OK, so this was originally going to be a simple report about how I have found the locations used in the 1964/5 Bond film “Goldfinger”….would that it was that simple!
This morning the central part of Switzerland was wet, very, very wet and cold too. Got on the road after a good rest in Zweisimmen, lovely hotel to boot, Sonegg Hotel Garni. It’s just reopened after a top to bottom rebuild and is run by a delightful and attentive young family who are determined to look after their guests the best they can, which is very well indeed, very comfortable room, beautifully clean, good breakfast, excellent coffee. Highly recommended, Harley even got a garage rest in too!
The run down the Simme valley was interesting, those lovely smooth Swiss roads are a tad tricky in the wet!
Quick run along the Autoroute next to Lake Thun and into Interlaken, I really wish I had some nice photos to show you, but nice it was not!
I popped into Interlaken to see if had changed much since last time I was there, about 40 years ago…not really, still a bit tacky and up-market at the same time, a peculiarly strange trait that some places seem to pull off!
Whilst there I thought it would be a good idea to put my rain suit on, cos normally it works by getting me too hot and scaring the rain away, today it failed on both counts…more rain and I got cold!
Still heading East we passed Lake Brienz, there were about five tunnels I think, really warm and humid inside causing instant visor mist up, one tunnel even had it’s own cloud of fog in the middle, weird.
After Brienz we swung South and started the climb towards the Grimsel Pass.
The weather started to get worse and colder, as we climbed we entered into the zone where snow was still laying by the road, but then there was snow in the air as well! Then visibility came down even more as mist joined in the party! My visor was covered in sticky snow, but if I opened it the stuff was like sand being thrown in my eyes.
Just as I thought about trying to find somewhere to stop and turn around, I came up behind a transit van belonging to a local business, he was going on and I figured he knew the road, so I decided to tough it out and follow him! It soon felt like a pretty stupid decision as the snow got much, much, worse and the wind was gusting savagely.
I’m normally in my element in the mountains, but then I’m normally on foot and not having to nurse a third of a tonne Harley Davidson who definitely was not in her element! I was, to be, honest bricking it!
Eventually we got to the top of the pass, 2165m (7106 ft), and had a breather. The last quarter of a mile had been grim, in places the wet snow was about four inches deep and I had been riding with feet down as outriggers! At the pass the road swings around the mountain and is comparatively sheltered, it was wet and there was some snow, but nothing like what we had just been through.
Dropping down the zigzags to Gletch was fun as well, mighty slippery in places, but OK. This it what it looks like on a fine day, however I wouldn’t know cos I couldn’t see a thing!
I paused for breath in Gletch and had a think what to do. From there I could see most of the way up the Furka Pass, should I risk it? I quick word with couple of Belgian bikers settled it, if they could do it, so could I after what we had just dealt with! So up we went and it was OK as well. True there was a lot of snow next to the road and it was cold, but by the top I felt pretty good about things.
Then blow me, what should drive up and park next to Harley?
Only a bloody Aston Martin, with British plates on it, that’s what!
Wrong model, wrong colour….but an Aston Martin on the Furka Pass!!!!!!!
Cue Bond music please Moneypenny!
The car was driven by a super couple from Scotland, er wasn’t Bond from Scotland too?
They were well up on Goldfinger, hence why they were there!
I’m sure he called her M, or was it Emma? Dodgy hearing these days!
Love that anticline in the rocks behind as well…
The run down to Realp and Andermatt was fairly grim. Unfortunately two locations from the film were enveloped by cloud, I’ll do a separate post with some comparisons in due course, as time is pushing on and I’m pretty knack’d right now!
Anyway, after the Bond excitement Harley and I pushed on to our last Pass of the day the legendary Simplon on the way to the Swiss/Italian border. By Oberwald the weather had got much better, in Brig it was getting warmer and at the Pass the rain suit came off!
Tonight I am in Domodossola, Italy. It’s now 23:30hrs local time and the thermometer is reading 23.4 degrees…I’ve just about warmed up!
Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dreams….