I knew a lot of Indian people visited Switzerland, thanks to Bollywood. What I didn’t realize was the scale of it all. When we first arrived in Zurich, we didn’t see a lot of my people. But, as soon as we stepped outside the Interlaken train station, we saw a sign for Indian Dinner Cruise on Lake Brienz. It was the only sign for a cruise on that lake. It amazed me ‘cos I didn’t realize how many Indian people have started travelling abroad specifically to places such as Switzerland which are really expensive even by American standards! The Switzerland government gets it and totally capitalizes on the situation. Hell yeah, I would too! So, when I found out that there is an Indian restaurant called Bollywood at the top of the Jungfrau peak (also called Top of Europe. BTW, it is not the highest mountain in Europe), I wasn’t surprised.
Apparently, there has been a 25% increase year over year in people visiting Switzerland from India. Even though we hold the title for the tallest mountain range in the world (Himalayas), a lot of Indians don’t get to experience them in their lifetime or even see snow for that matter. But now as the world is getting flatter and more accessible, not only they are spending money to fly all the way to Switzerland to visit the land of Bollywood dreams but also shelling out $150-200** per person to go to the Top of Europe via expensive Swiss rails. It is understandable why the Swiss government wants them to have an experience of a lifetime while enjoying comforts of home, eating curry and naan at 11330 ft.
The Troup hiker bums don’t like to take expensive transportation if they can get to places by foot or by cheap, local buses.
So, we decided instead to see how close we could get to the Top of Europe without breaking our round the world trip budget.
If we hadn’t already destroyed our legs before, now we will attempt to completely destroy and wreak havoc on them by doing a LONGGG hike. Hike 3 was going to look like this:
Lauterbrunnen (on train) – Wengen (walk) — > Kleine Scheidegg (walk) –> Grindelwald/ Grund(walk) –> Lauterbrunnen
Total time according to the map: 9.5-10hrs.
Approx distance: 30kms/19miles in a day
Elevation Change: 2155 m/7050 ft [ Ascent: 890 m/2900 ft ; Descent: 1265 m/4150 ft descent ]
**Cost depends on where you take the train from and if you have a swiss rail pass. It is significantly cheaper to take the train from Kleine Scheidegg versus Lauterbrunnen or Interlaken. Obviously, you will have to hike and drag your ass to Kleine Scheidegg, if you want to save some $$$