Mürren – Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Stupendous Scenery and the World’s Most Dramatically Sited Revolving Restaurant
The Bernese Oberland is no secret: the most popular destination in Switzerland merits the year-round tourism it receives thanks to mountain villages such as the tiny, traffic-free Mürren. Facing the dramatic Jungfrau massif from its perch on a balcony-like ledge above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, it is the highest year-round inhabited village in the canton. Its high-altitude location is accessible only by cog railway or cable car.
Mürren is considered the birthplace of downhill racing in its modern form (beginners, go elsewhere); the first-ever slalom race was organized here in 1924. The local Arlberg- Kandahar race is now regarded as the unofficial world championship of the alpine countries. Nothing rivals the challenging 9-mile run with staggering views from the Schilthorn. It’s just as popular with nonskiers who hop on the cable car for the 360-degree panorama of peaks, lakes, and year-round snowfields from its 9,742-foot summit, Piz Gloria.
The summit’s eponymous revolving restaurant was made world-famous by the 1969 James Bond thriller On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and its incomparable eagle’s-nest setting is said to take in some 200 peaks. Designed like a big-windowed alien spaceship (who else could have built it up there?) anchored to the alpine bedrock, Piz Gloria offers an incomparable panoramic vista, and the James Bond pasta special and 007 dessert made with five scoops of ice cream do their best to live up to the view.