I have lost my heart in Davos. It has become my personal happy place. A spot where I can refuel my energy, strengthen my inner balance, train harder than ever achieving much better results and where I can simply be myself enjoying nature or letting out my inner adrenaline junkie. Since winter is my all-time favorite season, I ended the year with a magical sports highlight at the AMERON Swiss Mountain Resort in Davos.
Fatbiking with the maxon bikedrive
You think biking season is over? The hell it isn’t. Fatbike season has officially begun and I ended the year the way I started it. Having fun in deep powder. Together with the Bike Academy Davos and the AMERON Swiss Mountain Resort I got to try a new E-Fatbike package for winter sports enthusiasts: full throttle all day long.
I admit: at first I was a bit sceptical, taking an E-Bike, since I remembered my fun ride up at Pischa, where we were just going downhill. But as soon as I hit the first trail, darn, I was so glad I had additional power. Going up through deep powder on a single trail can be difficult. The more speed I got, the easier it was going uphill, even on some trickier parts with stones and tree roots.
Full throttle through deep powder
It took me about 15 minutes getting used to this bike, getting a good feeling of how it moves, when to use more support or less. And then: HALLELUJAH! I was cruising through the valleys having a blast. Up and down, smiling, simply having fun. Seriously, for those who wanna try alternative winter sports or wanna keep riding their bike, this is it. So awesome!
It is not difficult at all. Anyone who can ride a bike, can rent this E-Fatbike, enjoying the winter wonderland. Of course, when you are new to this and don’t know the surroundings, I would recommend taking a guided tour. My personal tip: join a 2-hour fatbike tour from the Davos Klosters inside program (it is a free guest program during the winter season). Afterwards, when you got the hang of it, rent the maxon bikedrive at the AMERON and explore everything on your own.
So, let’s all ride into 2019, have fun, appreciate everything life has to offer, follow your dreams and always listen to your heart. Ride on and have a blast!
Für mein Mountainbike und Trailrunning-Training übernachte ich jeweils im Sporthotel Grischa und muss ehrlich sagen, dass ich das Hotel auch privat großartig finde. Generell brauche ich keinen übertriebenen Luxus, sondern möchte mich einfach nur Zuhause fühlen. Da ich meistens alleine reise, bevorzuge ich gemütliche Einzelzimmer zu einem fairen Preis; sauber und komfortabel. In der Regel ist man allerdings gezwungen, ein Doppelzimmer zur Einzelnutzung zu buchen oder man erhält ein Einzelzimmer, was gerade mal so groß und komfortabel ist wie eine Abstellkammer. Sehr, sehr uncool. Nicht so im Grischa. Da ist wirklich für jeden etwas dabei: für Singles und Alleinreisende, Pärchen und Familien.
Die Zimmer im Grischa
Ich selbst habe jeweils in der Suite Bocktenhorn übernachtet und war rundum zufrieden: extrem geräumig, ein großes Badezimmer mit Dusche und Badewanne, zwei Balkone, ein großer Wohn- und Essbereich und ein schöner Ankleidebereich im Flur. Für eine Person fast schon zu groß, wenn man bedenkt, dass ich die meiste Zeit eh draußen in der Natur verbringe. Von der ersten Minute an habe ich mich wie zu Hause gefühlt.
Vor allem das Bett war großartig. Dadurch, dass ich extrem viel unterwegs bin, ist das für mich ehrlich gesagt mit am wichtigsten. Es gibt nichts Schlimmeres, als verspannt aufzuwachen. Schließlich liebe ich den Outdoor-Sport, um mich eben komplett zu entspannen und abzuschalten. Auch die Kosmetikserie von Rituals war eine Punktlandung. Ich versuche immer mit so wenig Gepäck wie möglich zu reisen, was auch Kosmetik- und Hygieneartikel betrifft. Wenn ich weiß, dass ich im Hotel eine gute Bodylotion habe, mit der ich mich vor dem Schlafengehen einreiben kann, bin ich happy.
Trotzdem habe ich mir während einer Hotelführung auch die anderen Zimmer angeschaut und muss sagen, dass ich wirklich ganz besonders von den Einzelzimmern begeistert bin. Der gleiche Standard und Komfort wie bei den anderen Zimmern und auch nicht zu klein.
Was mir zudem gut gefällt ist, dass jedes Zimmer einen eigenen Touch hat. Im gesamten Hotel findet man außerdem sehr schöne Naturaufnahmen, die der Inhaber selbst fotografiert hat. Das gibt dem Ganzen eine persönliche Note und passt auch richtig gut zu einem Sporthotel.
Auch hier erfüllt das Hotel wieder nahezu jeden Wunsch. Ob chinesisch, ausgefallene Showküche, gute Hausmannskost oder ein erstklassiges Käsefondue, das Grischa verfügt über fünf unterschiedliche Restaurants, so dass kaum ein Wunsch offen bleibt. Auch das Frühstück kann sich sehen lassen.
