You know you've made it to the top when you're standing on Switzerland's famous Jungfrau mountain...and we mean that quite literally!
The Jungfrau (German for 'maiden/virgin') is one of the main summits in the Bernese Alps and is regarded as the 'top of Europe'. It can be reached only by the Jungfraujoch railway which starts from Kleine Scheideggthat's and climbs nearly 1400m in height until it reaches its final stop.This last stop is a staggering 3454m high, making it Europe's highest railway station, and upon arrival you are whisked by lift up the peak, known as the 'Sphinx', for the experience of a lifetime.
But, before you get to the peak, let's chat about the train journey up there as this in itself is rather amazing! The cog railway, which is celebrating a centenary this year, runs through open terraine for the first couple of kilometres before travelling through the rock of the Eiger and Mönch - an experience you won't forget! It twists and turns through tunnels over a length of approximately 9km and offers an incredible ride as well as great views of this ice wonderland.
Where were we? The Sphinx, which is the peak of the train's final stop, boasts an observatory and famous obersvation deck platform which offers incredible 360 degree views of the mountains and Aletsch Glacier - in a clear day the views from here span as far as France, Germany and Italy! Jungfrau is a UNESCO-World Heritage Site, and was designated one on the basis of the following criteria: extraordinary natural beauty, outstanding examples of Alpine formation, and great diversity of natural features and natural processes. Within a minute of standing on the observation deck there'll be no questioning this! You can check out live views here, though nothing beats the real deal!
Once you've taken in the view, a trip to the Ice Palace, an exquisite glacier the heart of Jungfrau, is a must! A blue revolving door opens the way to a stairway which leads into the glacier, a 1000m2 cavern that was created by hand, using only ice axes and saws. The interior is constantly boasts incredible vaulted rooms made of solid ice as well as statues of birds, animals, penguins, people, cars, furniture and the best bit, a bar, all of which are constantly changing.
So there you have it! A few reasons as to why a trip to Jungfrau is a must when in Switzerland. Don't forget the camera!!