Schilthorn, Switzerland

The Swiss Skyline may be the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger but it is the Schilthorn at 2,970 metres which gives access to them from its base near the valley of Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland.  To get there one takes a cable car from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald and from there to the village of Mürren and from there to Birg and the final leg is to the top of the mountain.  Between Birg and the summit, the cable car passes over a small lake called Grauseeli, although we did not see it due to the snow.   For those feeling particularly fit, in summer one can walk - although there and back is going to take all day!

The summit has a panoramic view which spans from the Titlis, Jungfrau, Mönch, Eiger, over the Bernese Alps and the Jura mountains up to the Vosges Mountains and the Black Forest. Mont Blanc is also just visible.

This is the location of the most iconic of all James Bond film locations.  Piz Gloria was filmed from October 1968 - March 1969 for On Her Majesty's Secret Service. In the film, James Bond arrives at the railway station and is taken via sleigh and helicopter to Piz Gloria, to leave he needs to use the black ski run which starts at the summit and leads down to the Engetal below Birg.   It is the start for the world's longest downhill ski race, the Inferno, which started in 1928. 

The interest of the film crew was good news for the Piz Gloria as they offered to pay for the helicopter pad as well as some of the completion work inside.  What is called the Alpine Room in the film is today a restaurant which revolves 360 degrees in 55 minutes.  It is really odd to be near the buffet and then for it to be somewhere else.  I rather felt I could feel the movement but no-one else I spoke to said the same.  One can opt for the James Bond breakfast or for a a hamburger and chips with a 007 logo in the bun, a James Bond spaghetti or various other items from the a la carte menu.

Inside Piz Gloria one can visit Bond World - an interactive exhibition of On Her Majesties Secret Service where one have fly Blofeld's helicopter and play the part of Bond in the tobogan chase. Obviously as one arrives clips of the film are showing and the male toilet has recordings of female voices from the film as one enters - Miss Moneypenny who says "James, where have you been?" as well as recorded quotes from Ruby and Tracy.

The trip up to the mountain will be made complete by a stroll along the Thrill Walk at Birg - a walkway cut into the sheer rock face.

Arrive early and allow a full day as there is so much to do and see there.

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