Sunday, 1 September 2013

A review of the Schilthorn, Piz Gloria

 Above: View of the cable car, and village of Wengen on the opposite side of the valley.

Above: View of Murren from the cable car.

You may know from reading my other blog posts that I recently went to Switzerland, and one of my trips there included travelling to the Schilthorn, Piz Gloria, where the James Bond film, 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service', was set.

The Schilthorn is a 2,970 metre high summit of the Bernese Alps, which overlooks Lauterbrunnen, a valley of which I have spoken about in my recent blog post. The Schilthorn lies above Murren (also spoken about in my recent post, as well as pictured below). In order to reach both Murren and the Schilthorn, you must travel via cable car which is a great experience. You can see parts of this journey in the photographs above.

At the Schilthorn, there is a panoramic view featuring the Monch, Eiger, Junfrau, as well as Mont Blanc, spanning over the Bernese Alps, the Jura Mountains, and all the way up to the Vosges Mountains and Black Forest.

 Above: Murren

Our journey involved getting a cable car from the valley of Lauterbrunnen to Grutshalp, and then a train on to Murren. The journey from there on involves getting a cable car to Mürren, which cannot be accessed any other way. From Mürren, another cable car is taken to Birg, and then from Birg to the Schilthorn. This journey is actually the longest and was the most technically challenging airway to be built. It is also possible to hike to the peak, however I would only recommend this to very experienced hikers!

 Above: Revolving Restaurant

The images above show the panoramic revolving restaurant, named Piz Gloria, which can be found at the summit, and is exactly where the James Bond movie was set. The restaurant revolves 360 degrees in 55 minutes. The food and drinks were very expensive, but it was a great experience sitting down along the edge of the restaurant whilst it is revolving, giving you views of every direction.

As you can see from the images, the views from the platform were really incredible - there were some clouds on the day that we went, yet we still had excellent views of the mountains. There are also walkways where you can walk along the mountains to get some more alternate views - I mostly stuck to the main paths though as I wasn't really wearing the correct footwear for this.

 Above: View of the Schilthorn from the cable car

For our journey down, we decided to take the cable car to Murren, and then walk from Murren to Lauterbrunnen. The views along the walk were really fantastic (shown below), however, it was an extremely tiring walk being such a steep trek (over 1000 metres height difference), and it took around 3 and a half hours. We didn't expect it to take this long and were wearing flip flops - not the best of ideas as we were aching for a few days after! Halfway through the walk we were regretting taking this hike as we were literally in the middle of forests in the boiling hot heat, however, looking back it was well worth the walk to get some different views and really take in the scenery.

 Above: Views from Murren

 Above: Views of Wengan

Above: Views of Wengen

Overall, the Schilthorn was a really fantastic day out - the journey there alone offered amazing views, as well as the views from the summit. This was definitely one of my favourite trips along with the Jungfraujoch.