Or, Bonding in the Swiss alps
If you are a James Bond fan, then Shilthorn is a destination you must visit. The 360 degree revolving restaurant served as Blofeld’s Alpine fortress in the 1969 film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. It is a film that Shilthorn has embraced and through the years has added to via a new “007 Walk of Fame” last year on 31 July 2015. You can see a short video of the event here – Opening of the 007 Walk of Fame at Schilthorn
Located at nearly ten thousand feet above sea level in the Berner Oberland area of Switzerland’s Alp you can only get to Schilthorn via Cable Car from Mürren, or Stechelberg below.
I have visited Schilthorn a few times, usually in fall or winter – although the berg offers a fantastic ski run (called the ‘Inferno Run’) and can become quite crowded in the area between Christmas and New Year. I arrived by train from Interlaken Ost, the eastern station that connected the valley via private railway (meaning anyone with a Eurorail pass needs to get a ticket at the station!).
As the first couple of times I visited I was staying overnight, I arrived at a quaint Swiss railway station, now sadly replaced by a more modern steel construct that shelters the passengers. From the station I walked pretty much across the street and rode a funicular (a rather steep one too!) up to the small village of Mürren, which has no cars whatsoever. Any deliveries that need to be made are down via an electric cart – think golf cart with a small flatbed to hold packages and such. Everything in this small town is within walking distance, and the cable car leading further up the alp is centrally located.
It was strange visiting Schilthorn, as I had recently viewed the Bond movie and was noticing where different scenes were filmed. From the Helicopter landing pad (which the Bond producers built as part of the agreement to use the site for filming, to the entrance hallway which still has Blofeld’s coat of arms on the wall, and, of course, the revolving restaurant itself. Although parts of Shilthorn were recreated in Pinewood Studios for interior shots, as much as possible was filmed on site.
For a sightseer, the views from Schilthorn are magnificent. You have the Eiger, the Jungfrau, and the Mönch alps surrounding you, and the view over the valley is magnificent.
What’s your favorite James Bond location? Drop me a line and let me know!