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Aug
15

For the past three years, I have taken an annual mother-daughter trip to Switzerland to spend time with family members that we have in the canton of Ticino near Locarno. Ticino is an incredible summer destination, known for its incredible mountainous geography and one of Europe’s largest film festivals—the Locarno Film Festival.

However, one fun film fact is that Ticino is also home to the filming location of what was dubbed by one poll to be the “best movie stunt of all time.” The Verzasca Dam in the Verzasca Valley is the 25th largest dam in the world, and in 1995 was the filming location of the opening scene of GoldenEye, in which James Bond (played by Pierce Brosnan) bungee jumps from what is supposedly the Arkangel Chemical Weapons Facility in the Soviet Union. Nowadays, thrill-seekers from all over the globe flock to the dam so they, too, can bungee jump like James Bond.

My family mentioned taking a trip to Verzasca Valley for Switzerland’s National Day, and I secretly made a promise to myself, that as long as the line to bungee jump wasn’t terribly long, I would have to make the plunge. I immediately regretted my decision once I saw the massive Verzasca Dam, looming in the distance on my approach into the valley.

At the top of the dam, the area was packed with young adults waiting their turn for the thrill of a lifetime. “If they can do it,” I told myself, “so can I.” I marched over to the trailer used as an office, paid the 225 CHF (about US$235), asked for a release form and began to sign my life away.

The company that operates the bungee jump has the operation down like clockwork, and in less than an hour more than a dozen jumpers had jumped. Soon, the time had come. With my bare feet hanging slightly off the edge of the platform, I took a big gulp, let out a scream and began the harrowing seven-second, 220-meter descent alongside a giant wall of concrete.

Now, I can proudly say, “I jumped like James Bond.” For other ways to be just like everybody’s favorite international spy, check out our TravelMuse article, “Be Like Bond, James Bond.” Or, leave your suggestions about other ways to be like 007.

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