On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
It’s not every day that you get to step into a real life James Bond set, especially not at 2970m. But that’s exactly what I got to do when I visited the Swiss resort of Mürren just before Christmas.
New to the Jungfrau area, I had heard many a tale from Ski Club employees about the famous Swiss valley, but none of their tales could live up to the reality of what Mürren had in store.
Perched on a cliff in the Jungfrau valley, Mürren sits beneath two of the most iconic mountains in the Alps, the Eiger and the Jungfrau. In the summer the valley is home to the world’s most daring adrenaline junkies… the lifts even have dedicated signs for parachutists and wingsuits! Come the winter the resort is transformed into a winter wonderland – resembling what could only be described as a Disney’s interpretation of a ski resort, with an array of alpine chalets and snow lined streets.
But Mürren hasn’t always been the sleepy alpine resort it is today. In 1963 the resort was taken over by Mr James Bond himself for the filming of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, that saw Mürren’s Schilthorn – Piz Gloria lift station (below) transformed into Bonds evil nemesis Blofeld’s alpine hideaway. Not to spoil the plot for those who haven’t seen it but the Piz Gloria meets a rather sticky end… but fear not Mürren fans, not even the special effects from 1969 can convince us the Piz Gloria is no more. No longer a Bond set, the Schilthorn – Piz Gloria is now home to a revolving restaurant offering diners 360° views of some of the most breath-taking views in the Alps.
But the James Bond history and the spectacular views are not the only reason thousands of Brits head to Mürren each year. This year Mürren is celebrating a 100 years of winter sports, owing a special thanks to the British tourism market for introducing winter sports to the alpine town back in 1902. Mürren, along with nearby Wengen and Grindelwald, continue to be some of the most popular Swiss resorts with British skiers, offering unparalleled skiing for all abilities.
Now if only they could remake On Her Majesty’s Secret Service with Daniel Craig… I wonder if they would need a ski guide? After a weekend in Mürren I think I would be able to show him around…