007 Travelers Interview: Myrtha Zwahlen / Hotel Jungfrau, Lauterbrunnen

007 Travelers Interview: Myrtha Zwahlen / Hotel Jungfrau, Lauterbrunnen

September 14, 2014 0 By 007 Travelers

007 Travelers visited Hotel Jungfrau, Lauterbrunnen, and had an honour to meet Mrs. Myrtha Zwahlen. 

We would also like to thank Zhao Xiangdong of Hotel Jungfrau, Lauterbrunnen for organizing this meeting.

We asked her about her hotel, about James Bond and traveling and of course filming of 007 movie “On Her Majesty´s Secret Service” (1969), starring George Lazenby.

Myrtha Zwahlen

Who: Myrtha Zwahlen (former owner of Hotel Jungfrau, Lauterbrunnen)
Where: Hotel Jungfrau, Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
When: 18 July 2014

007 Connection: “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service“‘s (1969) telephone booth scene, where Bond tries to contact London by phone, was filmed in the parking lot of Hotel Jungfrau and hotel itself is visible also a short time when Bond and Tracy drive along the street in front of the hotel with their Mercury Cougar.

1. So, you owned Hotel Jungfrau, Lauterbrunnen for 20 years?
Yes, it was from 1963 to 1983. My husband bought the hotel in 1963 and we sold it in 1983 and moved over there (shows the house opposite of Hotel Jungfrau). We had both the Hotel Kreuz and Jungfrau, but we only had them only for a short time.

2. And did the current owners buy the hotel from you?
No, the first buyer, he was not here a long time, but he sold it again,and the next owner owned the hotel for 27 years, but sold the hotel to Mr. Zhao in April or May this year (2014).

3. Can you tell us something about the filming of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969)? We know some places, like the telephone booth scene was filmed here.
Yes, it was over there in the parking lot. And then there is the place at the top of the Schilthorn (Piz Gloria) and then there was an ice-rink, where the car racing was.

Article from Mrs. Zwahlen’s archive

4. You said earlier that Mr. Lazenby was not the most likeable man…
No, but Diana Rigg, she was a very, very nice lady. 
Sometimes when they had to go out during a meal and when they came back, my husband asked nicely “Shall I heat the food?” and things like that, Diana Rigg always said: “No, no, no need to”, but Mr. Lazenby always said “I don’t like this and I don’t like that” and complained about everything. He was here when they opened the Bond World 007, but I didn’t go there.

5. Did some of the cast and crew stay in the Hotel Jungfrau?
Some of them stayed in Mürren, some of them had to stay in Grindelwald, but mostly they stayed in Mürren. But some people ate in the hotel’s restaurant. Diana Rigg wanted champagne in the morning.

Article from Mrs. Zwahlen’s archive

6. Who is your favourite James Bond actor?
Diana Rigg. I liked her so much. Then there was Blofeld (Telly Savalas), but he was only here a short time.

Most of the James Bond actors (leading male role) I like Roger Moore, Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan. I like these three. George Lazenby was new and he had not acted before. It is a pity that Roger Moore was not in the movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969).

And the man who gave the money, Albert Broccoli, oh, he was a nice man. He ate here as well and he asked was everything OK, sometimes he came and payed for everything and he was such a nice man.

7. How about other producer Harry Saltzman, was he also here?
Yes, but I didn’t know him. He was always busy, came in and went out all the time. An active man.

8. The best Bond movie?
I can’t tell you exactly which one. “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969) has a special meaning. I don’t like crime movies, but I will watch Bond movies when they come on television.

9. Which is the best place where you have traveled so far?
We travelled a lot, but not anymore. We went to Canada to see my sister, we stayed there for few days and then we moved down to California. That we liked, the States.
10. Which is the place where you would like to visit but have not been yet?
I would like to go to Scandinavia. Nowadays, it is much easier to travel to countries.

Article from Mrs. Zwahlen’s archive
Article from Mrs. Zwahlen’s archive

See more 007 Travelers Interviews here