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The Goldeneye 007 Bungee Jump - Verzasca, Switzerland

In honor of the release of the new Bond movie Skyfall, and because I’m a huge 007 fan, I decided to tell the story of one of the highlights of my adrenaline filled adventures …the Goldeneye jump. Located in a small town up the mountainside from Lake Maggiore in Switzerland lies an impressive structure known at the Verzasca Dam. Despite the amazing surroundings of the Swiss Alps and mountain lakes, what sets this place apart from all others is a tiny structure right in the center built only for one purpose: to be one the world’s highest bungee jumps.

At a whopping 220 meters (721 ft) this jump dwarfs most others, except the Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa at 216 meters, and was the worlds highest jump until 2006 when the Macau Tower added a jump that was 13 meters higher. Regardless, this is an epic event. If your wondering about the name…yep…watch the first scene of the 007 movie Goldeneye and you will see Pierce Brosnan do the exact jump.

Now imagine a young kid about 15 years old in 1995 watching James Bond doing what is clearly one of the most epic bungee jumps of all time right on your TV. And also imagine that this same kid has no fear of heights. Well from that that point on that kid…I mean.. I made it my mission to do that jump. If I would have only done two things in my life, it would have been that jump and going to Machu Picchu. In fact alot of what fueled my drive to explore Europe after college was inspired by the exact purpose of somehow getting my ass to Verzasca, Switzerland.

Anyways, long story short after making my way down through France and the rest of Switzerland in June of 2010 I had finally reached my goal. I was on the shores of Lake Maggiore, staying in Locarno, bitting my nails with excitement. I was scheduled to jump the following day, but couldn’t hold back the anticipation so I drove up the mountainside in my tiny Euro rental car just to get a glimpse from the top of that dam. It was magnificent. Huge, sparse, minimal….epic. I could barely sleep all night. The next morning I arrived on time and paid what to most would be a pretty large amount (over 200 euros), but to me was nothing to fulfill a dream like this. Ten minutes of suiting up and instruction and I was standing above the abyss. This wasn’t my first bungee jump…no that was in Costa Rica, but this was by far the biggest. More than three times larger than any I had done before. With my toes hanging over the platform edge, a quick smile to my girlfriend who was videotaping it, and a 3…2….1… I was in space.

If you’ve never been bungee jumping it’s a feeling like no other. It’s not like skydiving, of which I did quite a bit in college. In skydiving, there is less of a the sensation of falling…the butterflies. When you bungee jump though, imagine the most butterflies you’ve ever felt and multiply it by ten. For an adrenaline junkie like Borneo…it’s a feeling of bliss, serenity, excitement, and pure raw aliveness all rolled into one. It only lasted about 7 seconds before the bungee tugged me back to reality. But during those seconds…that is something I will never forget.

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