Piz Gloria. What a thrill. I saw the Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service when I was in the ninth grade. It immediately became one of my favorite Bond films. After many years of watching the video and now DVD I never thought I would actually be at Piz Gloria. But here I was. I was really concerned about going here though. I had built up such an expectation before the trip that I was afraid it would be a let down when I finally arrived. But it was not a let down at all.
I have included a link to the Schilthorn/Piz Gloria web site. There is information about the area and also a web cam. I spent many hhurs at my job watching the web cam's at Piz Gloria in the time preceeding my trip from my PC.
Piz Gloria in reality is revolving restaurant that is solar powered. It opens for breakfast and closes at 4 p.m. each day. So if you are planning on dining here you will have to get here early. We did not need a reservation. The menu was very good and the food was very good. The restaurant makes one complete revolution every hour. The view is phenominal.
Gimmelwald is a hamlet of extremely picturesque wooden houses, and this is all there is there: houses and barns, plus the station of the cableway.
The walk from Mürren to Gimmelwald is very easy, because it is almost level, without any steep ascent or descent, and there is a small road (no cars, remember!) not just a path.
This route is along the big rocky terrace in the mountain that allows a panoramic view of the mountains across the Weisse Lütschine valley, with very high snow-capped mountains.
Mürren is at an altitude of 1645 metres above sea level, on a gigantic terrace of rock that overlooks the valley of the Weisse Lütschine river.
Such a location grants a great view of the Jungfrau massif, from the Eiger to the Breithorn peaks. You can admire them from practically anywere in the village, and these are not the only mountains you can see, because on the other side of the valley there is a spectacular range of snowy 4000-metre-high mountains.
Picturesque houses made of wood can be found in lots of places in the Swiss Alps, but I enjoyed these ones more than most of those I saw in other villages. Probably it is because of the absence of cars.
The other thing I liked is that these houses look more "real". I have seen many that looked too perfect, whereas in Mürren they look really "lived in".
By the way, you will probably notice in my pictures a lot of flags. Their number was in fact higher than usual during my visit, because it was just before the National Day.
A very nice and easy hike is from Mürren to Grütschalp or vice versa (Take the cable car from Lauterbrunnen if done this way) It can be done year round and takes a bit more than an hour. You will get to know the topography of the Lauterbrunnen valley and its terraces. The panorama is splendid. The path is almost flat. You will go by Winteregg where you can stop at the restaurant if you like.
The funicular Mürren-Allmendhubel brings you within a few minutes to the top of the 1907 m high Allmendhubel. Enjoy the beatiful view and let yourself be spoilt on our big sun terrace. Or explore the huge hiking region Mürren-Schilthorn. It takes a good 30 minutes to hike up from Mürren and you can take an alternative route back down. After a long hike we have something special for you at Allmendhubel: relax your feet with a walk through our Kneipp path.
In the restaurant they serve typical Swiss mountain restaurant stuff. Like cold platter with cheese and meat with bread, sausages and so on.
Muerren has a variety of slopes of all levels of dificulty. You find beginners runs, intermediate and also for advanced skiers. The best thing about the slopes there was that every run, no matter the color (blue, red) had various parts where you could either go one way as a beginner or the other way as an intermediate skier. The blue runs there are also a little bit more challenging, so it's a great way to push yourself and improve your level. There are 53 km of prepared ski slopes in and around Muerren (213 km slopes in the whole Jungfrau Region), chair lifts, cable cars, 6 chair lifts, 2 t-bars, 45 installations in the whole Jungfrau Region. 35 snow machines are installed to garantie snow sure conditions from December to April.
Don't miss Allmendhubel - a small mountain close to Muerren with a hight of 1912 meters above sea-level. This might be an interesting alternative to Schilthorn / Piz Gloria, in case that the higher mountain-levels are hidden in the haze on a foggy day.
The view from Allmendhubel is similar to the one from the village of Muerren, BUT you see everything from a place 300 meters higer than there.
It will always depend on the weather, that could change really fast in that area.
Allmendhubel is also included in most of the pre-paid train-tickets !!
The wide distances that the cablecar to the Schilthorn / Piz Gloria has to go made it necessary to construct the cablecar by different stations, where you have to change from one cablecar to the other. The last such station is BIRG - 2577 meters above sea-level - and of course you may also start hiking down to Muerren from that place instead of continuing to Schilthorn / Piz Gloria.
Something quite interesting and unique is also the meter that shows the hight above the sealevel, while driving up the mountain by cablecar.
Don't miss the James-Bond decorations at the souvenir-shop on top of Schilthorn. These graffities are a bit hidden behind the small self-service-bar in the back of the souvenir-shop. Great memories of the movie "In her majesty's service" are coming back, when seeing these graffities. In that movie Piz Gloria is something like a beauty-farm, where the most beautiful girls were educated and got a fragrence as a souvenir at the end of their stay. That fragrance included a poison that would bring danger to the world... but of course James solves all of the problems.
Muerren is full of such great water-wells and when walking to the cablecar you will pass by many of them. Just fill up your water-bottles, the water comes freshly out of the mountains and tastes really great. Of course you may buy bottled water also in the supermarkets and in machines at all of the stations, but the price is at least 2 sfr / 1,50 euros for half a liter and the taste is not really special compared to the fresh mountain-water you may get for free.
Muerren has a lovely small church close to the path, that is leading through the village. Take a look inside, there is nothing very special, in fact the interior is rather simple but it still interesting and from the terrace of the church you will also have a great view on the surrounding mountains.
You may enter the church freely and without restrictions during the day.
Muerren is a lovely village and you may see a good part of it, while walking from the trainstation to the cablecar-station. You will need about 15-20 minutes for that distance, on a flat and easy path through the village. You will pass by plenty of old wooden houses, beautifully decorated with flowers and a lot of hunting-trophees and antiques. You will also be able to buy a lunch-box including "es ichlemmts" - that is the swiss word for Sandwich ( ein "Eingeklemmtes" ).
Schilthorn / Piz Gloria with a hight of 2970 meters is one of the most popular mountains of Switzerland, mainly because it gave the background scenery for the james Bond-movie "On her Majesty's Service". Besides J.Bond Schilthorn offers a perfect 360 degree-panorama including Eiger, Moench, Jungfrau,Mont Blanc, the Lake Thun, Schyniggeplatte, the mountains around Bern and Fribourg and plenty of others. Schilthorn is the traditional name and Piz Gloria is the name that the Schilthorn got 1968 in the James-Bond-movie. Still today plenty of tourists mainly go up there in order to see the place where the movie was made.
In the souvenir-shop on ground-floor (USA:1st floor) you even have a large section in the self-service-bar, decorated in 007-style , and of course the shops offer a wide range of 007-souvenirs !!
On 2nd floor you will find a revolving restaurant and there is a large platform behind the restaurant-building as well - the perfect place for your pictures !!
From that platform / terrace you may step down the mountain and walk down to M?rren, BUT it is ONLY possible and advisable for experienced and well-equipped hikers (or Paragliders, as you may see in my sporting-tips) !!
More about prices, timetables etc. - take a look at my transportation-tips !
Muerren is a well-known skiing-resort about 25km south of Interlaken, high above the valley in a hight of 1650 meters. There is NO public road up the mountains there, and ONLY local people may use their (very few) cars in Muerren. The fact, that Muerren is car-free makes the village a perfect place for a quiet vacation and a great area to go skiing or hiking. When you go up from Lauterbrunnen by cablecar (via Stechelberg & Gimmelwald) or by train (from Lauterbrunnen) you will realize that all goods have to be taken up by these means of transportation - a fact that is responsible for extra-high prices in Muerren !!