Eiger Jungfrau walking trail
This was my first experience with Grindelwald’s extensive network of cable-cars, and being petrified of heights I was somewhat nervous watching the village disappear into the valley below as we rode up the mountain across green alpine pastures with the ever present melody of cowbells ringing up from below.
When planning a trip to Switzerland the Lonely Planet Switzerland (Travel Guide) available on Amazon is very useful
Once at Mannlichen cable station, snow capped peaks rose above the cloud shrouded mountains. On a clear day, the panaromic views would be breathtaking. The crisp mountain air was exhiliarating and we were more than pleased we had chosen to bring our scarves and jackets.
This didn’t stop our enjoyment of the 5.4km walk along the ridge to the cog railway hub of Kleine Schiedegg, the start of the popular Jungfrau railway route.
Travelling along the well formed paths, we were greeted with an abundance of wildflowers, views over Grindelwald on the valley floor below with the backdrop of the Monch, Jungfrau and Eiger mountains shrouded mysteriously in a blanket of cloud.
Even in the height of summer, we still came across the occasional snowdrift, where my nephews took the opportunity to make a snowman and enjoy a snowfight while we took a brief rest on our trek.
The walk was relatively easy, however by the time we conquered the uphill trek towards Kleine Schiedegg, we were more than ready to enjoy our schnitzel, bier and apfelstruesel at the alpine restaurant which seemingly appeared from nowhere towards the end of the trek. During our time in the Swiss alps, I never ceased to be amazed at the places we found restaurants and bars on our hikes.
As we enjoyed our meal in full view of the mountains, we could watch the clouds slowly lift to provide breathtaking views of the famous peaks.
Lunch over, we headed towards the rail station, deciding to keep on past the station with the 2.5km section of the Eiger-Jungfrau trail which took us almost to the Eiger glacier face.
This uphill trek was on the challenging side for an inexperienced hiker and I must confess to finding a rock (any rock looked comfy by this stage!) to plonk myself on while the others hiked to the top.
My sister, however was having none of this, encouraging me up the hill “one step at a time” to the Eiger Glacier station, while loudly and somewhat befittingly singing “Climb Every Mountain” at me. (Okay, so I was guilty of sitting in the back of the minibus singing “Lost in France” at her earlier in the trip, but that’s a story for another blog)
“You’ll own this once you get there” she assured me, and she was right.
Once at the top, I could understand the jubilation of experienced mountaineers who conquer the north face of the Eiger, and was treated to breathtaking close up views of the Monch, Eiger and Jungfrau mountains, just emerging from the clouds as well as the famous Eiger glacier.
The downhill trek to Kleine Schiedegg was certainly much easier (and quicker). Taking the train to the Eiger Glacier station and making the one-way down hill trek would certainly be a good option for travellers who don’t want the exertion of an uphill walk. The 10k walk at a leisurely and enjoyable pace took us the better part of a day, giving us time to relax and enjoy the spectacular alpine scenery before taking the unique cog railway from Kleine Schiedegg back into Grindelwald.