I spent a weekend in Interlaken, one of the most famous mountain areas in Switzerland, and one which I’ve been not getting round to visiting for… yikes, five years.
While the mountains near Zürich are pretty good, Interlaken has special mountains: the Eiger (3967m), Mönch (4107m) and Jungfrau (4158m). They’re not the highest mountains in Switzerland — that’s Dufourspitze, at a frankly ludicrous 4634m — but they’re still big. They have several glacier, including the stunning Konkordiaplatz glacial lake where multiple glaciers meet.
This being Switzerland, there’s a train up Jungfrau. It doesn’t go all the way to the top, instead terminating at an overpriced, cramped, crowded and frankly incredibly kitchy tourist trap at Jungfraujoch. It’s high, at 3454m, and while you can get outside, there’s a limited amount of walking up the top on the Jungfraufirn glacier. Sadly a lot of this was closed while I was there. The train itself ascends up through a tunnel dug into the spine of the Eiger. There’s a stop at a gallery window where you can look out from the North Face over the Eismeer glacier.
Much more interesting was the lower level walking; I stayed in the holiday village of Wengen, which is only accessible by train, and walked 1000m up to Eigergeltscher station, the last stop before the Jungfraujoch train enters the tunnel. The view up to the combined mountains was amazing. Sadly I didn’t know about the Eiger walk, which traverses the north side of the Eiger underneath the North Face, but I’ll certainly do that next time.