Switzerland: Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch "Top of Europe"

10 July 2009

Another day, another gondola ride and more cloud. After our favourite 0835 BOB train from Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald, we walked down the hill to the bottom station of the Männlichenbahn, where we again got a gondola car to ourselves

Looking through the cloud to the ridge we walked along yesterday.

A short break in the cloud just about reveals the Faulhorn

Cows grazing as we ascend towards Männlichen

From the Männlichen gondola station, we walked part the restaurant and cable-car station from Wengen, and up into the cloud to the summit of Männlichen itself.

The wonderful view. Hmm.

A gap in the clouds reveals a dramatic drop into the Lauterbrunnen valley

We retraced our steps to the gondola station, and from there took the high level route that skirts around the hillside, very gently downhill, to Kleine Scheidegg. It is a well-engineered path, and quite popular.

It also has the only road-style warning signs I've ever seen on a footpath

Looking back to Männlichen

Approaching Kleine Scheidegg

The bottom of the Eiger Glacier

Looking across the train to the summit of the Jungfrau. We decided to get the train to the top.

There are three intermediate stations - after the Eigergletscher station in the open, the rest of the line lies in a tunnel, but Eigerwand and Eismeer stations offer the opportunity to stop for five minutes and look out of windows through the side of the mountain. This is the view from Eigerwand - looking down the famous North Face of the Eiger into the cloud.

And much more impressive today, this is the view from Eismeer station, down the Ischmeer Glacier - a tributary of the lower Grindelwald glacier we saw three days ago.

And here I am at the Sphinx - in the cloud again!

Looking down on the people on the glacier from the Sphinx

High up - and the air was noticeably thin, but okay if you move reasonably slowly and breathe deeply.

Having descended the hundred metres or so in the lift down to the glacier, we pass the huskies returning from giving rides.

Me on the glacier

A break in the cloud shows the view back up to the Sphinx

Going sledging on the icy glacier.

Short but fast and fun - I went twice

The summit of the Mönch

Looking across the snowfields on the glacier

Back inside and a look at some of the ice sculptures

Me in the ice

After the descent in the train, a look at the bottom of the Eiger Glacier.

A truly memorable visit to the Jungfraujoch - yes it would have been even better in perfect weather, but it was still very much worth doing. Next time I would be better organised to make the most of the activities on offer up there.



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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson