Aug 3, 2014 - 11:01 PM
Perhaps you are more observant and cautious than I but it did not sink in with me that the First Flyer zip wire can be closed even in the summer and at very short notice. I had heard it could close in strong wind and thought light rain would not be a problem...not accounting for the fact that visibility also needs to be good or it would be closed, and rain can mean clouds and mist higher up. This was indeed the case when I visited it with my daughters on Wednesday July 31st in fairly wet weather, with the higher areas around First above Grindelwald shrouded in mist and cloud. The noticeboard in Grindelwald where you obtain your tickets and begin the cable car ascent showed that it was closed!
Fortunately the weather cleared the next day and having visited Jungfrau after a very early start (tip 2....an early start helps avoid the crowds - I think later arrivals were standing on the train and if I remember rightly not all passengers could get on at Kleine Scheidegg - although it was the only fairly clear day in that week which might partly explain the popularity that day) we returned via Grindelwald to go on the zip wire from First and then take the trotti bikes back down to Grindelwald...great fun!
But even on the Thursday we were told there could be delays on the zip wire if clouds came over/mist descended, while they waited for it to clear enough to reopen.
So tip 1 is, check the weather before you leave and have a plan B if it is poor in case the wire is closed. Be prepared to wait if the weather is unsettled or cloudy/dodgy in some way. http://www.meteocentrale.ch/en/weather.html seems good for weather and you can type in the location name for the forecast you want...although there is not a separate forecast for First, it is combined with Grindelwald even though it can be clear in Grindelwald but misty in First; but it should give a good indication. Forecasts can change regularly though so it is best to check over a period of time to get a feel for the direction the weather is heading in!
Tip 3. My daughters tell me you need 2 francs to use the toilets at Berne station! However, change over times are always brief in Switzerland so there is always the option to use the train WC if you don't have the change or risk missing the train! Didn't find charges for toilets elsewhere in Lauterbrunnen/Jungfrau region.
Tip 4. I am surprised there are no alerts about the possibility of altitude sickness arising from the rapid ascent on the Jungfrau railway. I believe I suffered mildly from this and needed some 'time out' to recuperate after touring the ice sculptures and climbing stairs back up to the restaurant ( not sure if the freezing temperatures there may also have contributed).