For years I’ve had a fascination about visiting Norway. When I’m not dreaming of soaring mountains or powder fields, I’m thinking about majestic fjords, the northern lights and road trips down the Norwegian coastline. While I make plans for a longer Scandinavian adventure, I decided to end off summer with an impulse city break to Norway’s capital, Oslo. After a 2 hour flight from London and a 45 minute train from the airport to the city centre we were in the extraordinary city. What strikes you first is the fascinating combination of modern architecture with stunning natural wonders. The south of the city is overthrown by the glorious Olso Fjord scenery, and then the east and west are covered in rolling hills of forests. During our 2 nights in the city we squeezed in as many of the top attractions as we could including Ekeberg Park (Ekebergparken), the Oslo opera house (Den Norske Opera and Ballett), the Royal Palace, Vigeland Park (Vigelandsparken) and a Fjord sightseeing cruise.
Cross country skiing dates back thousands of years ago in northern Scandinavia where skis were used as transportation across the snowy landscape. Norway’s rich history is closely linked to skiing, and many ‘ski firsts’ happened in Norway, so it’s no wonder that the national landmark is a ski jump.
As our weekend adventure came to close, we saved the best attraction until last. Luckily my friend Andrea is a keen skier so there were no objections when I brought up the idea of visiting the famous Oslo ski jump.
From the city centre you can see the huge structure up on the hill and it is super easy to get to. Catch the number ‘1’ Metro (T-Bane) to Holmenkollen, we got on at the National Theatre and the journey took about 25mins. Once off the metro it is a fairly strenuous uphill walk to the ski jump, just follow the signposts that lead the way up the hill and you’ll see the jump after the 10 minute walk.
You can actually walk around the stadium and about the third of the way up the jump for free, but for the full experience and access to the views and ski museum you need to pay the entrance fee of 120NOK (approx £9.50). At the first floor you can experience the top of the ski jump and view of the 60m-high drop from a skier’s perspective. The Holmenkollen ski jump is the most modern ski jump in the world. The arena has changed considerably over the years but the standing structure was opened in 2010. This new design features world class engineering, permanent wind protection, improved snow making and more.
I can’t describe how big and steep the slope looks from the top, and the photos don’t quite do it enough justice either. I can’t believe people ski off of this!
On the second floor viewing platform there are breathtaking 360 degree views of the surrounding landscape. The mixture of scenery is just phenomenal; from the sunshine glistening off the fjord, to the acres of forest, the alpine cottages and the contemporary harbour buildings. The photos can do the talking...
The museum is so much more than just a bunch of old skis on display (which is what I expected!). It opened in 1923 and is the oldest ski museum in the world. You can discover more than 4000 years of ski history here at Homenkollen, from ancient rock carvings through to the latest ski technology.
The ski jump and arena have been rebuilt many times, these are a few models depicting the changes
Collections include the development of skis through the ages, early ski clothing, Norwegian polar exploration artefacts, snowboarding history and modern day snowsports. One of the most interesting objects on display are the first ever skis used by man.
I don’t want to give too much away as I hope you will experience the surprise and joy that I did discovering this marvellous place. Olso is a fantastic and stunning city, and the ski history running through the country’s core will delight any skiers or snowboarders farther.
If you wanted to take a city break in Oslo to the next level, travel in winter and you can explore the ski areas near the city. From Voksenkollen (4 stops on the metro line after Holmenkollen) you can take the ski bus to Oslo Winterpark which has 18 slopes and 11 lifts. You can be from the centre of Oslo to the ski area in about 30 minutes... Is there anything this city doesn’t have?
Find out more about skiing in Norway
In 2015 we will see the return of actor Daniel Craig for his fourth 007 mission, SPECTRE, as well as bond returning to the sacred ski slopes. Renowned for filming in the most spectacular locations in the world, director Sam Mendes was eager to announce that shooting will be taking place in Sölden, Obertilliach and Lake Altaussee, Austria.
In the movie, a cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to the Alps in Austria among many glamorous destinations to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
Take a look at the snowy scenes from 0:44...
Skiing, the high-octane preserve of the lone wolf perfectly captures the sophisticated and adrenaline fueled persona of James Bond.
Author Ian Fleming, of the original James Bond novels, has certainly passed his love for skiing on to his star subject. Bond has made regular appearances on the slopes; he has never performed any other sport more. With the love for skiing brimming strong in his blood from his Swiss mother, it’s no surprise he’s a natural on the hallowed slopes.
Daniel Craig in Austria for the filmimg of Spectre
Daniel Craig with co-stars Lea Seydoux and Dave Bautista
"If you are going to live the high life you've got to ski. Its action packed, it's classy, it's quintessential Bond." said comedian and Bond enthusiast Rob Deering
It’s now 15 years since the snow-loving spy was last seen on skis, when Pierce Brosnan survived a dramatic off-piste chase scene in The World Is Not Enough. It's about time he’s back on the slopes, dodging bullets, causing an avalanche and taking down henchmen, all while demonstrating the most sublime downhill technique.
As the first day of production got underway in Lake Altausse, Austria earlier this year, here at Iglu Ski we decided to take you on a journey back in time to revisit some of Bonds most hair-raising and explosive adventures on the sacred slopes.
After much deliberating, we've whittled down the list of great Bond ski scenes to present you our top 5 favorites (expect some outrageous ski attire, gadgets, stunts and even flying ski-mobiles!)
Pierce Brosnan & Elktra King expertly navigate their way down the slopes with the breath-taking mountains of Chamonix in the background, before battling villains in the sky on flying snowmobiles.
Timothy Dalton's Bond in "Living Daylights" swept down a mountain slope on a ski equipped car, and then on a cello case to escape danger and gun fire to cross the border into Osterreich, Austria.
