A morning at Schilthorn and Birg , getting into the 007 mood! – Swiss Sojourn, Part 7


This post is a continuation of a snail paced series documenting our time in the beautiful Alpine country of Switzerland. We were now in the small town of Murren in the Berner Oberlander region. We had spent the first afternoon to late evening doing the pleasant walk to the village of Gimmelwald. (The pleasant Alpine town of Murren & an afternoon walk to Gimmelwald – Swiss Sojourn, Part 6 ).

On our second day we had planned on doing the cable car to the Schilthorn station which was famous as the place where a James Bond movie climax was shot ( albeit a George Lazenby Bond movie called “On her Majesty’s Secret service” that is not on anybody’s list of best Bond movies) . It had been a choice between Schilthorn and the much more popular Jungfrau for our high altitude cable car/ cog wheel train dose in the region. Murren was half way up the Schilthorn cable car station and that meant we could get there earlier than most of the crowds down in the Lauterbrunnen valley. As an added bonus it was much cheaper than the Jungfrau with the Swiss travel pass giving us a 50% discount from Murren vs the 25% discount available on the Jungfrau train above Wengen. Plus it was a cable car ride in the open rather than a train through a dark mountain tunnel that is the Jungfrau.

The Weather Gods continued to smile on us in Switzerland and we woke up to a sunny morning yet again. We had our breakfast early at the Hotel Alpenblick and started on our walk down to the cable car station. We came to the slopes just after the train station in Murren and came to an abrupt halt. I had heard that the Chamois – the Alpine Goat Antelope loved the grass on these slopes and were seen here often. I had hoped that we would get a chance to see one in our time in Murren. So I was ecstatic when we found a herd of Chamois on the slopes at extremely close quarters. I had the 300mm on the camera and clicked away to glory and got some decent photos of these Alpine beauties.


The Chamois make an appearance on the slopes of Murren

After a few minutes of enjoying the Chamois going about their day to day activities we started towards the cable car station again. We saw some black redstarts, female chaffinches & yellow billed choughs enjoying the beautiful morning on the streets of Murren and took some photos of these common but beautiful European birds.


A female black redstart in the beautiful morning light


A female chaffinch in the town poses for a photo or two


A yellow billed chough on a rooftop in Murren


A common sparrow on a fence in Murren

We then went to the cable car station well in time for the first cable car up to Schilthorn from Murren. We bought our return tickets and boarded the first cable car up along with a handful of early risers like us. We didn’t linger at the intermediate station at Birg on the way up as we wanted to see the top station at Schilthorn without any crowds. We alighted and made a beeline for the smaller viewing platform at the end of the “Walk of fame”  ( more bond movie related info!) as most people with us lingered on the main station itself. It worked spectacularly well as we were the only people on the smaller viewing platform  and at the famous ridge walk for a good half an hour. We took in the spectacular 360 degree views of the Alps all around. The severity of the unusually warm winter gone by was even more apparent here than in Zermatt as there wasn’t a mm of snow to be seen at Schilthorn, just the barren slopes.


At the smaller viewing platform away from the main station

After enjoying a few minutes on the platform we then walked towards the amazing ridge that extends beyond the platform which has small wooden covered benches built to enjoy the view. I had been very apprehensive about this part since this part has no guard rails and has a sign which says “At your own risk!”. But as we moved onto the ridge itself we realised it was wide enough to walk on without getting queasy at all. So we were moving from bench to bench , all apprehension about the ridge had vanished! It had looked much more scarier than it actually was. We walked the entire length of the ridge and sat for a few minutes at the bench at the end of the ridge and just enjoyed the view.


The must do ridge walk at Schilthorn


A perfect place to enjoy the view with no crowds around


The lack of snow after a poor winter in the region


Enjoying a beautiful morning on the ridge beyond Schilthorn


Posing for photos on the ridge


Posing with the Alps as backdrop

We lingered on the ridge longer than we thought we would but finally we said goodbye to our bench & started our walk back to the main station. It was as if watching us traipse across the ridge made others venture onto it as other people started to trickle onto the smaller platform and to the ridge beyond. We had our hour of solitude on a bench on top of an alpine peak and couldn’t ask for more!


The main station with Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau in the clouds beyond


The walk of fame below which has small bio s of the stars of the movie


The walk of fame and the small platform & ridge beyond where we had spent a memorable hour


Taking our “we were here!” photo


The Schilthorn cable car station

Back at the main platform I then made the better half take a few photos of me with the bond memorabilia all over the platform. Wondering what had gotten into me as I never want my photo clicked she agreed with a quizzical look on her face. So I gleefully let my inner kid 007 fan out & posed to be shot at point blank range by 007 and tried my hand at posing as 007, finger Walther PPK and all!



Playing around with the Bond memorabilia at Schilthorn

Already smiling from ear to ear we then went into the small “Bond” museum in the station which had even more information about the shooting of the movie and behind the scenes info. Being a minor pop culture fan myself I enjoyed it a lot. We even lined up to ride the helicopter replica that has a screen set up to show various places on the slopes up to Schilthorn in their full winter glory. An added bonus for us summertime visitors!


Dimly lit passageway with the bond theme playing loudly leads to the museum


Enjoying the helicopter ride at the Bond museum in Schilthorn


Even the loo has 007 puns!

Humming the James Bond theme we exited the museum & took a short break at the cafeteria where we had a big chocochip cookie and some drinks before we started on our way down. The cookie was good but the view was spectacular!


Enjoying a snack and a drink on top of the Alps – Always fun!

Our time at the top of Schilthorn was at an end but we still had some fun activities left to do before we returned to Murren. We took the cable car down and stopped at the intermediate station of Birg which has some fun activities like a cliff side walk including a transparent glass floor section, a metal tightrope walk and a tunnel crawl on the cliff side which I knew the better half would thoroughly enjoy being the adrenaline junkie that she is. She had no idea that they were there though, so it would be a pleasant surprise!


Taking the cable car back down to Birg 

We alighted at Birg and walked down the steel cliff walk stopping to take photos at the viewpoint before moving on.


On the Cliff side ramp walk at Birg


Getting our photos with the 3 peaks on a beautiful morning at Birg

The better half’s eyes lit up as we reached the thrill walk section. Soon she was walking across metal tightropes, crawling through mesh tunnels on the cliff side all with a big smile on her face. I got my share just watching her do those activities with so much excitement.


On the transparent glass part of the cliff walk


The better half enjoying the metal tightrope walk


Crawling through a metal grill tunnel on the cliff side

We then stopped at the end of the cliff side walk and took a few photos before turning back and taking the cable car down to Murren. It had been a great morning up at Schilthorn and Birg that had put us in a great mood for the day. We walked through Murren to our hotel Alpenblick with a packed lunch from the local Coop supermarket with us. 


A beautiful fox statue in Murren


The Hotel Alpine where my parents had stayed when they visited Murren a few years ago

We then relished our packed lunch in the comfort of our room and rested our legs for some time. We would be taking full advantage of the long summer days and do the Allmendhubel funicular and part of the North face trail that leads from there in the evening.

But that is story for another post. Some other time, some other day!

Till then,



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