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After the first ski, and only one (massive) fall on my face, we went up to Junfraujoch – the highest point in Europe, with the highest train station in Europe to boot. We ventured to the Alpine Sensation, Sphinx Terrace and Ice Palace. The Ice Palace was cool, with ice sculptures of bears and penguins, and even Sherlock Holmes. Plus there was a narrow natural tunnel through the ice to slide through.

On the other side of the ice, a memorial display told us about all the Italians who lost their lives creating the tunnel the train travels through today. Then we went outside, where it was -17 ˚C. The icicles making patterns on the glass.

On the train back down to Grindelwald. we asked if we could sit up front with the driver. It was like driving the DLR in London, but better, as the train travels through a mountain, and well, we were in Switzerland, which makes it cooler.

The next day, having not become Olympic skiers in our sleep, we decided to hire Velogemel snow bikes – wooden bikes with metal runners on the bottom, patented in 1911 in Grindelwald. These were cheap to hire and a cheat’s way of bombing it down a mountain yelling ‘weeeee!’ without needing lessons. 

Although the seat bruised our bums a bit, it was mega.

On the final day we travelled Grindelwald to Wengen – the village without cars – and tried skiing again. We also tried drinking white wine and kirsch with cheese fondue at lunch. As the ski lesson was all about turning, I promptly did a lot of falling over. They call it après ski, but skiing drunk is probably not the best way to learn.

So after an hour skiing we headed to the bar, in a big tent filled with bright colours, energy drinks and Jaegermeisters, where teenagers were hitting nails into a log and drinking shots in between in some sort of bizarre Alpine drinking game.

And we drank too, before taking the train back down to Grindelwald where we’d moved to the gorgeous and romantic Hotel Eiger Selfness for the night. There were fluffy robes and a spa to hang out in as well as Gluwein on arrival. The perfect end to my first train ski adventure.

Want to follow in Sophie's footsteps? Here's what you need to know:

Fares to Interlaken with start at £209 standard class return per person from London. From there you will book travel on the Jungfraubahn., who book European rail tickets and passes, have a new late booking offer for those heading to Switzerland in April and May with fares from Paris to Switzerland start at just £34 one way in standard class. Go to, call 0844 848 5848 or visit the Voyages-sncf Travel Centre at 193 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EU.

Private ski lessons cost 100 CHF for two people and 20 CHF for every person after that per hour – so it’ll be cheaper if you go as a group. If you’re not an amazing skier, you may choose to go on the Velogemel, which costs 15 CHF per day or toboggan.

The Hotel Kreuz und Post in Grindelwald starts from 160 CHF (approx. £110) per night during the ski season per person based on two sharing a double room including breakfast. Half board supplement of 50 CHF (approx. £55). For more information visit

The Hotel Eiger Selfness in Grindelwald starts from 200 CHF (approx. £135) per night based on two sharing a double room with free use of the wellness centre. For more information visit

For more information on the Jungfrau railways, region and events visit


London to Switzerland in a day: Making tracks to get to Jungfrau
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