It might not be heaven, but it comes so close

Tags: Knowledge
UNESCO World Natural Heritage site Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietsch­horn, is the most glaciated part of the Alps

Deep curved valleys, miles of undisturbed snow, high peaks at frequent intervals, and along the north wall of the Alps centered on the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau that extends almost 20kms in length, is a fascinatingly stretch of snow land.

Our journey started from Interlaken OST station. There are two routes to Klein Scheidegg, the base of Eiger from where a special train, the ‘Jungfr­aubahn’ leaves for Junfraujoch.

The train chugged along this dark tunnel which took 16 years to be built. On its way to Jungfraujoch it stops at a few stations, amongst which Eiger­wand and Eismer inside the peaks of Eiger and Monch stood out.

Huge viewing platforms with sealed glass windows, offered views of miles of spotless barren land, it could have been heaven. We were lucky to get sunny weather despite being wrapped in over coats. We got off at the Sphinx weather station.

This was a multilevel centre with coffee shops, restaurants a palace gallery of ice sculptures. We ventured out to the snow-covered platform which offered a crystal clear view of the Aletsch glacier as the sun shone brightly on the peaks, giving a shimmering effect.

A variety of snow sports were arranged including snow boarding, skiing or even a sledge pulled by a team of dogs After the initial euphoria, we wanted more snow, and to get a feel of adventure. We walked across the glacier behind the Monchon on a marked path.

After an hour long, slippery walk we were relieved to be greeted by a café. Much like the movies we walked carefully, occasionally slipping but using each other for balance and even managed to throw snowballs at each other. Of course how can one forget to pose for photographs, even if we had the Swiss flag for background. However our frolic came to a near dead end on sighting a warning post of the glacier being cracked ahead.

Looking back from that point, the Jungfrau station and observatory that stood atop the rock spire looked marvellous. We carried on with our much-acclaimed ‘trek.’ The winding path across the glacier led over the a ridge to our destination.

Ahead of us was the grand snow capped peak of the Monch, rock solid and beautiful, the mountain in general, fringing the glacier, offered an absolute breathtaking view. Initially we stood just admiring the beauty then there was a loud cheer, the joy of almost conquering the Monch peak if not Mt. Everest!

After refreshing our souls and later our stomachs at the cafe with hot coffee and chocolates, we were awestruck with the impressive natural landscape and delicious food.

The limitless stretch of spotless whiteness, till the end of the horizon, only made us mortals feel inferior to the beauty that prevails in nature. Humbling us till date. Returning to the Jungfrau base, this time with the practice of walking on snow, we saw a host of clouds appear from nowhere; this totally cut us off from the rest of the region. Visibility was just zero we couldn’t see five feet ahead.

Gradually the density of the clouds decreased and the inevitable happened, snowfall. This was totally unexpected but received a very warm welcome. We all stood there with our palms facing the sky to catch tiny floral shaped snowflakes. Amazing it was, an unforgettable journey into the clouds!


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