Posted on 27/10/2016
Once a Fireballer….
My partner Colin and I completed the Fireball Rally Swiss James Bond Challenge in September. This challenge was to drive through 8 European Countries in 4 days camping overnight.
We started our challenge in Calais after a very early start to reach the ferry from Friday night’s campsite, and made our own way down through a very wet France to just outside Geneva, where our campsite for the night was on the shores of Lac Leman.
Sunday broke still under layer of cloud, as we waved goodbye to other teams and set off to see the sites. We drove up the Grimsel Pass to see where they filmed Tilly Masterson attempting to shoot Goldfinger from the film of the same name. We had to stop and have lunch to let our brakes cool down. We then continued onto the Furka Pass, having met a herd of cattle being brought in by the farmer, to a small Glacier that you can walk inside; this is directly opposite the Hotel Belvedere also in the film. We stopped at Aldermatt, where the petrol station under the hotel is where Tilly Masterson was taken by James Bond. The only thing that’s changed is the petrol pumps are no longer there (see picture). We also visited the Dam used in the opening sequence of GoldenEye. We were not brave enough to bungee jump from it, another Fireballer did though!
Monday broke bright in Italy but not for long. We drove out of Italy back to Switzerland and gave our brakes a rest by taking a train through the Vereina tunnel. This took us to Kloisters, then to Liechtenstein, where it was far too wet to look at the views from the castle. Instead we went for coffee at the Opera house in Austria on the banks of Lake Konstanz, as used in Quantum of Solace, then up through Germany and France to avoid massive road works at Stuttgart. We then camped for our last night all Fireballers together in a forest in Germany.
This left two countries to conquer. Luxemburg we literally passed through opting to visit Spa Francorchamps Grand Prix circuit. Unfortunately we timed it wrong; the Aston Martin team were testing but they all came in for lunch as we were there. We then completed the challenge driving through Belgium and France back to Calais where we met up with another few Fireballers on the ferry.
An amazing trip to which this summary does not really do justice. 2111 miles covered, totally exhausting, lovely and mad people, great roads, appalling roads, lots of mist and rain, some sun, but yes we would do it again another year to different destinations. A very big thank you to all who sponsored us and with gift aid we have raised over £750.
Visit http://www.fireballrally.co.uk/ for future rallies and run, and hopefully you’ll be inspired to take part too!
…Always a Fireballer