Interlaken Journals

Jungfraujoch: Journey to the Roof of Europe

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A July 2003 trip to Interlaken by jemery

Sunset over Interlaken Photo, Interlaken, Switzerland More Photos
Quote: In 19th-century Switzerland, it seemed promoter’s wildest dream: a resort atop the 4,158-meter Jungfrau. A railroad to haul tourists there. Thousands would pay to ride! You can’t, of course, lay tracks on such an avalanche-swept peak. So, Adolph Guyer built his railroad inside the mountain. Here’s a photographic tour.

Jungfraujoch: Journey to the Roof of Europe

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Overview

Sunset over Interlaken Photo, Interlaken, Switzerland
Quote:
Originating in Interlaken, Switzerland, it’s called "A journey to the Top of Europe." The cogwheel-driven Jungfraubahnen trains drag themselves up the flanks of the Eiger, the Monch and Jungfrau, then tunnel through the hard rock underneath the snow and ice. From the ski-resort terminal at Kleine Scheidegg to the observatory at Jungfraujoch is 9.3 kilometers; barely two km. are above ground. Twice en route -- first under the Eiger’s North Face and again overlooking a massive glacier on the Monch -- trains stop at lookout galleries for sheltered views outside. From the terminal, 3,454 meters (11,293 feet) above sea level, high-speed elevators lead to a visitors’ center with multi...Read More

Hotel Interlaken

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Hotel | "Best Western Hotel Interlaken"

Hotel Interlaken Photo, Interlaken, Switzerland
Quote:
This is a small (60 rooms, five stories) hotel by big-city standards but relatively large for Interlaken. It’s an easy 8-10 minute walk from the Interlaken Ost railstation and three blocks from the city’s municipal swimming pool and sports center. The hotel is family-operated, so if the front-desk person is busy somewhere else you may have a wait to check in. Otherwise, service is prompt, pleasant and attentive. They treat you as a guest rather than as a customer. It’s a place for the basics: Clean, comfortable room, oversize bed with traditional northern European comforter, private bath and shower that -- surprise -- offers full water pressure. There’s a comfortable, invitingly furnished lobby ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 18, 2003

Hotel Interlaken
Hoeheweg 74
Interlaken, Switzerland CH-3800
+41 (0)33 826 68 68

The Garden at Hotel Interlaken

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Restaurant

Quote:
The Garden Restaurant at Hotel Interlaken Entered from the hotel lobby, The Garden appears as a small but fairly elegant dining room. From the street, it looks more like your typical outdoor restaurant. This unassuming place was -- surprisingly -- a culinary highlight of my16-day European tour. Fillet of Sole, cooked well-done as I’d requested, arrived in a hot skillet atop a heavy metal platter for maximum heat retention. The server skillfully filleted and boned the fish at tableside, setting one half on a plate in front of me and leaving the other in the still-hot skillet until I was ready for it. The fish was bereft of any vegetables or other garnish save for some flavorfu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 18, 2003

The Garden at Hotel Interlaken
Hoheweg 74 (The Main Drag)
Interlaken, Switzerland

Jungfrau Massif

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Attraction | "The Jungfraujoch Experience"

Jungfrau Massif Photo, Interlaken, Switzerland
Quote:
After seeing huge avalanches wipe out everyhing in their path, backers gave up plans for a surface railway up the Jungfrau. But even with 19th-Century technology, the road could be built in tunnels. To make it affordable, they would build in stages --- each stage ending in a vistors’ gallery that would generate revenue while work went on further up. For safety, the promoters also decided against reaching the summit, settling instead on a saddle-like formation between Jungfrau and the Monch. There, tourists could frolic relatively unsupervised, sheltered from the worst of the mountain winds and with room for restaurants and other amenities. And, they’d have a far more attractive ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 18, 2003

Jungfrau Massif

Interlaken, Switzerland

Interlude in Interlaken

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Story/Tip

Twilight Tranquility, Interlaken, Switzerland Photo, Interlaken, Switzerland
Quote:
By the late 19th-century, Interlaken was already a major tourist attraction. On a fast-flowing river connecting two magnificent Alpine lakes, and focal point of an arc formed by the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountain peaks, it drew affluent visitors from as far as Tuscany and the Tyrol. Narrow-gauge, steam-powered railroads would haul them to posh resort hotels in the villages of Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen and Wengen. Now, Interlaken gets an estimated half-million visitors a year just for the train to Jungfraujoch. In midsummer, the crush of tourists at the two rail stations and along the main street can be maddening. However, if you know where to look, Interlaken can also be a place for tranq...Read More