It’s all there: the Bonds, the villains, the girls, the locations, the weapons, and the gadgets. And “007 Elements” on top of the Gaislachkogl mountain in Sölden, Austria, is called “cinematic installation” for a reason. It is not just an exhibition, it’s a 360-all-senses-experience, 3000 m (about 10.000 ft) above sea level.
Literally built into the mountain and opened only last summer, even the entrance is dramatic: You are walking through the “barrrel of a gun”, a reminiscence of the iconic opening scene of every Bond movie in general, and of 2015’s Spectre ,in particular.
From there, you walk onto a large balcony with a spectacular view (don’t go on a day when it’s too cloudy, the scenery is part of the installation).
Walk through the “Lobby”, where you get a brief introduction, into the “Lair”. The “Lair” is a 360-hall of mirrors, where you experience many of the famous scenes from the Bond movies throughout the decades.
Proceed to the “Briefing Room” – and “Miss Moneypenny” Naomie Harris introduces you to the many exotic locations of the 007-movies.
This includes, of course, the area around you: Sölden and the mountains of Austria. It’s dark and cold , so keep your ski clothes on, and yes, you may enter with your ski boots on your feet. Do you feel lost inside the mountain? Here is an overview of the layout of the installation, the gondola and the ice Q restaurant.
Speaking of which: the restaurant’s architecture was the inspiration for the “Hoffler Klink”, where Bond meets Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) for the first time in Spectre.
But before you enjoy the excellent food at the ice Q, (make a reservation, it can get crowded!), there is much more to see and experience inside “007 Elements”. And you are part of it. A “scan” of your arm is the entrance ticket to the world of spies. You get your own number (mine: 6067) and history: Apparently, I survived 16 bullet wounds, 24 amorous liaisons, and132 high speed pursuits, disabled 28 explosive devices, and completed 32 missions.
All this, the guns and gadgets, the technical equipment behind the scenes, is presented in the most futuristic manner – worthy of a Bond “museum”. More than once, you change the view of an exhibit with the movement of your arm.
If you pay attention skiing down, you can see at least two of the cars used in Spectre on your way downhill (hint: they are on opposite sides of the mountain, so you would have to go down twice).