If snowboarding down a mountain in Switzerland on a blade from a destroyed ski-mobile, while evading henchmen with California Girls by the Beach Boys playing is not quintessential Bond then nothing is.
Roger Moore As Bond produces one of the best chase sequences in the Italian Alps of Cortina D'Ampezzo, performing outrageous jumps while being chased by armed villains on motorbikes, before hurtling down a bobsleigh run while escaping the pursuit.
The most iconic sequence in the James Bond franchise is undoubtedly 'The Spy Who Loved Me', when Bond shot straight off the edge of a cliff at Baffin Island in Canada, we saw him fall and fall, and when the Union Jack parachute opened up and the theme tune kicked in, the world cheered.
Channel you’re inner Bond and take to the slopes with our fantastic ski deals. By Myles
Live the celebrity lifestyle for a week and discover some of your best-loved A-lister’s favourite ski destinations. Many celebrities set aside a week of their busy schedules each winter to go skiing in their preferred ski resorts. These chic ski towns are filled with designer shops, ritzy hotels, glamorous bars and swanky restaurants. You don’t need to be a millionaire to experience these fantastic ski areas, we offer great value ski holidays to these resorts* so you can go skiing on the same slopes as Posh and Becks without the hefty price tag. Take a look at top celebrity ski destinations:
St Moritz, Switzerland
Nestled at the heart of the largest ski area in the world, Meribel is no stranger to hosting famous people. There are very few hotels here so celebrities can enjoy the privacy of their very own luxury ski chalet holiday. The restaurants and bars aren’t as glitzy as neighbouring resort Courchevel, so this is perfect for anyone wanting some quality time with friends and family away from the crowds. You may have to look a little harder for celebrities here but many have their own properties in this charming village in the 3 Valleys. Emma Watson purchased a luxury chalet in 2008 for £1 million and now the demand for property in Meribel has increased so much that it is now rumoured to be is worth between 3-4 million. Celebrities spotted in Meribel: - Prince William and Kate Middleton - Natalie Imbruglia - Sophie Ellis-Bextor
View ski holidays in Meribel
Left to Right: Meribel ski resort. Sophie Ellis Bextor in resort, photo: The Mirror. Prince William and Kate Skiing, photo: Rex Features
Switzerland is one of the first-rate ski countries in the World. Home to iconic mountains, the most peaks over 4000 m and an elite ski scene fit for the rich and famous.Settled under the illustrious Matterhorn, Zermatt is a picturesque alpine village filled with gourmet restaurants, cosy ski chalets and world-class skiing. Celebrities spotted in Zermatt:
- Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt - Phil Collins - Vanessa-Mae and Frida Lyngstad (Abba) have homes in here
View ski holidays in Zermatt
Zermatt ski resort
With over 600 km of pistes on its doorstep, Courchevel is certainly rich in ski terrain. 1850 is the most chic of the villages which is home to six star hotels, Michelin star restaurants and glamourous shops. At peak season uber-rich Russians doned in fur lined ski wear fill the resort and can be spotted sipping their Dom Perignon at apres. This elegant ski town is full of alpine charm and a favourite of many of the Iglu team and the stars. Celebrities spotted in Courchevel: - Leonardo DiCaprio - Posh and Becks - Pippa Middleton - Geri Halliwell
View ski holidays in Courchevel
Left to Right: Courchevel ski resort. Posh and Becks, photo: Daily Mail. Leonardo DiCaprio in resort, photo: EOnline
Aspen ski resort is playground for millionaires and superstars. This ski haven is renowned for its exclusivity and harbors some of the most expensive properties in the US. With designer shops like Dior and Gucci amongst the delectable bistros, it’s no wonder this is a hot spot for the A-listers. A top location to spot a celeb is in the chic 5 star hotel The Little Nell. Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia are regular visitors to the resort, having spent 3 previous Presidents’ Day weekends skiing in Aspen. Other celebrities spotted in Aspen: - Mel Gibson - Kate Hudson - Mariah Carey - Paris Hilton - Jay Z and Beyonce - Antonio Banderas - Ben Fogle
Aspen ski resort
Famed for its annual snow Polo World Cup on the frozen lake of St Moritz, this prestigious event started more than 30 years ago and draws in more than 12 000 spectators and a host of top celebrities. At peak times, the resorts very own airport brings in more than 40 private jets a day so the rich and famous can enjoy the Swiss slopes or a ‘designer’ getaway to enjoy the fine amenities of the resort. With designer shops, exclusive sporting events and superb spas, St Moritz is always at the top of the exclusivity lists. You’ll find the biggest names in fashion here including, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Roberto Cavalli and Versace. The best places to spot a celeb in resort are Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, Break 7, Roo Bar, Hanselmann tea room and the Polo World Cup. Celebrities spotted in St Moritz: - Robbie Williams - Claudia Schiffer - George Cloony - Charlie Chaplin - Alfred Hitchcock - John Travolta - Robert De Niro - Elizabeth Hurley - Tina Turner- Naomi Campbell- Boris Becker married his model wife here
View ski holidays in St Moritz
Left to Right: St Moritz at night. Naomi Campbell, photo: Daily Mail. Boris Becker getting married in St Moritz, photo: OK
Klosters - The Royals Deer Valley - Dustin Hoffman, Bruce Springsteen and John Travolta Telluride - Tom Cruise and Oprah Verbier - Richard Branson Val d’Isere - Jamie Oliver Obertauern - The Beatles filmed ‘Help’ here Champéry- Noel Gallagher Crans Montana - Roger Moore Cortina d'Ampezzo - Peter Sellers and Frank Sinatra
Have you ever spotted a celebrity on the slopes? Tell us on Twitter @igluski
*We do not offer ski holidays in Aspen
You do not currently have any holidays in your shortlist.
You currently have in your shortlist.