I haven’t been to Murren for a while. I cleared the idea of a day trip with higher authority (Mrs IS) and today I was on my way with the larks.
I mentioned Murren a couple of weeks ago. Wengen and Grindelwald are pretty much interchangeable; the villages are different, but the skiing is shared in the most part and even a day trip to Furst – on the far side of Grindelwald – seems a local jaunt. Wengen and Grindelwald ski instructors are seen on the same pistes, day in, day out.
Murren is closer actually than Furst. Though it involves a trip to Lauterbrunnen and another journey up the other side of the valley, my skis hit the snow at Winteregg forty minutes after leaving Wengen.
Despite that, it seems a place apart; like Miss Havisham, wrathed in white and slightly aloof it is more distant than you might think. The village is happy to keep itself to itself. Murren ski instructors are rarely seen in Wengen and I suppose almost never at Furst.
After a few runs at Winteregg, made in wonderful early morning conditions, I went through Murren itself. The village is beautiful and dramatic, sat as it is on the edge of a vertiginous drop to the Lauterbrunnen valley. As I mentioned last time though, the village is quite large and the population very small; when it is a great skiing day like today, the village has an empty feel as if everyone has been abducted by aliens to ski on Mars.
So on to the Schilthorn. The photograph shows the mountain top and Piz Gloria in, well, full glory:
If you look carefully, you can just see Ernst Stavro Blofeld. The producers of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service paid to finish the restaurant, the developers having run short of money, in return for filming rights.
I said before it is steep. Be careful before you open the door:
Actually, I think that was just a convenient place to put the notice, but I like the idea.
The high but often shorter pistes of Murren gave up 9,274 vertical metres in 27 lift rides.