The Top of Europe

posted on | updated on | by Zuri Girl

A day on the mountain – #jungfrauregion. Excited and feeling somehow cheeky we escaped the city for a day to the Top of Europe. Hosted by Jungfrau.ch we were treated to a summer alpine adventure. And to divine weather after all these weeks of rain!

We met under The Angel at Zurich HB and were rewarded for our breathless race out of the house so early in the morning with a Sprungli breaky bag filled with fresh pastry, orange juice and their divine strawberry bircher mueseli.


Grindelwald First

The first leg of the journey took us through Bern where we picked up some more friends then on to Interlaken then Grindelwald. With each change we sunk deeper into the countryside. Passing the beautiful blue green lakes of Thun and Brienz we could feel ourselves leaving the stress of the city behind.

From Interlaken our local tour guide Roland Fontanive joined us and started telling stories of the mountains and valleys and rivers as we passed them, what a treat! Did you know what first took 4-5days scaling the Eiger now takes one, with a record of 2hours! Once arrived at Grindelwald it was only a short walk to the Grindelwald First gondola, which brought us to First at 2168 metres altitude it’s 3 hours from home and miles away from caring.

swiss mountains

Bachalpsee

Now we are breathing in the mountain air. With the sun on our backs we hike to Bachalpsee. Don’t worry this is not hike with a capital ‘H’ more a lovely walk on a well groomed path through high mountain fields of wildflowers with a backdrop across the valley of the awesome peaks of Eiger, Munch and Jungfrau, to ‘the blue jewel of the Jungfrau region’. Still some remnants of snow on the Schreckhorn behind the lake make for surreal reflections on the water. We don’t jump in though; Roland says it’s maybe 4 or 5 degrees.

hiking in switzerland

First Cliff Walk

While others are enjoying the benches and bringing out picnics, we head back to the Berggasthaus First for lunch. On the way we venture to the summit trail First Cliff Walk by Tissot. Luckily it’s before we eat. The summit trail consists of a 40 meter long one-rope suspension bridge, and a 45-meter viewing platform. It hugs the rocky cliff and even sways a bit – yes yikes. But the eagle eye views of the rocks and mountains, pastures and waterfall are more than worth it!

jungfrau

Mountain Lodge

The adrenaline rush subsides into a warm glow as we relax into a typical Alpine-Zmittag of Soup, Homemade Alpine Macaroni with potatoes and bacon with apple sauce, chocolate cake (oh or the vegan option of Swiss Rösti with veggies – highly recommended). The First Mountain Lodge is not just a place to eat, the view of the mountains all around is phenomenal and so close. With that view, the sunshine and the open terrace we could have basked for hours!


grindenwaldFirst Mountain Cart

But we had to head home. Instead of taking the gondola back though or walking we had the chance to be the first to ride the mountain carts down. Kind of like a go-kart we skidded round corners, said hello to cows and raced each other down the mountain. It was so much fun! We peeled our helmets off and smiled the rest of the way back to the train.

Drowsy and satisfied we rode the trains back home to Zurich and were home in time for tea. It’s amazing to realize what you can do in a day!

Tip: Make a plan – then you don’t have to think all day.

And – Bring friends – not only for the fun but so they’ll wake you at the station, when you doze off in the train, blissed out from the sunshine and mountain air.

PS. For inspiration for your own adventure, check out hiking ideas here

 

 


Kaye BioWritten by Australian Zuri Girl Kaye Llewelyn…she came to Switzerland for a one year adventure with her family – four years later they’re still here. . . When she’s not loving the chance to keep doing new things writing for GGZ, she can be found encouraging others,  finding their creativity or at the very beginning, starting with babies. She calls it a little more emBolded.