Monday, February 9, 2009

Maiden Mountain, Pristine Snow

I had this recurring thought when I gazed at the majestic mountains -- the mountain peaks with their pristine snow caps remind me of gigantic, delectable ice cream. Yum....











Ms Rehau by the "balcony"

We were very, very fortunate that it was a fine weather that day and it wasn't too cold.

We took an elevator a few stories up and walked through a tunnel that leads to a flat, snow-covered area where we could step out into the snow and get up close to the peaks.

As mentioned in my previous post, this flat area is where we had fantastic, unobstructed view of the Konkordiaplatz, or Concordia, (which is a large flat area of snow and ice located at the south of Jungfrau). According to Wiki, its notable feature is that it is the junction of four different glaciers (glaciers are large, slow moving masses of ice) coming down from the Aletschfirn, the Jungfraufirn, and the Ewigschneefäld in the surrounding Swiss Alps. The Aletsch Glacier originates from Konkordiaplatz.

The view was, needless to say, stunning.



Ms Rehau and Mr Irish, with the Konkordiaplatz in the horizon







Not sure which of the 3 peaks is in the background






Clockwise from top left: My name in the snow; Swiss flag against a majestic peak as a backdrop; some bird of unknown origin; miniature snowmen we made


We spent the most time here, taking tons of pictures, and getting quite snow-blinded from gazing at all that whiteness so much.

We went on to the ice palace. The entire cavern was carved out of ice and there were some ice sculptures displayed. The floor was quite slippery and it was freezing (likely closer to zero degree Celsius). It reminds me of another ice palace I've been to, but for the life of me, I can't remember where. There's nothing particularly memorable here, but we've dutifully taken pictures nevertheless.



Travelling along this ice tunnel leads to the ice palace









Tourists have inserted various currencies beneath this ice layer



Mascot for the ice palace?



We're back to the tunnels, this time leading back the resting area, where coffee and Korean cup noodles were sold. Feeling quite famished, Ms Rehau and I got a cup each. They cost Sfr 7 per cup!!! But well worth the price when you're feeling hunger pangs on a snow mountain at close to zero degree Celsius.



Probably the most expensive cup noodles I've ever eaten.
But they were yummy, really!


While wolfing down our cup noodles, we noticed this little girl crawling on the carpeted floor. Isn't she cute?


When we realised that we missed exploring the higher levels of Jungfraujoch, the last train back to Grindelwald (which is the return train station from Jungfrau) was in half an hour. Unwilling to miss this opportunity, we rushed to the elevator that took us to the highest level, travelling several thousands metres up.

The view is as stunning as at the lower level.


A more elevated view of Konkordiaplatz.
I always seem to be able to take shots of birds flying across the valley - there must be lots of birds here.





Not sure which peak this is



We spied a helicopter afar


Close up of that helicopter. No prizes for guessing who took this picture.


A helicopter's view of where we are (from a poster)


We were reluctant to leave Jungfraujoch, but the last train beckons.



And this is the last of Jungfraujoch pictures





Ms Rehau's pretty shots of the countryside as our train chugs down from Jungfraujoch



We found ourselves at Grindelwald, a charming little town, with the most magnificent mountain scenery at its doorstep.



Grindelwald
, a sleepy little town boasting world class scenery








Dinner was at a cozy little restaurant along the road. We were served by a kindly looking lady, whose service is superb. Seriously. When we asked about cheese fondue and were contemplating on ordering a set each, she told us to reconsider. She said that the cheese fondue could be quite cheesy and not too suitable for our palate, and suggested we order one to share. She also provided attentive service throughout, without being annoying. This is just another reason why I love Switzerland and its people.





Our thoroughly enjoyable and scrumptious dinner



Nightfall. We bade a reluctant farewell to Grindelwald
.

This has got to be my most picture intensive post ever!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WOW! the pics look stunning!!
Grindewald:I am looking forward to visiting u!
-CL

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