Our trip today was to the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant for a James Bond Breakfast. The Piz Gloria is located on top of Schilthorn, a 2,970 metre high summit in the Bernese Oberlan above Mürren.
Many scenes were filmed at Piz Gloria for the 1969 James Bond 007 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. (we downloaded watched the movie later not one of the best 007 movies)
The latest cable car for the breakfast departed at 08:50 so we were up early, packed a backpack with warm clothes and walked down the road to Stechelberg for the three cable car trip to the top. As did not want to miss the breakfast we headed straight for the top quickly changing well timed cable cars at Gimmelwald, Murren and Grig. We would take our time on the way back to spend more time in each on the way back down. (you can click on the photos to make them bigger, back button to return)
Not only is it a major Bond location, but as the longest aerial cableway in the Alps, the Schilthorn/Piz Gloria provides stunning panoramic views over Switzerland. Over 200 mountain peaks in a spectacular landscape are revealed as the world’s first revolving mountaintop restaurant slowly turns. The revolving restaurant has two revolving solar-powered platforms.
The peak season is now over so there was plenty of space and we selected a table to ourselves by the window and watched the mountain peaks go by as we enjoyed a great breakfast and champagne Bollinger Grande Année 1989. (May have been a sparkling wine in Bollinger glasses).
After breakfast we went outside and just enjoyed the view. Click Here for live webcam.
Unfortunately the altitude (just under 10,000ft) got to Trish and prompted us to make our way to a lower altitude. We passed through Grig (still to high) got off at the village of Murran (5,413 ft.) where Trish could sit and recover for a while.
Murren is a pretty tourist town with no cars (unreachable by public road) that is surrounded by a mountain farming community. The village features a view of the three towering mountains: Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. Mürren has a population of just 450, but has 2,000 hotel beds!!
After Trish had recovered we took a short walk and decided to go lower to the town of Gimmelwald. We were keen to see this mountain farming community village as we liked what we read in reviews on the net. See http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/switz/gimbd.htm It Gimmelwald should not be confused with Grindelwald a famous tourist resort in the next valley.
The tourist tend to pass by Gimmelwald as they change cable cars on the way up and down, very few get off here. This was the case today of the 40 or so in our cable car we were the only ones to get off here.
We immediately liked this quiet mountain village of about 130 people. No cars, no TV, no newspapers, no shop, but lots of cows, goats, chickens and you can buy farm produce from the farms (in the main street). In the fields farmers were cutting the feed grass by hand on the steep mountain slopes with scythes and sickles!
This pedestrian, Alpine village with its 13 farms and many houses decorated with arrays of flowers, seems to have maintained its original character despite being so close to huge tourist area. There are a couple of accommodation houses here and it would be great to come back for a week or two some day. Trish had now recovered and walking through the village and farmhouses we decided to just keep going instead of turning back and taking the cable car.
We hiked the rest of the way down the mountain for an hour or two along a marked trail, between small farms, through forests, by waterfalls and streams and down to Stechelberg and the hymermobile. A great way to complete a great day.
It seems that many Alp-aholics say, “If Heaven isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, send me back to Gimmelwald.”
Click read more below for more photos…………