James Bond over Davos

January 27 2011

In the tenth Bond novel – buy it here – Bond is sent to meet his archenemy Ernst Blofeld in his hideout in Switzerland. He goes disguised as a genealogist from the College of Arms. He is met at Zurich airport by Irma Bunt and taken by helicopter to an unknown destination, which turns out to be a mountain-top clinic near St Moritz and Pontresina called Piz Gloria.

St Moritz and Pontresina are in the same canton as Davos, ie Graubünden.

“‘He leaned back in his seat, lit a cigarette, and looked out of the window. Yes, there was the Zürichersee to part. Their course was more or less east-south-east. They were flying at about 2,000 feet. And now there was the Wallensee. Bond, apparently uninterested, took the Daily Express out of his brief-case and turned to the sports pages. He read the paper from first to last, meticulously, every now and then casting a bored glance out of the window. The big range to port would be the Rhätikon Alps. That would be the railway junction of Landquart below them. They held their course up the valley of the Pratigau [sic]. Would they keep on at Klosters or veer to starboard? Starboard it was. So! Up the Davos Valley! In a few minutes he would be flying over Tracy! A casual glance. Yes, there was Davos under its thin canopy of evening mist and smoke, while, above her, he was still in bright sunshine. At least she seemed to have had plenty of snow. Bond remembered the tremendous run down the Parsenn. Those had been the days! And now back on the old course again and giant peaks to right and left. This must be the Engadine. The Silvretta Group away to starboard, to port Piz Languard and, ahead, the Bernina range diving down like a vast ski-jump into Italy. That forest of lights away to starboard must be St Moritz! Now where? Bond buried himself in his paper. A slight veer to port. More lights. Pontresina? And now the radio began to crackle and the ‘Seat belts’ sign went up. Bond thought it time to express open interest. He gazed out. Below, the ground was mostly in darkness, but ahead the giant peaks were still golden in the dying sun. They were making straight for one of them, for a small plateau near its summit. There was a group of buildings from which golden wires swooped down into the darkness of the valley. A cable car, spangled in the sun, was creeping down. Now it had been swallowed up in the murk. The helicopter was still charging the side of the peak that towered above them. Now it was only a hundred feet up above the slope, coming in to the plateau and the buildings. The pilot’s arms moved on his joy stick. The machine pitched a little and slowed. The rotor arms swung languidly and then accelerated as the machine hovered and settled. There came a slight bump as the inflated rubber ‘floats’ met the snow, a dying whirr from the rotor and they were there.”


On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963).

The film was shot on the Schilthorn near Mürren in the Bernese Oberland.

One Response to “James Bond over Davos”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    “First to last”: not really, if he began with the sports pages.

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