The Schilthorn

You know that vague memory you have of an old James Bond movie that takes place in a 60's chic round building perched on top of snow covered mountains, and populated with fur-clad Bond girls?

We went there. (I'm just barely containing my nerdy freak out right now.)

Just a couple of days after visiting the glory of the Matterhorn, Jacob and I set off for a day of driving and exploring with Daniela. We drove into the heart of the Alps via Lucern, our goal: to make it up to the top of the Schilthorn to see the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains.

Switzerland is an exciting place to drive. As you get closer to the Alps the view gets progressively more magnificent, the roads winding up through forests, and down into valleys striped with glacier fed streams.

Jacob and I have already decided that we will return one summer when we have lots of money, and drive a fabulous car (I would choose an Aston Martin, Jacob would take an Audi R8) around these mountain roads.

This time around however, we could have ridden donkeys there and would have been just as thrilled (albeit a bit colder). Just being amongst these mountains is an incredible privilege.

It was a cold and windy day, our stops relegated to just enough time to snap a photo and run back to the car. We saw a Swiss flag so torn and frozen by the elements that it looked like it had gone through a battle zone.

We arrived at the base of the Schilthorn, the walls of the valley obscured in thick cloud. You could physically feel the impressiveness of the mountains; we were truly standing at the feet of giants.

Assured that the view from the top was clear, we started our first of four gondola rides to the Schilthorn. We were joined on the gondola by a group of base jumpers, who would soon be throwing themselves off the cliffs we were ascending.

It got progressively colder as we went up. (Well "duh", you might be thinking - but I mean it got cold.) It was a little unnerving to watch the thermostat drop even further at every gondola station.

Once we were up this high, watching skiers (apparently) ski off the edge of a mountain, we still hadn't reached the top.

On the last gondola it occurred to me that we might die here. Seeing this looming in front of you is slightly frightening:

Thankfully we soon rose above the clouds and saw our last stop - the Schilthorn.

The famous round restaurant featured in the 60's Bond movie "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", is actually a rotating restaurant, providing an ever changing 360 degree view of the mountains. We sat down for lunch, making sure not to put any of our stuff on the part of the wall that would rotate away from us.

Oh yeah, and it was COLD. 

After a lovely lunch we ventured out onto the terrace that wraps around the restaurant.

Were it not for the cold, we could have easily been there all day.

And this is the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau (left to right).

Lastly, a panorama of the mountains Jacob took on his phone. (Click on the photo to see it bigger)

"Magnificent" doesn't even come close. We reluctantly left the Schilthorn and started home just as the sun was beginning to set. It was an incredible day - one we will remember and talk about for a long time.

Little did we know (literary trick to keep you interested and looking for the next post), we had a few more ridiculously wonderful adventures in the Alps ahead of us.