Ganz egal, wonach einem ist, ob man es lieber süß oder herzhaft mag, die Küche ist ausgezeichnet. Ich persönlich hab genau zwei Schwächen: Burger und Schokoladenkuchen. Beides auch im Grischa eine exzellente Wahl.
Übrigens ist es ganz angenehm, abends nach einer Biketour draußen auf der Terrasse oder in der Bar zu chillen. Die Atmosphäre hat mir gut gefallen und das Publikum ist wirklich sehr lässig.
Zusammenfassend kann ich sagen, dass es ein sehr gutes Hotel ist. Vom tollen Extra-Service für MTB-Fans hatte ich ja bereits berichtet. Der Wäscheservice, die persönlichen Tourentipps und der Transport-Voucher sind top. Das Einzige, was ich eventuell manchmal vermissen würde, wäre ein hausinternes Schwimmbad, da ich nach einem harten und anstrengenden Lauf gerne etwas Schwimmen gehe, um zu entspannen.
English Summary: Accomodation Grischa – DAS Hotel Davos
For my mountain biking and trail running training in Switzerland I stayed at hotel Grischa – a very accommodating sports hotel. Since I mostly travel by myself, I always need to book a double room for single occupancy, which is actually quite annoying. But at the Grischa they also offer spacious, comfortable single rooms for active outdoor enthusiasts like me.
Generally, they have different rooms for almost anybody: families, friends, singles, couples, business travelers. I was very surprised by the variety and the unique features of each category. My personal highlight: the sleeping place. Since I travel a lot, I really need a comfortable bed in order to relax and have a good night’s sleep. Let me tell ya: I slept like a baby – no tension in my back, neck or shoulders, extremely cozy. Almost as great as my boxspring bed at home.
Also, I loved the bathrom amenities. Most of the time I love to travel light, leaving loads of stuff at home, including toiletries. Hence, I highly appreciate it when a hotel offers high quality body lotion so that I can have my evening beauty routine. At the Grischa they collaborate with Rituals, which is excellent. Going to bed with smooth, soft skin, smelling good – what else do you need?
You can really spoil yoursel at the Grischa, choosing from five different restaurants. Whether you prefer Italian cuisine in an stylish ambiance, specialties from the grill, seasonal delicacies or authentic Chinese cuisine, they have it all, always offering the best quality. My personal favorite: burger and chocolate cake. Sorry, but after a long run, I ALWAYS crave either a burger or chocolate cake; cannot help it. – My personal tip: enjoy a sundowner on their terrace after a nice bike ride. You will love it.
All in all, it is an excellent hotel, which I would always book myself, especiall when I take my bike with me to Davos. Thumbs up!
3,000 miles in one week. Insane? Totally! Worth it? Well, it depends. Together with my mom & dad I traveled from Sweden to Norway, exploring the beautiful fjords and mountains. Our route: Malmö – Helsingborg – Halmstadt – Göteborg – Fredrikstad – Oslo – Lillehammer – Mjøsasee -Vinstra – Geiranger Fjord – Skei/Stryn – Flåmbahn – Bergen.
Bergen vs. Oslo
I gotta admit that I wasn’t fond of doing any city trip. As an outdoor girl I was more into exploring the beautiful landscape and doing some outdoor activites: biking, running and hiking. Hence, my expectations were pretty low when visiting Oslo and Bergen.
If you ask for my opinion, which city is definitely worth a trip, I would clearly recommend Bergen. Of course, as the capital of Norway, Oslo has more of that big city feel and a long and rich history. And if you are interested in art, vikings and history, Oslo surely is YOUR city.
BUT for me, Bergen has it all. Surrounded by the hills – sorry, living in Munich I cannot really call them mountains – Bergen is more scenic and picturesque. The crowd seems to be cooler and more relaxed as well, more trendy. I really loved these picturesque wooden houses along the seafront as well as the little alleys – all very charming. Just one little downer: it rains A LOT in Bergen. But as you probably know: there is no such thing as bad weather. Only wrong clothing.
My favorite things to do in Bergen
Hiking Mt Ulriken & Mt Fløyen: Known as the gateway to the fjords, Bergen offers endless hiking opportunities on the seven mountain tops around the city. One of the most popular self-guided treks is the panoramic hike from Mount Ulriken to Mount Fløyen across Vidden (around five hours).
If you want a shorter hike, Mount Fløyen is a good option. You can either start the hike from the bottom of the mountain or take the Fløibanen funicular up and start the hike from the top station.
Restaurant tips: I checked out the tips from Marina O’Loughlin and recommend to do the same. Down at the waterfront, at the Bryggen, a complex of tiny alleyways and pavements made from wood, is where you can get to grips with old Bergen (so much so that the area has been given Unesco World Heritage status). It’s worth fighting your way through the tour groups and seeking out the likes of local restaurants. – Also, make sure to check out Fish Me at the fish market. I LOVED it.
