I met Sam four years ago in the Engadine. We were both part of the International Women MTB Summit. Our shared passion for dogs, Rival Sons, van life, photography and biking was the foundation for a wonderful friendship. Since then we have been on trips together in the Pyrenees, Norway and Sweden. I love spending time with Sam because no idea is too crazy for her. She loves to swim in cold wild rivers or even camp in a tent when it's minus temperatures and snow outside. It’s fair to say, Sam is “my sister from another mister” or as she says I am her “Swiss twin.” Let me introduce Sam.
We had big plans for 2020. We wanted to tour the Alps with our bikes and sleeping bags and tell our story in a book. But as we all know, 2020 was different. It was almost impossible to plan anything. So we have to postpone our big plan until, well, indefinitely I guess. In the end, dreams are still there to dream, am I right?
Nevertheless, we hadn’t given up on our dreams completely. In August, Sam was on the road in Europe going from one photo job to the next and Switzerland was only a short detour. Spontaneously, she made a stop at my home in Flims. The weather forecast wasn’t we had wasn’t the best, but we definitely made the most of our short time together.
I’ve been living in Flims for just over a year, and it was the endless opportunities for biking, skiing and the shared passion to be outside in nature in general that brought me to this corner of the canton of Graubünden. I’ve spent the past few years constantly on the road, and after getting a job in a marketing agency in Ilanz, it’s a lovely feeling to finally feel at home in one place, so I was very excited with the chance to show Sam my home that I’ve come to love so much.
Flims is located near Chur and Laax, which offers the perfect mix of nature and urban culture for me. The small village has its own big biking community, but the local tourism organization itself does not push biking enormously. I can get on my bike every day, either for a little after-work ride in the forest or at the weekend with the cable cars up into higher places within the ski area of Flims-Laax-Falera. That's exactly what makes it the perfect place to live for me. The area has a tremendous amount of trail combinations to offer, for example, you can ride from the Vorab glacier at 2700 m.a.s.l. down into the valley to Ilanz at 700 m.a.s.l. on almost exclusively single trails.
Knowing Sam, I’m aware of her weakness for mountains and breathtaking landscapes, so I tried to take her to the most stunning spots. The view over the Segnesboden and the Tschingelhörnern wich are part of the Sardona UNESCO World Heritage, took her breath. Such a picturesque high plateau and with magical mountains all around. Of course for Sam, a quick jump in the water was essential, even at 2000m.
We took the trail over the ridge at Nagens down to Flims village. We treat ourselves with a quick lunch at the local Cafe Ella. In the afternoon I took Sam to Bargis, from there a rooty, technical trail lead us all the way down to the crystal clear blue and green shimmering Cresta Lake. Of course, Sam had to jump into the refreshing mountain lake again.
As the evening drew in, a thunderstorm, followed by a cold snap rolled into the valley and this signalled the end of our short adventure. We headed back for the night and instead of a plan for a BBQ, we went for the first fondue of the Season despite it only being the beginning of Autumn!
It was lovely to have Sam with me, we talked a lot, laughed and just enjoyed the time we had together. We definitely made the best of a short trip.
I think the precious time that is available for fun at the moment is very valuable and should be snapped up at any opportunity. In the last year, I have definitely learned to appreciate the little things more. The local trails, my home, my friends, my family. And I think that's a good thing and something we should all definitely carry in our hearts.
Stay safe out there!
You'll find more of our recent trips here:Exploring Nordfjord By Bike and BoatDiscovering the Endless Trails of the Pyrenees Orientales