Switzerland: Gallery and Ice on Jungfraujoch

Travel Date : 20th July 2013

Location:  Jungfraujoch, Switzerland 

{ Previous: Snow Fun on Jungfraujoch,Top of Europe }

Day 4- Afternoon 

Alpine Sensation Gallery

This gallery was constructed in 2012 to celebrate the Jungfrau Railway’s 100th year anniversary. It links the Sphinx Hall to the Ice Palace in a long passageway (250m). For those who are unable to walk for long distances, there are travellators at the side for you to step on and we took advantage of that.

Day4_JungfraujochGallery

We also enjoyed the experience alcoves where there is lighting, moving images and music to present stories about the Jungfrau Region from past to present. There was also information on the great engineer, Adolf Guyer-Zeller, of how he went through extreme efforts to construct the Jungfrau Railway with his fellow colleagues. English information was available so there was no language barrier to understanding.

As an artistic person, I was more taken by the different wall art lining the sides and vintage photographs of the railway construction. It was a nice exhibition to walk through and take in all the information. Unfortunately, we must have been too tired from the snow-sliding and was hungry for lunch.We couldn’t remember much information after leaving, except we felt admiration for these pioneers who made Jungfraujoch available to ordinary folks like us. I also remembered it was very cold as there was a gush of cold wind blowing through the long dark passage.

Day4_JungfraujochAlpineSensation

Eispalast (Ice Palace)

Reaching the Ice Palace, we had to walk down a flight of stairs to begin the ‘cavewalk’. Everyone filed in line to walk through the long corridor.We had to hold onto the side railings to prevent slipping on the ice which was surrounding us. Therefore, everyone was walking gingerly and moving extremely slow.

Soon, we reached some cavernous rooms and halls. From information, the open hall was actually carved by hand by two explorers! They couldn’t finish their work though. It is cold inside this place because they must be cooled to minus degrees to maintain the ice sculptures. We went around with the crowd to admire the pretty sculptures, mostly of animals.

Day4_JungfraujochEispalast
An interesting exhibit was the Scrat the squirrel, from the movie, ‘Ice Age’. I laughed and pointed it to Dar because he enjoyed watching that creature in the movie and chuckled at its antics. Anyone who passed this and knew the story smiled because it was so creative to put him in the Ice Palace.

Day4_JungfraujochIcePalaceSquirrel
We soon finished the tour with an obligatory photo-taking standing behind a cut-out in an ice cave with the name, Jungfraujoch, at the front. A fellow tourist helped us take it while we queued. I helped her to take a picture with her mum too. It was really dark though so those who used phone cameras might not be able to get a good picture.

Lunch

There are three restaurants on Jungfraujoch. One actually sells Indian cuisine! The other was a high-class restaurant with good views. We decided to have our lunch at Aletsch Selfservice which is for the majority, although the food was still super expensive. It was crowded but we still managed to find a good seat by the window with views of the glacier outside.

Vin queued at the counter, told the staff his order and waited for the food to be ready at one end. He would then bring the food back himself on trays. That’s why it’s called, “self-service”. After eating, we would also have to return our plates and cutlery on trays to a center trolley station, to clear the table for the next customer.

While waiting for his Daddy to come back with the food, Dar complained of coldness and pain in his feet. Oh no! His feet were wet and cramping and in need of dry socks. As he had several socks already, I didn’t want to purchase one at the souvenir shop just for this. Therefore, I helped him to put on my dry gloves as socks. His feet are small so although it was awkward, it helped solve the problem of wet socks. He walked comfortably after that and had no more complaints.

Day4_JungfraujochRestaurant
Dar looking ‘stoned’, tired and hungry ; Views from the Window

After checking out the menu written on the boards displayed at the counters, we ordered a Chicken Nuggets Set (CHF 19.80), a Wienerschnitzel Set (breaded cutlet of chicken/pork) at CHF20.80 and a smaller kids version of the chicken nuggets set for Dar (CHF 12.50).

At that point when you are hungry and tired, price really doesn’t matter anymore. Total cost came up to CHF53.10. Only after the trip when I was calculating did I realised, “What? This much for this kind of food?! (abt SGD 75)” Fortunately, they DO taste great. They were fried well in true schnitzel style and not oily. In Europe, the amount of fries they give per set is always a lot. We often couldn’t finish, always leaving half of them. If we knew the portion was like this, I would have shared with Dar.

There were other dishes available but the pricing on them was even more expensive.

Day4_JungfraujochLunch

Souvenirs

After filling our stomach with the lunch and resting a bit, we went to the souvenir shop near the entrance to get a postcard and some souvenirs to remember the trip. Some of the souvenirs below were bought at other places (Kleine Scheidegg, Grindelwald) but this was our collection of souvenirs for traveling in Switzerland.

Day4_JungfraujochSouvenirs

From the souvenir shop, we bought a postcard as it is often our practice to write some thoughts and post it to ourselves. Besides collecting the stamp from the country, it’s a memory of the date/time we were there.

There was a mail box in the middle of the hall and the souvenir shop sold stamps for us to send to any country in the world. Many people took this opportunity to write and send postcards with the Jungfrau stamp and date on it. This would be a nice souvenir to remember the date and time we first set foot in the Alps, Top of Europe!

Day4_JungfraujochPostcardposting

With that accomplished, we went to the train station to wait for the train to bring us back to Kleine Scheidegg for transfer. Our next destination would be to  a popular village in the region, Grindelwald!

{ Next Post: Explore Grindelwald and Dinner }