Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On getting HIGH: Our Journey to the Top of Europe

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We awoke to a great day - we were greeted by blue skies and a bit of sunshine.  The universe conspired to make that day a little less than perfect to climb the Swiss Alps (it was actually the train who climbed its way up).  COLD. Have I mentioned that I'm not a fan?  They said that whatever you are compelled to do, don't.  I am literally in two minds about everything lately, I always contradict myself and it's so annoying. So however I detest feeling cold, I willingly signed up for the trip. Armed with a thick shirt, fleece jacket, thermal tights, gloves. 2 pairs of socks, a bubble jacket and boots, I finally had courage to step out of the hotel.  I knew I just have to finish the day and be done with it. 


Switzerland is known for it's scenic beauty.  Needless to say we couldn't stop snapping photos.  One of the highlights of our trip was the visit to “Trummelbach Falls” in Lauterbrunnen.  We took a bus to go to the falls, it wasn't that far off.  We reached Trummelbach a little early, we waited for 30 minutes before the gate was opened.  While taking photos I gazed around at the scenery, I couldn’t find anything at all. No waterfall! It was then we realized the most beautiful thing. A waterfall within the mountain – well inside the mountain! What makes this waterfall stand out is that it's nestled deep in a slot canyon carved out by the powerful waterfall itself. It is a series of 10 glacier waterfalls which are made accessible through cutting edge Swiss engineering of a network of tunnels and lifts.

Just beyond the gate,
there's a funicular that rises up a dark tunnel until you're somewhere between the 5th and 6th chutes. Inside the mountain, the waterfall can be seen from around 5 levels. Once you are inside the mountain and have crossed the first level, its actually complete darkness.  Once inside, you can’t hear yourself properly. The waterfalls makes that much noise

I felt really grateful to have visited the falls. I was truly struck by the power of nature.

At one of the levels
Picturesque view
The trail
Tree stump
The water has filled itself in every corner
As we move higher, we can see the force is greater
A. Road parody
Can you see the icy top?
Hinde ko alam kung anong tawag sa mga pose na to.
Marsie and I inside the funicular
Bench body ba kamo??!
Ginawa naming national monument ang stump na to.
Jump! Jump!
While waiting for the gate to open
Look how tiny we are
Thank you sa tripod
Strong force behind us
Swiss flag
Anong level na nga ba to?
Sabe Vogue Bona, hinde kandidato pose tse! =)))
Pole dancer ata ang peg ko dito. Hahaha!
Historical talaga tong stump na to!
About to touch the ground
Parang ang saya saya nung mga animal dito!
Eto ano to?!

Simang shot Bona hinde nguso, hahahaha!
Amazing rock

Si Bona parang sundalo ang peg
I love this view

The sign

Calling BEN CHAN! =))))
Si Marsie pole dancing din ang peg
Trail outside
Slippery dito
 Rach and Rona

Trümmelbach Falls – in the Valley of the 72 Waterfalls, Lauterbrunnen
Jungfraujoch - We were finally on our way to the top of the Swiss Alps. At Lauterbrunnen we took the train for Kleine Scheidegg. From Kleine Scheidegg train enters the tunnel through the Eiger shortly above Kleine Scheidegg. Before arriving at the Jungfraujoch, it stops for 5 minutes at two stations, Eigerwand and Eismeer, where passengers can see through the holes excavated from the mountain. The Junfraujoch Station is the highest Railway station of Europe.

As the mountains came into view, the scenery was unreal. We could see in all directions – down into the valley where the small villages and farms were perched, and up to the top of the famous Eiger, Jungfrau, and Monch mountains at nearly 13,000 feet. The mountains easily dwarfed everything in sight.  The colors and contrasts that appeared were stunning – the greenest grass, bright white snow and grey mountains. 

  At the train station
Rona at the same spot
Going up there!
We love the sun!
5 minutes here
Sarap ng pagpapaaraw ko ditey
Lauterbrunnen station
Politiko shot ni Bona
5 minutes!
Let's go!
Mga ayaw lumabas ng tren
The route that the train takes to Jungfraujoch changes drastically once you switch trains. For the remainder of the way up, the tracks are built into the Eiger, so there are no views – you are simply going through a dark tunnel, which was blasted out to make way for the railway beginning in the late 1800s. As we gradually get higher the temperature starts to fall. It is noticeable that most people now have coats or fleeces on, I started to shiver.  The end station itself is in the belly of the mountain. The place is very modern. There are plenty of lifts to take you up and down between the terminal, the café, the restaurant, the souvenir shop and the viewing galleries and all sides of the building offer superb views of snow-capped peaks, and those ultra white valleys (nakakasilaw ang kaputian).

Going up!
We reached the top!
With? Sino ba to?
The highest-altitude Karst Cave
Walking through ice
In the olden days
View from the observation deck
Kung pwede lang na maglakad kame ng magkakayakap eh
Eto talaga da best na hockey player!
Marsie and I
Alak!! Pengeng alak!
Marsie and Bona
The Map
Happy Birthday Pete!
Mwah! Mwah!
I can't believe we're here
Nagattempt kaming mag snowball fight, jusme ang hirap!
Sakit na sa ulo.
Our self tour
Mwah mwah sa ibang background naman
Let's all pray for BONA!
Hinde na makatayo!
Ice capped
Us three
Mga animal na ice sculpture
Bagong tambayan
Close sila!
Kung di lang malamig nagpagulong gulong na ako diyan!
Maipilit lang ang ngiti
The great workers
Bona and I
Gusto talaga namin mamaril!
Makahiga nga muna!
Great job!
Walang knowledge, walang power!
Hahaha! Anong palabas to?
Jump jump!
Let's all pray for Michele Feretti
Gigantic snow globe
Bona and Rach
Thank you sa paggawa ng railway na to!
Guys at work
Ang aking pagaari - Rona
Sino ba kasi to?
Snow bird
Ang fierce lang dito ni Rach =)
Ice man!
Kanya kanyang kodakan!
Buang shot
Hirap kumilos?
I survived the cold!
Sun kissed!

After we finished all the sightseeing, we had late lunch and we were seated right next to the window where you can get a fantastic view of the mountain. Eating lunch while enjoying the view is truly an wonderful experience. We each had a bottle of beer at high noon, makatulong lang sa pag-init hahaha. I must admit, it was so beautiful up there - so wild and only very few people could appreciate the vastness of ice and snow. I thought I was one of those unappreciative ones, but certainly I was amazed. Reaching the summit is quite an adventure but well worth it! You will be rewarded with a view you will never forget.

So if you guys plan to take this"Big Freeze" sort of travel you just have to - wrap up warm, pack plenty of your spare batteries and bring a generous flask of alcohol (hahaha). And get HIGH.

"Switzerland is a place where they don't like to fight, so they get people to do their fighting for them while they ski and eat chocolate."

Larry David


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