Day 6 - Jungfraujoch

I feel a little rush, I think I've got a little crush on you
I hope it's not too much, but babe when I'm with you, I hear it
my heart singing La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

Crush - Yuna featuring Usher

When I began to plan this trip, it was initially to focus more on Switzerland. Switzerland had somewhat been in the back of my mind for some time, but it never came to fruition until now because on researching it always seemed rather expensive and then there are other places that I was more interested in. This time around when I started planning the trip, I thought to just really explore Switzerland. Initially I was planning to stay in both Zurich and Geneva. After more research, that plan made my trip shorter and then that's when I somehow started looking Austria way and so I added Vienna and dropped Geneva. Why drop Geneva and keep Zurich? Well when I was researching, the day trips from Zurich seemed more interesting than Geneva's.

The first day tour that I took in Zurich was a trip to Jungfraujoch with a stop in Interlaken first. By the name, you kinda can figure out that Interlaken is near a lake. It indeed is. It's located between lakes. However in the town we stopped in, the lakes are actually not visible, so that was a downer for me. We're given some time in the town and I pretty much didn't know what to do. There are expensive shops and apparently there are a lot of people doing paragliding in the area. You can see mountains nearby, but honestly I got a bit bored.

The only somewhat memorable thing that happened in Interlaken was when by chance I spotted an Indonesian celebrity. So I was walking and then I saw this lady and she was so well dressed. In my mind, I was like, man you're so well dressed, why, doesn't it take a lot of effort, are you a celebrity? Then my mind somewhat confirmed it to me, yes she's a celebrity. She had jet black hair, I don't know why, my first thought was like, are you a Kardashian? She was holding hands with a boy and girl and then somehow it clicked to me that it's an Indonesian celebrity. I don't know why either that my first thought was Ashanty. Then my brain corrected itself and told me it's Krisdayanti. I was so stunned with the whole thing, about how super well dressed and full make up she was being a tourist and also for the fact that her entourage included at least 2 people with cameras. I guess as celebrity you need that kind of people to make sure good pictures for Instagram and good footage for the entertainment tv shows back in Indonesia if needed or perhaps for her YouTube channel, though I don't think she has one, unlike Ashanty. Ashanty by the way married her ex-husband so perhaps that's why my brain got mixed up. I think her husband was there too. When I was making sense of all that, they were already some distance away that I didn't have time to take pictures of them or ask for a picture. I'm not one who like to take a picture of myself, but I thought it's a good thing to show mom. So yeah, that sighting is perhaps the most interesting thing about my time in Interlaken.

After Interlaken, we made our way to Jungfraujoch which required if I remember correctly 2 train rides. The first one was a smaller train and as we went along, we could see some parts of the mountains. I have no knowledge about these mountains so when the guide pointed this and that, they didn't register with me at all.

The second train was more like the common European train you use to travel between cities. Individually we're given ticket by the guide and there's a train staff who checked it and punched hole in it. We passed tunnels here in this ride so there's not much to see. There were stations and we stopped for like 5 minutes in one of the stations (the one before last I think) and the guide told us we could go out and took pictures from the viewing window in that station and just quickly come back. The view was already looking rather cool.

Arriving in Jungfraujoch, the guides told us to take it easy, walk slowly, and drink more water. Because of the altitude, we may get altitude sickness if we exert ourselves. The guides gave us maps which come with explanations on what we can do there. They told us we can follow them to the Sphinx Observatory first before we go about our way. The group was very big that day and some of us followed them. Upon reaching, I got impatient waiting for the rest of the group that I just wandered off on my own. I wonder if the guides had given explanation on what the mountains are. Maybe I missed an informative information, but oh well, I don't know if I can retain much anyway. Also I was already quite blown away by the view.

Tiny black shapes in the picture below are people. I didn't get to walk this area they walked in because the guide told us if we do that, we may not have time to do other things. Look very interesting though right? That being said, I also don't know if I could do it well. I also did a trip to Mt. Titlis and I found out I suck at walking in snow. Maybe it's because I didn't have the correct shoes. Maybe also because it's a slope. Seriously walking on a slope in snow is hard.