Fjord Cruise: I can recommend a day trip to the nearby Sognefjorden, the longest of the fjords in Norway and breathtakingly beautiful. For people interested in a more extensive voyage, check out the Hurtigruten. This cruise sets off from Bergen on a daily basis and travels all the way along the Norwegian coast to its northernmost point.
The Fjords of Norway
Well, I am honest: I did not really fall in love with Norway. Somehow I missed the magic from the Bavarian / Austrian / Swiss Alps. Don’t get me wrong, the landscape is very beautiful and, depending on the light and setting, you surely have some magical moments. But I was not as excited as I thought I would be.
Geiranger Fjord: Geiranger itself is VERY touristy and way too crowded for me. We went there via the “Trollstigen mountain road”, which is an absolute must-see attraction. We did not go to Trollstigen directly, but drove part of the 100km mountain pass. The road opened in 1936 and is a testimony to superb engineering and construction skills using the simplest of tools from the hard thirties. Definitely worth a photo stop.
I don’t think I would go on another ferry ride, though. It was just a one-hour trip from Geiranger to Hellesylt and too touristy for my taste. Me personally, I would simply stay in Stryn at a friend’s house, go biking & hiking to Geiranger and then do a kayak tour on the fjord. But, I do admit: the Geiranger fjord is one of the most gorgeous fjords in the world – that is for sure.
Sognefjord: This one I REALLY liked. The Sognefjord, situated in the middle of Fjord Norway, extends all of 204 km inland and contains some of the wildest and most beautiful scenery in Norway. National Geographic Traveler magazine has called this area “the world’s most iconic destination”. I would not go so far, but it was one of my highlights in Norway.
This was probably my favorite area: staying in a mountain hut, drinking hot chocolate, waking up to a magical sunrise, surrounded by nothing but a pretty lake and great nature. Gålå is a Norwegian resort in the district of Gudbrandsdalen, catering for both winter and summer leisure activities. However, it is definitely more popular during winter season, especially for cross-country skiing.
Hence, you can really enjoy some quiet and peaceful moments during late summer season. My personal recommendation: rent a nice cabin for a week and simply live the Norwegian kind of lifestyle.
The Flåm Line is a 20.2-kilometer long railway line between Myrdal and Flåm in Aurland and has been described as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. Again, for me personally, the glacier express in Switzerland is far more magical, but you do get to see some picturesque houses and waterfalls during this little train ride, stopping at Kjosfossen waterfall. At this tourist stop you get to see the Huldra, an elusive forest spirit from Norse mythology, singing her song to the tourists. According to local folklore, she lures men into the woods to seduce them.
Is the train ride worth it? If you plan on traveling from Flam to Bergen, then this little stop is definitely worth it.
Make sure to take along some delicious Norwegian pastry. Darn, I almost got addicted to these sweet, little things.
All in all, yes, I was a little disappointed. It probably was insane to travel that far within such a short period of time. Make sure to schedule in at least three weeks when exploring this country so that you can actually enjoy it.
However, some day I will definitely go back visiting my friend Tobi, going on some awesome MTB tours over there. But I would also love to explore the north, the Lofoten and Norwegian Alps, trying to uncover some real mountain magic – hopefully.
The mountain range in Seefeld, Tyrol, is spectacular. Lying on a plateau between the Wetterstein mountains and the Karwendel, Seefeld offers magical views. However, I could not stay there for more than two days in a row. Since I prefer trail running over hiking, I would always choose Graubünden in Switzerland or the Berchtesgaden Alps for my longer training sessions. BUT, although Seefeld is not really a trail paradise, it surely is a lovely hiking destination.
Summer Hiking in Seefeld
I gotta admit: the heat is killing me. 35 – 40 degrees Celsius in Germany, working ten hours a day is pretty tough this summer. Thus, I simply escaped to the mountains, spending some time in Seefeld, Austria. It was pretty hot out there as well, but up on the mountain there was at least a nice little breeze.
For those of you who are looking for an easy hiking tour you can still do during the hot summer months, I got a little touring tip: take the Flixbus from Munich to Seefeld, Rosshütte. The hiking path starts directly at the valley station of the Rosshütte. Simply follow the signs to the Hochegg-Alm and Rosshütte, going up an easy path for about two hours. There are some steep passages, but they are very managable.
Make sure to make a stop for a nice picnic at the artificial cold water lake. The views are breathtakingly beautiful and it can be quite a romantic place, enjoying some private time. Afterwards, you reach the Rosshütte where you can make a short stop as well. For me, it is a bit too touristy and too crowded, but for families with children it could be a nice option. I just prefer it quiet and peaceful. If you are up for a challenge like me, just keep going.
From the Rosshütte, you can hike up to the Seefeldjoch and to the Seefelder Spitze, which takes about another two hours. But it is so worth it. However, there is not much shade, since you climb through alpine terrain. Make sure to bring enough fluids, wear sunscreen and a hat and try to make this tour in the early morning hours. Also, the tour to the Seefelder Spitze is for experienced hikers only.
All in all, certainly a nice tour for a day trip or a short weekend.