until now it has been pretty solidly German except for a little Italian. Paul and Sandra came with us and we met up with Carl and Marion just as we were about to leave Wengen for Lauterbrunnen.
 View from Kleine Scheidegg
The Wengenalpbahn seems to run its trains in batches of three, both directions. There were very few people on our train between Kleine Scheidegg and Wengen but they were expecting a lot to come down later by the crowds on the trains going up. A couple of trains were completely full of Indians speaking English.

The conductor on the train to Wengen came from Skipton in Yorkshire. He has been here for many years and loves the mountains. The engine drivers on these lines have a blue and black uniform jacket with “Engine Driver” writ large across their shoulders.

We took the cable car and tram up to the car-free village of Murren but were not enticed to stay.  There was very little open and there was an overpowering stench of manure.  It reminded me of the Monty Python Holy Grail "There's a nice bit o' shit dahn 'ere." 

Lunch at Lauterbrunnen was very slow and there was a pitiful choice. I would have walked out if I had been on my own.

The trip up to Harder was very good and well worth the effort. We received a 50% discount. At the top there is a very pleasant viewing platform/restaurant where we had a drink and shared a lemon ice cream with vodka (supposedly).

View from the terrace of the cafe at Harder Summit showing several parasailors.

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