Saturday, 25 June 2016

The Big Day,

as we were going to the top of the mountain,

our second day in Switzerland, low cloud had moved in overnight,

but nothing could dampen our spirits,

we were soon at the railway station,

where I had a closer look at the trains,

and Diana looked at the snow,

a bit difficult to see but the chap is the blue is touching a building on the hill,

and this is it, though I have to say I have no idea what it is,

there was another party at the station waiting to go to the top,

our first train arrived,

all aboard,

this was the neat bit, our tour had its own private carriage,

we then changed trains to one of the rack and pinion trains,

again we had our own carriage,

it was all so exciting,

work is still continuing on extending the line,

and we were on our way up,

at an incredible angle,

we passed small villages,

and waterfalls,

as the snow at the top of the mountain melted,

into the tunnel,

and out again, level with,

then above the clouds,

looking down to where we had started,

we passed a few houses,

and stopped at a station,

then we were on our way again,
passing more homes,

and villages,
we were still climbing,

a farmer was taking his herd to pasture,

the cows really do wear those huge bells,

that you see in the souvenir shops,

Diana was so excited, we both were,

then it was time to change trains,

the bad news was that it was raining,

after some time we saw our first snow field,

all smiles, we were given a lunch pack that contained a Toblerone which we were asked to eat, it apparently offsets feeling a little light headed at high altitudes,

we made a stop at 2,865 meters,

looking through one of the viewing windows it was a whiteout,

there was a mini house chalet built in the rock,

with a copper lightening conducting wire running across the ceiling,

back on to the train,

and up to 3,160 meters,

still a whiteout,

looking down,

and up,

next stop,

and we were here, Jungfraujoch, 3,454 meters above sea level,

the single track disappears down the inside of the mountain,

the train rides took about 2 hours to reach the last station,

we went through a audio visual presentation,

all excited now,

looking out we could see nothing,

the sign says it all,

then here we were on the outside,

we were on the leeward side of the building,

but it was still pretty windy,

Diana was loving the snow,

as flurries raced past us,

but although we are all smiles,

it was bitterly cold,

we were told it was -2C degrees,

plus the windchill factor,

it was so much fun, 

then there was more fun to come as the tour leader Gustavo, Dave the driver and a few from our group decided on the topless photo call,

but not for me,

I was already so cold with only a shirt and jacket on,

we had thought the summit would be in sunshine,

we were so wrong!

we started on the tour of the summit,

which started with this globe,

that had so many moving pieces in it, and went from day to night,

Diana loved it,

and there were lots of wooden carvings,

to pose with,

next a moving walk way,

with scenes from the mountain,

then to the history of the train,

and the tunnelers,

that built,

or I should say tunneled it,

the sign says it all,

and a reminder that many died,

completing the project,

a natural cavern,

was found whilst tunneling,

on to the next part of the tour,

the ice tunnel,

carved through the ice,

it looked and was cold, and slippery underfoot,

there were so many ice sculptures,

to look at,

like these penguins,

walking to their ice house,

next Diana's favorite,

a chocolate factory,

with a demonstration,

of how to make a chocolate bunny rabbit,

from a mold,

a base is prepared,

and like magic it was finished,

and also like magic,

the show disappeared to start again,

and a practical,


of what goes into chocolate making,

the chocolate goes round and down,

and comes out here,

well some goes into Diana!

then it was time for shopping,

oh the agony of choice!

decision made,

and to celibate, a hot chocolate!

and look around the shop,

and a pose, we then went to the wind ward side of the building, where we did not take any pictures, the wind was blowing a gale, Diana went out side first for a few seconds then it was my turn to hold the safety line, I too lasted just a few seconds, the snow hitting you in the face really did hurt, the tiny ice crystals feeling like miniature needles on your skin, now we know what being in a blizzard really feels like, it is not very nice,

back on to the train,

and goodbye to the mountain top,

all aboard!

again we had our own carriage,

and when the ticket inspector called by our own chocolate,

as we descended the show fields,

slowly gave way to pasture,

we then went through the lower clouds,

as we went lower,

but there were still clouds below us,

a change of trains,

we were going down by a different route,

back into the clouds,

and a change of train,
everyone had warm clothes on, except me!

next station and another train,

I am still trying to work out the connection between coco-cola, wigwams and  the alps,

this is one of the many ways that the tour company made things so neat,we always had our own carriage and later in the holiday our own fast track into the many places that we visited,

we passed,

through some more snow fields,

the clouds looking at times like waterfalls,

we were now getting close to some of the villages on the lower slopes,

and some of the cows in the pastures,

with the huge bells that they wear,

the train twisting,

and winding its way down,

past farms,


and more farms,

as we continued downwards,

not far to go now,

before our next,


to change from the rack and pinion trains,

to the normal rail network,

so off we go,

for the final leg of our journey,

back to our hotel,

what an adventurer, the cost of the rail ticket was 180 euros each, which seems a lot, but considering we were on special trains for about 4 hours seems not to be expensive,

and here we are at our hotels station,

whilst at the station,

I looked at some of the trains parked there,

as one backed out of the station,

a short walk back to the hotel,

for a fondue supper,

which Diana loved,

sausages for myself,

a look at the restaurant by the garden, next a nightcap or three, then so us we were off to bed.

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