Flims, Graubünden

Jo and I pledged to one another that we will go on holiday during the first week of October every year and celebrate our wedding anniversary by visiting somewhere new together. This year, we chose the south eastern Swiss canton of Graubünden as our destination and settled on the forested ski resort of Flims Waldhaus for a three day trip. We’d checked out the area in advance and seen great views and forest walks near the two small lakes of Caumasee and Crestasee, as well as some seriously impressive mountain scenery.

Although the weather wasn’t perfect while we were away, we were blessed with dry days, allowing us to view the famous Ruinaulta gorge, also known (for obvious reasons) as the Swiss Grand Canyon. The views from a secluded viewing point, up a steep and winding path away from the main trail and busy main viewing platform “Il Spir“, were spectacular and vertiginous, making the uphill slog well worthwhile. After viewing the gorge and watching the toy-like red specks of trains passing along the bottom of the gorge many hundreds of metres below us, and stopping at the aptly named Conn restaurant, we wrapped up against the increasing wind and headed onward, downhill through the large forest to the smaller Crestasee. There, we were surprised when glancing into the glass-clear water to see a plethora of freshwater crayfish. We managed to get some fuzzy photos of them, but I have to admit that they turned my stomach a bit and so I deleted my photos once we got home. :-)

The plan for the second part of the trip was to take it a little easier and let the chairlift and cablecar take the strain, as we headed up (using a reduced visitor pass bought at our hotel reception) to the mountain top at Cassons. We knew that the views from the peak would be pretty spectacular, being 2,670 metres (8,800 feet) above sea level, but we weren’t at all prepared for the sights which greeted us when we puffed our way through the thin air to the top of the Cassons Ridge on the very top of the mountain. As well as the expected views back down to Flims’ neighbouring villages of Laax and Falera, the ridge separated the Flims valley from its neighbour, less deep but much more dramatic. The stony plateau and multitude of rough hiking tracks leading onward in all directions to the surrounding mountains and huge cliffs have re-inforced our determination that next year, we will continue to train ourselves to a better level of fitness and take on some proper high-altitude hikes.