Anyways, as I was walking around the Sphinx Observatory, I saw 2 Muslims girls wearing jilbāb / hijab and they looked Indonesian and straight away I asked if they're Indonesians. When I was in Keukenhof, I did the same thing, but the lady then wasn't Indonesian. She's Malaysian and there I went straight away calling her mbak. She still kindly took my photo anyway :) These 2 girls happened to be Indonesians though and I asked their help to take my pictures and we talked a bit. They're from Jogjakarta and it's just the 2 of them travelling and they've been to so many places which in my old age I admire them for being gung ho. Honestly maybe me in my early twenties could be eager like them too, but I think those days are kinda over. When I looked at my 2011 trip to Europe, I thought it's quite a lot of work. Dragging luggage on and off train, changing hotel rooms after a few days. I realized I may not cut out to be a rock star on a world tour. Changing hotel rooms after a few short days just get me tired thinking of the packing, though perhaps rock stars have people doing it for them. I side track, the girls kinda made me happy that they're doing this and they're girls. It's always a happy thing to see girls be brave and take on the world :)

So Jungfraujoch is also called Top of Europe and there are many things that you can do indoor if you don't want to be outside, just in case you're not properly dressed for the cold. There's the Alpine Sensation area where there's this big snow globe kinda thing which features the mountains. It has moving parts and the lights change colour. It's really cute. By the way, I have to say, I think Indians have a fascination with snowy mountains or Switzerland. There are so many Indian tourists. The place was packed with them. The same thing happened when I went to Mt. Titlis. They're in big groups and sometime I just had to jostle among them to move along or take pictures.

There's also a wall with names of the people who died during the construction of the railways. Most of them were Italians. There's also a section in which we can see the rocks that the miners dig through.

The Alpine Sensation connects to the Ice Palace which is fun to walk in. Fun because I didn't fall while I slid around. If I had fallen, I would be saying differently (--> that if sentence is grammatically wrong, but sounds so right). Inside the Ice Palace, there are different ice carvings and some things frozen in ice, like that squirrel from the Ice Age movie and his acorn.

After that I went to the open area where we can walk around in the snow. It's not very big and there were ropes set as boundary to mark the area. Here in my stupidity, I fell and landed on my ass :( Nothing was broken, by that I mean my camera. I was thinking how kinda lucky I was because it happened near the rope boundary and I didn't go over the boundary. What if I had trundled outside that boundary down a steep slope, would I have died? It would have been definitely embarrassing. It was already embarrassing enough there were people witnessing my fall. After that I became extra cautious. From this open area, we get to see a different mountain.

The guide told us we're quite lucky to have really good weather that we can see a lot of things and enjoyed the outdoor. I didn't realize this was so true until I went to Mt. Titlis. Indeed it's quite lucky, we had good visibility and blue sky that day in Jungfraujoch. The guide also gave us a small red booklet entitled Jungfrau Railways Passport. Basically there's information about Jungfrau railways and things to do in Jungfraujoch. Before I left, I found the stamp and got this passport stamped. The way back down the mountains involved 3 trains if I remember correctly. In the first train down, this is the train that went through tunnels, the train staff checked our ticket again and after that he gave us chocolate. I smiled like a kid :D In the next trains, we could see more sceneries. At first since we're still near the mountains, the scenery was still that of the snowy mountain range and the landscape below it.

As we're moving further from the mountains, it was more of the green landscape of the valley. In this picture below, I don't know if you can see it well, you can see a tall waterfall on the right. I think the water might come from the melting ice and as summer was approaching, there'll be more and more water.

I love my visit to Jungfraujoch. It was a great experience. I had seen snow before this trip, but not this much and not at the quantity in which I can really walk on them, touch them, and make a ball. I still have yet to experience falling snow and I can only hope that God will bless me with that. One blessing at a time perhaps. For pictures from the trip, you can go here.

:) eKa @ 9:49:00 PM •

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