With the wife away in the US last weekend I was single again and so, with a smile on my face, I stayed on in Switzerland over their holiday weekend, the old Whitsuntide festival. For once the weather stayed fine. This is my review of the hotel that I stayed in in Lucerne : http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserRe ... RATES_CONT.
On my own I took a train to Interlaken via the single track line from Lucerne, a series of gradients and switchbacks round the lakes through Meiringen. From Interlaken I took the Jungfrau railway to the top of the Jungfrau, 3500 metres or 11000 feet ASL, three changes of trains and a tremendous feat of engineering. At Kleine Scheidegg, the last station before the final ascent I stopped for lunch at Rostizzeria, one of only 2 restaurants at base camp. I just ordered the plain rosti with chive butter. http://www.bahnhof-scheidegg.ch/default ... itemid=128 . Their portion control was non-existent last weekend so I never managed to finish it. It was quite filling. The last bit of the ascent is through the Jungfrau tunnel built 100 years ago. You stop twice in the tunnel to adjust to the air and height by getting off the train and walking along a short tunnel to an observation deck. At the top you walk up some steps from the station and out on to the glacier. I'm still relatively delicate from my op last year so I hung on to the ropes.
Also at the top is the Jungfraujoch restaurant complex, the highest in Europe. This has a self-service restaurant, a sit down restaurant and Bollywood, an Indian restaurant which was serving vegetable curry last weekend. There were notices on each table ' please do not waste any food '. Very Swiss. You must eat all your food up. http://www.gletscherrestaurant.ch/engli ... od_en.html.
Where is the highest restaurant in the world ?
The Jungfrau railway was built from 1907-1912. According to my guidebook the workforce was cut off from the lower slopes during the winter and so each winter the following provisions were delivered in advance :
12 tons of flour
1500 litres of wine ( almost 1 litre per day per worker, though I'm not sure how the arithmetic is worked out )
400 kilos of coffee
4 tons of meat
No health and safety to worry about in those days then.