Piz Gloria and James Bond 007: licence to sit back in Schilthorn, Switzerland

Within the wake of the unhappy passing of the supremely attractive late Diana Rigg it brings to thoughts the Bond movie she featured in On Her Majesty’s Service. The legendary actress performed the exquisitely seductive Countess Tracy di Vicenzo.

Like each different Bond story, this one incorporates a masterly villain with ambitions of world domination, however few are so iconic as Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Most just lately portrayed by Christoph Waltz in Spectre, Blofeld has appeared in seven different Bond movies and is usually seen stroking his white Persian cat in evil contemplation.

One such look is in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, one of many extra divisive Bond movies because of its main man, George Lazenby, who performed the function of 007 simply the as soon as. Though the 1969 movie obtained a lukewarm reception from critics, many take into account it to be probably the greatest within the collection, partly due to its spectacular surroundings.

The location of Blofeld’s secret lair, Piz Gloria, is atop the two,970m summit of the Schilthorn in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps. This is without doubt one of the solely locations on the planet the place the general public can expertise a Bond movie arrange shut and private.

We take a more in-depth look.

Covid-19 replace: Piz Gloria is at present open to guests (as of 21 September 2020) however with restrictions. Guests should put on a masks within the cable automobile on path to Piz Gloria. 

The story of Piz Gloria

Whereas looking for the best movie location for Blofeld’s lair, the manufacturing crew got here throughout a partly constructed sports activities bar with a revolving ground on the Schilthorn summit. Set in opposition to a backdrop of dramatic, snow-topped mountains, which incorporates the indomitable Eiger, it appeared the proper setting for a villainous plot. The movie’s producer agreed to finance its completion in trade for unique filming rights.

Wonderful views from the top of the Schilthorn, including the "007 Walk of Fame"

Great views from the highest of the Schilthorn, together with the “007 Stroll of Fame” (c) Lucy Woods

Since filming ended, the constructing has retained its Piz Gloria moniker, taking full benefit of the Bond connection. The restaurant has floor-to-ceiling home windows and revolves a full 360 levels in 55 minutes. The family-friendly menu consists of the fan favorite “007 burger” full with a 007 stamped brand on the bun.

In addition to a restaurant, there may be additionally a everlasting exhibition containing Bond memorabilia and movie clips on the decrease ground. Whereas this might appear just a little corny, the “Bond World” exhibition is definitely very nicely offered, with an amazing number of iconic Bond posters, a part of the helicopter used within the movie and numerous interactive video games and leisure.

Outside adventures

As you exit the cable automobile on the high of the Schilthorn, you’re instantly offered with some somewhat spectacular views of the mountains surrounding the area. This consists of the Jungfrau, Eiger and Jura Mountains. On a transparent day, you can too see Mont Blanc, the best mountain within the Alps. There’s a massive, open space lined with tables and chairs, the place you may chill out with a cocktail and benefit from the views.

A table with a view

A desk with a view (c) Lucy Woods

In the event you’re feeling extra adventurous, you may participate within the “thrill stroll”, a 200m lengthy metal and glass walkway that hugs the rock and results in the cable automobile station. Not one for vertigo victims, the walkway is each slender and excessive, however you’re rewarded with uninterrupted views of the valley of Lauterbrunnen. You may as well channel your interior Bond and try and crawl although an (elective) eight-metre tunnel with clear views of the 250m drop under.

Attempting the eight-metre tunnel on the "Thrill Walk"

Trying the eight-metre tunnel on the “Thrill Stroll” (c) Lucy Woods

In the event you haven’t had sufficient of 007 by now, there’s a new exhibition exterior known as the “007 Stroll of Fame”: a collection of statues that includes handprints of the movie’s solid and crew and details about their time on set. The opening occasion in 2015 was attended by George Lazenby himself.

READ ALSO: Information to Murren and its newly opened Thrill Stroll

Getting there

The Schilthorn lies above the picturesque village of Mürren, and from right here you’re taking the cable automobile to the highest of the Schilthorn – a full worth return grownup ticket (together with entrance to the indoor Bond exhibition and the “thrill stroll”) prices 82.60 CHF/£63. If you are going to buy a Swiss Journey Move upfront, the return ticket is free.

In case you are travelling from additional afield, you have to to take the Lauterbrunnen-Mürren mountain railway, earlier than taking the cable automobile to the summit.

The place to remain

Hotel Jungfrau

Resort Jungfrau (c) Lucy Woods

In the event you determine to remain in Mürren in a single day, the three* Resort Jungfrau has snug rooms, pleasant service and a good buffet breakfast.

For extra info, go to Switzerland Tourism.

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