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Permanent Tourist

A personal website by Mark Howells-Mead

Furka Pass, Switzerland

The Furka Pass, between Gletsch in canton Wallis and Realp in canton Uri, is one of the high alpine pass routes, only open between June and (approximately) October because of heavy winter snow falls in the region. The pass road is well known to James Bond fans, as it was featured in Goldfinger in 1964.

(Watch out for Bond’s radar display: it shows Goldfinger to be near Lake Geneva… 300km away from the scene through which he passed just moments before!)

The road is a great scenic route and one which is well worth taking your time over: start in Uri if you can and time your day to arrive on the western part of the route, heading up to the Grimsel Pass, for later in the day. That way, the view back to the Hotel Belvédère and the rocky slopes which once held the lower reaches of the Rhone Glacier will be lit photogenically by low sunlight.

If you have time, park up on the Grimsel Pass road and watch the sunset happen in reverse: seeing the shadows working their way up from the valley until the reach the hotel and onward until the view is in darkness.