Hello my faithful bloganaughts and a very good evening from Zweisimmen in the Bernese Oberland mountains of Switzerland.
This is the view from my hotel balcony, nice eh?
First off, let’s get down to Bond business. Did he do it as Fleming wrote? I doubt it.
Bond had watched his quarry eat a picnic then head off along the N.79 to Macon. Our boy gets to the eastern outskirts of Macon at 13:00hrs, the traffic was busy and he needed to fill up and check the water and oil.
He follows Goldfinger over the river into St Laurent, then rams Tilly Masterson’s Triumph. After a suitable exchange about blame, Bond is coerced to take the girl to Geneva, but she is dispatched to buy lunch! “A quarter of an hour later they were on their way”.
The intimation is made that it will take them two hours to the Swiss city, it took me three and I cut the corner at Bourg en Bresse, never mind it’s still a good read!
Macon was lovely this morning, it’s quite a mixed place some parts are not so good, but the old town is great and very French, if you get the drift.
The Hotel de Ville.
This is the bridge that Bond and Goldfinger use to cross the Saône, one of the great rivers of France.
From Bourg, Harley and I nosed off towards the Jura mountains and crossed the Gorges de L’Ain at Pont de Serrieres.
The road steadily climbs into the limestone scenery, which is made up of the same kind of oolitic limestone rock that forms the Cotswold Hills. Jurassic period of geological history gets it’s name from the Jura Mountains, where the rock was first identified; Jura is actually an old Celtic word meaning “wooded” and they certainly are that!
Also in the Jura we came across Fort de L’Écluse an amazing fortress built on two separate levels to protect France from invasion via the Rhone gorge by the warlike Swiss! It was near here that Bond stopped for lunch with Tilly.
As we neared the Swiss border we departed from Bond’s route, the book takes him into Geneva and then onto Coppet where he discovers Goldfinger’s factory…we’ll catch up with Jimmy tomorrow; today we headed for Evian les Bains, where the famous mineral water comes from, on the shores of Lac Leman (that’s Lake Geneva in English).
Gotta say I was pretty under impressed with Evian; it’s like an upmarket Blackpool that doesn’t know what to spend it’s money on, except blue rinses and fake tans!
The local accent is also pretty hard to understand too, but the lake …… blimey we’ve just ridden to Lac Leman, that’s awesome! So is the lake.
The road from Evian to the Swiss border was less than impressive and well past it’s sell by date. Then, bingo, pass through the border gate and there’s Swiss efficiency for you, the road becomes lovely and smooth, like a bar of their chocolate!
I had to drop into Montreux and say hello to an old friend, Freddy Mercury late of the band Queen, I can’t believe it is nearly 24 years since he died. He had a home in Montreaux and after his death a bronze statue was sited on the shores of the lake in memory of him. The music of Queen became synonymous with innovation, slick production, constant surprises and good old rock and roll. I can still remember the awe that I felt when Bohemian Rhapsody was first released! Freddie was the front man to measure all others against and yes, his lifestyle was instrumental in his demise, but a world without Freddie would have been much less colourful and fun! So, you great pretender, I salute you and say thanks for the music and the memories.
Leaving Montreux we immediately started climbing, lovely bends everywhere on the way to Col Des Mosses, 1445m (4741ft).
From there it was but a short trundle to Zweisimmen at 945m.
Todays milage 201; yesterday’s, cos I forgot to post it was 346. The trip total so far is 892.
Back on the Bond trail tomorrow, film version this time!
For I must be travelling on now, cos there’s to many places I gotta see.