The weather promised to be extraordinarily good on Monday April 10 so I decided that that that would be the day we would go to Jungfraujoch. We slept a little late so it was nearly 10am by the time we reached the Bern SBB station. We visited the Migros take away and then the SBB office to buy the ticket from Wengen to Jungfraujoch. Since I was unsure about navigating the ticket machines, I went to the SBB service center and they were able to help me buy the tickets very quickly. Note that you only get a 25% discount even with a Swiss Travel Pass.
We then caught a double-deck BLS local train that went directly to Interlaken Ost. The tip is to sit on the left side of the train to enjoy the views of the Thunersee - the train goes along the lake shore from Thun to Interlaken. The BLS train was not crowded at all.
In Interlaken, we switched to the meter gauge Berner Oberland Bahn (BOB) train - this was a Stadler EMU. There was just 5 minutes to make the connection but it was no problem at all.
In Lauterbrunnen, we changed to the WAB (Wengeneralpbahn) train (a two car EMU) that went to Kleine Scheidegg. The section from Wengen to Kleine Schedegg is truly spectacular. I have attached a photo that I took from the train but these small photo attachments don't really do justice to the scene. We were blessed with a clear cloudless day and the view of the Lauterbrunnen valley is just gorgeous! I got to stand right behind the driver's cabin which had a glass wall so it was added fun :-). I will post a link to Flickr album later.
Then in Kleine Scheidegg, we changed yet again (fourth train) to the final train of the journey, the Jungfraubahn. I was amazed at how quickly it went up the mountain. The intermediate stop in in Eismeer for five minutes gave a spectacular view. And finally we made it to Jungfraujoch at about 1pm.
We first went up to the Sphinx observatory and enjoyed the views for a while. Since the sun was so bright, we did not feel the cold at all. We went down the so called "Ice Palace" but it was really very unimpressive. We get more than enough snow every year in New York! We then then had lunch in the restaurant in the self-serve section. Considering the location, the prices were very reasonable so we saved our Migros take away sandwiches for dinner.
On the way back, the trains were all very crowded and we were barely able to find seats. Indeed,some people had to stand all the way from Kleine Scheidegg to Lauterbrunnen. In peak tourist season, making reservations is a good idea for sure. We did not get a direct train from Interlaken to Bern but had to change in Spiez. Finally, we took an IC from Spiez back to Bern and that was very crowded as well. I somewhat regretted not getting first class passes on this journey but we did get seats so I can't complain too much.
Finally, we picked up a few snacks and beer at a Coop store and had dinner of our take away sandwiches in our room. Next installment will be about our trip to Lausanne, Evian and Chateau de Chillon on Tuesday.