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TRAVEL TO THE TOP OF EUROPE


‘Reach for the sky, climb every mountain higher…’

Climb every mountain higher… I think being at an altitude of 3,454 m definitely counts, right?! It’s not every day you can say you’ve been to the highest point in Europe – and a day trip to Jungfrau allowed us to do just that.

After 36 hours of eating croissants and cheese, it was time to hit the road. We armed ourselves with snacks, water and our comfiest travel clothes before we hurtled along the snow dusted roads to Switzerland. Judging by the scenic journey alone, I knew we were in for a treat.

Shortly after checking into Balmer’s Hostel, I prepared myself for my favourite activity of the day – dinner. And on that particular evening, I only had eyes (and the stomach) for fondue. A big bubbling pot of gooey cheese and a tray of skewered bread welcomed us upon arrival (along with a St Bernard dog that was about double my size).

We drooled, dipped, ate then drooled, dipped and ate some more until our tummies stretched over our jeans and our top buttons popped open. Needless to say, we slept very, very well that night.

The next morning came and we were up bright and early with a coffee in hand. We were advised the weather was going to be -12C so plenty of layers and bars of Swiss chocolates were highly encouraged. You didn’t have to tell me twice!

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Our train journey took us from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch via Grindelwald (any Harry Potter fans will no doubt rejoice at this namesake!). The ride alone was an experience in itself. Icicles clung on to the sides of the train as it quietly chugged towards the Swiss Alps.

Top tip: sit on the right side on your journey up for the best views! Also, bring extra camera batteries for this day, you’ll definitely need it.

Two hours later, we arrived at the Top of Europe! First and foremost – the view!!! A ‘pinch me’ moment if I ever saw one and quite possibly the closest I’ve ever been to a winter wonderland.

We were going to go kayaking around it! Pretty epic, right?

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Everywhere we turned, we were surrounded by majestic glaciers and snow-capped mountains of ice and rock. The sight took my breath away and it had nothing to do with the altitude (but do keep your chocolates handy).

For those who fancy the stairs, there’s also a lift that’ll take you up another 117 m to the Sphinx Observatory. From there, you can enjoy panoramic views of the Aletsch Glacier (Europe’s largest one) and its surrounding mountains. If you’re like me, you’ll need a few moments alone to let the sights sink in and to absorb everything going on around you.

Is this real life? Because I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. At this point, I started to question whether the Topdeck coach had actually transported me into a fairytale land because on my way down, I spotted two things that made me yelp with even more excitement.

There’s an Ice Palace where an entire kingdom has been sculpted from ice guarded by a crystallised version of a family of penguins! I glided down corridor after corridor imagining I had the grace of an ice skater but in reality, it wasn’t quite as elegant!

There was also a Lindt chocolate factory, and the staff were giving out free samples so naturally, I drifted over – and I declare this to be one of the best days ever.

By @dejashuu

Believing that the best way to get to know a culture is through its food, Shu is a food and travel content creator with a mission to eat around the world. Creating a series of food tours, personality driven travel vlogs and cinematic love letters about newly discovered destinations, she follows her stomach and documents her life through a camera lens on her YouTube channel to 18,700+ like-minded travellers. Pre-warning: You’ll want to bring a snack or two before watching…


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