•                 City of Kitzbühel

    Romantic Adventures à la James Bond

    Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, stayed in Kitzbühel from 1927 to 1930, where he learned a lot about love and the art of skiing.

    At the time, the young Brit was far from becoming a celebrated cult author; rather, he was regarded as a late-pubescent rebel. Alcohol excesses and affairs with women caused him to be expelled from several elite English schools. As a last resort, his parents sent him to a private school in Kitzbühel. No sooner had he arrived in the distant Alpine town when the 19-year-old fell in love with Lisl Popper, a waitress eight years his senior.

    It is unknown how much Lisl was able to teach the unbridled Briton about love, but it is certain that she introduced him to the ski instructors in town. They used to take Fleming on their tours to the Kitzbüheler Horn. Skiing history had already been written on the almost 2,000-meter-high local mountain of this Alpine town, where winter sports pioneer Franz Reisch made his first turns in the snow as early as 1893. Reisch's written descriptions of "racy fun" were probably not unknown to Fleming either. Like other British visitors to Kitzbühel, he plunged towards the valley on two boards with intrepid enthusiasm.

    Kitzbüheler Horn

    It all began in Kitzbühel

    "They say that Ian Fleming was a very good skier," says Michael "Gugu" Tyszkiewicz, who has studied the Kitzbühel period of the 007 creator's life. "I'm convinced that the many ski scenes in the James Bond books and films were inspired by Fleming's time in Kitzbühel." Gugu Tyszkiewicz became aware of Ian Fleming's time in Kitzbühel when he worked at the Hotel Tennerhof a few years ago. In the 1920s, it housed the Alfred Adler private school that Fleming had attended.

    The head of the school was also an agent of MI 6, and his wife Phyllis Bottome, who also taught at the school, wrote many adventurous novels and short stories. Supposedly, the influence of the two conspiratorial educators gave rise to Fleming's famous creation of James Bond. In any case, Ian Fleming never forgot Kitzbühel, and neither did his lover Lisl Popper. In 1938, he procured a visa for England for the Jewish woman and thus saved her from Nazi persecution.

    KRAFTalm in Itter, Kitzbühel Alps