Monday, July 18, 2016

Day 9: Murren, a trip up the Jungfrau

Day 9:  Murren: The Jungrau

Just before falling asleep last night: THB sees an almost full moon out the slit in the drapes. Amazingly, the moon then dips behind the mountain, disappears, and then re-appears a few minutes later. Starkly beautiful:

Note: in the time the moon went behind the mountain, the sun set and the glow went away!!

Weather:  Clear and cool all day, reaching 65 in afternoon; in the high 30s and 40s at Jungfraujoch and felt cold even though bright and sunny

QOTD: this verse might tell you the source of the other half of the QOTDs

My heart's in the highlands at the break of dawn
By the beautiful lake of the black swan
Big white clouds like chariots that swing down low
Well, my heart's in the highlands, only place left to go.

On the breakfast buffet

Breakfast a bit earlier than usual, the group is fragmenting today. THB and DB are going with N&T&G up the Jungfrau, a trip of around 2.5 hours each way. Then N&T&G are heading off the reservation to have lunch at a hut nearby (how can there be a hut up near the top of the Jungfrau?). JW is hiking by himself somewhere, and B&SC are doing a local hike (which, unfortunately for SC, turns out to be more like a day-long event).

Wildflower chart in train station

Jungfraujoch picture in train station

Hiking outfit

The Jungfraujoch is a bump on the saddle of the snow on left

Our group of 5 convenes in the train station at 8:15 to purchase round-trip tickets for the last leg, Kleine-Scheindegg – Jungfrau (our local week-long passes cover all the other transportation and gets us a 25% discount on the last leg). $103pp, including reserved seats (in other words, going up the Jungfrau is one expensive ticket).
the line for those with reserved tickets

the line for those without reserved tickets (groups get their own train!)

How advanced is Switzerland? The garbage cans have their own i-pads

Actually, the trainmaster uses the dumpster as a holding spot

Very uneventful on the way up except for the couple sitting opposite us on the last leg: she’s stunning and wearing a ton of jewelry and he’s a hipster whose got a leather backpack with some sort of fluffy material sticking up on it. She’s very young (maybe late teens to early 20s), he’s probably mid to late 20s.
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the train makes two stops on the way up (to let trains coming down pass)

We've arrived

We arrive at 11:30 and take the numbered tour, 1 – 10, except somehow THB thinks we missed 5 and maybe 6

The visible part of the Jungfraujoch, there are many floors dug into the mountain

The play area way below the top of the Jungfraujoch

The appropriate grip when encircling the building

We visited the Jungfrau 47 years ago and THB hardly remembers a thing; DB only remembers the altitude headache she had on the way down. Other than the view and the standing over empty space on the grating surrounding the building, it’s not all that impressive (e.g., ice carvings, walking on the snow). Of course, the view is pretty damn impressive in its magnitude and the clarity of the air is stunning (no fog or clouds).
 How to not take a selfie:

Maybe "STOP" is not a universal sign

Lunch is at the Café Bollywood and we’re the only two non-East Asians at the buffet (there’s only a buffet). It makes for a nice change of tastes, and it appears to appeal to large groups. $65, with a carafe of water included (most of the high alpine spots charge for water since it has to be “imported”).

Our reservation for the return trip is for 1:30; we’re ready for the 1pm train, no problema! With our three transfers, we’re back around 4pm. On the last leg, there’s a couple that DB recognizes from our first leg and we chat on during our last 10 minutes into Murren. They also had rezzies on the 1:30 and decided to leave a half hour earlier.

Wine and snacks In SC’s room and then dinner in the hotel restaurant. 

THB has consommé with pancakes (crepe-like pancakes, sliced up and floating in beef broth), very good, and ravioli with cheese and tomato (okay, needed more fresh tomatoes on top). Sancerre and a pinot noir, the bill split among the 8 of us.

Tonight's moonrise:

At far left is a young woman communing

Why the train slowed down


The proper way to take a selfie

Bad shoes at 11,500 feet

Inside the Ice Palace

It's threshing time: snow gone, sun out

At THB's request, N gets a stamp at the hut on top of the Jungfrau

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