What has DebConf13 got in common with James Bond? The connection with Switzerland of course. Bond creator Ian Flemming actually spent time living in Switzerland and this beautiful alpine country was featured in more than one of his books/movies, including Goldfinger

On Her Majesty's Secret Service took Commander Bond to the summit of the Schilthorn, a distinctive peak of 2,970m altitude in the center of Switzerland.

To follow up on my recent Glacier Express and Righ Bahn rack railway videos, here is a video of the second leg of the dramatic four-stage cable car journey to the top of Schilthorn:

Download and watch later: .m4v .webm

Some observations about Schilthorn visits:

  • There is a revolving restaurant at the top - to get a seat by the window, which is by far the best place to sit, ring and make a reservation the day before. Meal prices are no more extraordinary than any other Swiss restaurant, so it is worthwhile spending some time up there enjoying lunch and the views.
  • Jungfrau is higher - but from Schilthorn, you can see Jungfrau, which is a spectacular view, yet without paying the extraordinary price of a ticket for Jungfrau. The ride to Jungfrau (high altitude railway) is also slightly less spectacular, as much of it is in a tunnel through the rock, while the ride to Schilthorn is all cable car.
  • Almost all rail ticket passes give a 50% discount on the Schilthorn cable car.
  • The SBB sometimes offers an extra 30% discount on Schilthorn tickets, see the monthly `railaway' offers, which can be combined with the 50% discount. This type of ticket can't be purchased in the same region, (e.g. within about 20km of Schilthorn)
  • An easy way to save another 50% on the ticket is to walk down from the top. If you do this, plan to start very early, but it is a spectacular walk (requires hiking boots and protective clothing, snowy/slippery at most times of the year)
  • All those discounts are cumulative: so if you use them all and walk down, you only pay 0.5 * 0.7 * 0.5 (which is 17.5%) of the full price.

The next leg of the cable car journey will appear soon...

Please click here to access some of my previous blogs about Swiss travel with videos and useful ideas for day trips.