James Bond holiday locations #3 – Switzerland

While most Bond fans are aware of James Bond’s paternal Scottish lineage, many who have not read the books are unaware that his mother was actually Swiss; Bond’s (premature) obituary in You Only Live Twice tells us that his mother was Monique Delacroix of the Canton de Vaud.

Piz Gloria, from On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Bond visits Switzerland while engaged on two missions; the first time is in Goldfinger, when he tails Goldfinger’s Rolls Royce through France and into Switzerland in his Aston Martin (DB Mark III in the book, DB5 in the film). While the book sees 007 spend an evening in Geneva, in the film he follows the Rolls Royce all the way to Goldfinger’s factory, where Bond first learns of Operation Grand Slam.

Switzerland featured more spectacularly in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, when 007 visits Piz Gloria as the guest of Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Posing as Sir Hilary Bray, Bond uncovers Blofeld’s plot to brainwash his clinic’s “patients” into unleashing biological warfare against the United Kingdom and, along the way, gets married.

City

Visit Geneva, as James Bond did in the novel Goldfinger, where you can stay at the Hôtel des Bergues. You may also like to eat at the same restaurant as Bond in the same novel; although the original “Bavaria” closed its doors in 1979, it was at one time in the early 20th century a favourite of many League of Nations officials.

Today it is “Relais de l’Entrecôte” and specialises in a really pared down menu; salad, followed by sirloin steak and French fries; that’s it, no choice! The food is good though and the restaurant extremely popular.

Inland

While many people think of Switzerland as being a permanent glacier, in fact the weather in the summer can be quite mild and if you’re fond of walking in the mountains, or prefer a cooler climate than offered by the Mediterranean, then this could be the holiday for you.

Whatever the time of year there is always snow and ice at the peaks of some of the peaks and where better to go than Piz Gloria? The restaurant is about to reopen its Bond exhibition and so if you’re in the area be sure to allow half a day or so to take the cable car ride up to the top and see the same views as George Lazenby and Diana Rigg.

Beach

Being landlocked, Switzerland has no coastline. However, it does have a number of lakes where you can swim, including Geneva (above).

Getting there

EasyJet flies to Geneva from a number of airports across the UK, including Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. For Piz Gloria you can fly to Geneva or Zurich, take the train to Interlaken, where you purchase another ticket to take you by train to Lauterbrunnen and then a bus to the cable car station; the entire journey from Interlaken takes around 90 minutes.

Further reading

on-the-tracks-of-007In On the Tracks of 007, Martijn Mulder and Dirk Kloosterboer take a comprehensive look at locations that appear in the films up to Quantum of Solace.

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