We had an early start this morning, 5am! We were hoping to see that yesterdays low clouds had cleared so that our visit to Jungfraujoch would be a nice fine day so we would be able to see for miles. So I walked out of the caravan and I saw.... nothing. It was still too dark to make a decision. So we reset the alarm for 5:30 to try again.
As 5:30 hits still no vision so we decided to get ready and then pull the pin if the weather got crappy. We had a quick brekky and then got all our warm gear on. After getting to the train station for 6:15 the train arrived at 6:20 and people came from everywhere to get on. Also one the train was a film crew from Burma!
6:39 the train departs and we slowly start to wind our way up the mountain. The cog trains are really rough as they take off over the first few cogs... After an hour we have finally wound our way up to Kleine Schneidegg. Here we have to change trains for the final 45 minutes of the journey. Everyone was getting pretty excited because we were already at 2380m and we could see the final destination.
The train then disappears into the mountain face for the last 35 minutes of the track. We were in the carraige for 20 minutes when the announcement came over that we were stopping for 5 minutes so people could get off and take pictures. Funnily enough despite the fact that we were all freezing nearly everyone got off the train to take some pictures. Another 10 minutes on the train and then same thing... 5 mins for photos... Just as you get feeling back from last time..
So we finally make it to Jungfraujoch. The highest train station in Europe at 3454m off the ground. After getting out of the carraige we headed up an alleyway with no idea where we were heading, just sort of wandering behind everyone else. Eventually we came to an open and there was snow. So we walked out onto the snow despite being in sneakers and everyone else having hiking boots. We took a few photos and then wandered back the way we came.
We found our way to the sphinx observation tower and headed up. From here you could basically see all of Switzerland (I think). You could definately see the highest mountains in the Swiss Alps, Jungfrau, Monch, Eiger and Schilthorn to name a few.
We headed back into the tunnel system under the mountain top and wandered along to find the "ice palace". Once there we were basically ice skating along the floor and this place was freezing (pardon the pun). Inside however were some beautiful sculptures in the ice.
Finally we headed out to the summit of Jungfraujoch and ran into the Burmese film crew again. The director told us he was filming a James Bond style movie. It looked kind of low budget though with just two actors and one camera to be seen.
As we took the train back down the mountain we were all falling asleep when we came back out of the mountain tunnel. Once we got close to Kleine Schneidegg, where we would have to change trains, the guard on the train came around and told us to stand near the doors because the platforms were busy and we otherwise would not physically be able to get off. As the train was pulling up we started to roll past the crowd which no joke was 10 deep in places. The doors opened and was bedlam try to get off the train. We got swamped.
As we finally got off the train and through the crowd we stood and watched these people try to cram themselves into the carraiges. There was pushing, shoving and yelling. Then when they finally couldnt get any more in you could see people on the platform whose family had got on and they hadnt. People throwing bags in through open windows. It was just ridiculous. So as that train took off there would have been crowds maybe 3 deep along the platform and another 5 trains arrive from the bottom of the mountain and the crowd grew even bigger this time.
Fortunately for us we were on a train back to the bottom of the mountain which was really quiet. After getting back to the caravan Laura made us some lunch and then had a lay down because she has the flu after the cold water from rafting and the cold weather today. I managed to ring Dad from a pay phone in the caravan park and I also got to watch a little bit of womens football from the unofficial opening day of the olympics.
After some scrambled eggs for breakfast we jumped into bed for a long nights sleep.