Wednesday June 26, 2013

Finally woke to a morning without rain, but still shrouded in low grey cloud.

  We had plans to catch the train to Jungfrau, the highest mountain in Europe,  but there was not much point in going up if it remained shrouded in mist. Instead we got the train to Gridelwald and walked the trail to Baregg  –  towards the Unterer glacier and the Eiger.  Grindelwald is a pretty valley town with a very busy main throughfare. From Gridelwald we looked up to where the trail was located but could not see much through the white cloud that  shrouded much of the higher ground.

Once on the trail, which snaked it way almost straight up the mountain, the view back towards the town was picturesque.

We passed vertical and at times overhanging rock faces that were scarred by past glacial movement. We later learnt that the glacier was as high as the trail as late as 150 years ago. The retreat of the toe of the glacier is quite enormous.

Once up above the tree line, a break in the cloud opened up a stunning view of snow covered mountain tops and steep, grassy meadows with grazing sheep.  The sound of their bells and the smell of their droppings accompanied us through the alpine meadows.

After two hours of almost vertical trail we made it to Baregg guesthouse where we sat on the terrace drinking in the view (and a quite beer for Hammer) enjoying the warmth of the sun. We could see the face of the Eiger mountain but the top was still covered in cloud.  

A cold wind was blowing as we slowly made our back down to the valley.

By late afternoon it was clear that the weather was on the improve and by the time we got back to Interlaken, the Jungfrau finally revealed herself.