Schilthorn and below
High above Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland (actually REALLY high above) is Schilthorn at 2970m. Schilthorn Piz Gloria got its claim to fame when it was a blown up by James Bond 007 in the making of the movie “On her Majesty’s Secret Service”. Over 50 years later the Swiss are still milking it! Happily it was more special effects than explosives and the very nice revolving restaurant remains to this day.
Travelling to these high peaks is a bit of a lottery as you never know what the fog and clouds will do when you get there. But it is simply something that you have to do if you are in this part of Switzerland. We planned our day to start with a trip to the top and how long we spent there before returning to lower altitudes would entirely depend upon the weather we encountered.
Below Schilthorn at 2,677 metres is Birg. Thre really isn’t much at Burg but they have built an amazing “Thrill Walk” which is a walkway jutting out from the cliff face looking down to forever. We would have loved to enjoy the views from this walk but sadly the clouds were thick and visibility was only 10 metres or so.
Heading further down is the village of Murren. This picturesque village attracts skiers in the winter and base jumpers in the summer. Hotels up to 3 star are everywhere and restaurants abound. We enjoyed our lunch looking directly out onto the Lauterbrunnen valley, counting the base jumpers and wondering if they had air traffic control.
From Murren there are numerous walks to enjoy with a range of difficulty levels. An easy walk is from Murren along the cliff top to Grutschalp via Winteregg. On a sunny day, the views over the valley and the mountains on the other side are quite spectacular. It is only about an 80 minutes easy walk but as we were unlucky enough to strike a period of cloud and occasional drizzle we chose to abort the walk at Winteregg and catch the train to Grutschalp and then the cable car back down to Lauterbrunnen.
Where we come from, cable cars are a tourist attraction. In this part of the world they are simply a practical mode of transport. You can even buy tickets for most cable cars via the Swiss Rail website and mobile app. However, the leg from Murren to Schilthorn is a privately operated tourist-driven service.