If you are reading along with us then please excuse this last long entry. This was our final fling for 2018 and, although long, it is mainly pictures! Of MGs! But this, driving Goldie and the MG family, are what takes us on these adventures.
We went to Flims in the Swiss Alps for the MG European Event of the Year (EEOTY), an annual gathering of MG folk from different parts of Europe and beyond. This event moves all over Europe, this year it was in Switzerland.
Flims is a lovely town full of beautiful old buildings.
Is is set high above a small lake which is accessed via a funicular. The lake is a popular swimming area during summer, with food and drinks delivered to your patch of grass by a waiter, just as if it was a 5 star hotel. The surrounding mountains are beautiful and I would love to go back in winter and ski these lovely mountains.
The event this year was hosted by the MG Car Club of Switzerland to coincide with the club’s 70th anniversary. The Swiss club is strong, with over 700 members. Switzerland, post war, was the 5th largest market in the world for MGs (after UK, USA, Australia and South Africa). Interestingly the importer of MG TCs transported the cars to Switzerland by rounding up some friends and driving to the UK and driving the cars back to Switzerland!
Attending the event were 173 cars from across Europe. There were:
- 52 from Switzerland
- 40 from the UK
- 19 from the Netherlands
- 14 from Germany
Others from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Spain, Sweden, one from the USA and one from Australia!
Flims is an established ski resort and hence has many old traditional hotels. The one we are staying in was built in 1903 and is very graceful: a drink in the garden or a meal on the veranda or even in the cosy bar. Very helpful staff who seem to be excited to see a collection of MGs arrive on their front lawn.
Upon arrival in Flims (one road in / one road out) we were directed to the registration and were fortunate to meet Werner and Ruth who were staying at the same hotel. They then introduced us to Ruedi and Verena, all four are from Zurich and they have been delightful company over dinners and drives. They each have a TC, but boy do they drive fast! We have trouble keeping up with them on the windy mountain roads.
John, Ruth, Ros, Ruedi, Verena and Werner – thank you for your friendship
Our first night was a cocktail party at the Hotel Waldhaus where we were welcomed (in three languages), on a balmy evening on the hotel lawn, with drinks and nibbles. A few of the organisers’ cars were parked on the lawn, including Martin’s, the OC leader, TD: black with white polka dots, apparently (or so we were told) inspired by a picture of Marilyn Munroe in a similar car in a matching dress!
The hotel was built around 1870 with the main hotel built in 1889. It now has three buildings of the same era. Originally each stood separately, however they are now connected by underground passages and include a modern pool and ski access area! The hotel also houses a museum including various artefacts associated with the hotel over its years of operation.
A walk down the hill to a BBQ and a great evening meeting new MG friends from across Europe. Everyone has a story and they are all interesting.
The following three days involved a number of runs of varying lengths. We opted for the short run on Day 1 (we have just clocked up 16,000kms so didn’t need to clock up kms) and we were eternally grateful to Rolf and Daniella who led the way in their beautiful red MGB, as the road directions left us a little perplexed at times.
From top left: On the road; Daniella and Rolf lead the way; MGs parked at the restaurant; Ros and Daniella with their MGs
The run ended up at a restaurant just below the village where the Heidi books/movies were set. The men out there might not remember the Heidi stories, I am pretty sure most of the ladies who grew up in the 1950s – 70s will. This was a fascinating visit if you had read the books when you were growing up, as the grandfather’s cottage is there, perched in a grassy field on the edge of a mountain, and complete with goats.
The next day we headed off with our Zurich friends for a leisurely drive through the surrounding countryside with stops for coffee and lunch in local villages. The drive took us through the Rhine Gorge, quite spectacular scenery and a fun road to drive.
We did enjoy our day out with Werner and Ruth and Ruedi and Verena as it was pleasant to travel with just two cars rather than a large contingent and these two couples extended the hand of friendship to us in a very generous manner. Werner drives a beautiful white TC and Ruedi and Immaculate black one. Thank you all!
And of course, there were some beautiful and exotic MGs present at this event!
And of course there were the inevitable breakdowns, including one car from Monaco which luckily came to Switzerland in a trailer. It refused to start on day two despite the attention of amny and various MG mechanics.
The dinners staged by the Swiss Club were fabulous, though one did rather tax the MGs. The second night dinner was served in a huge and rustic barn. The food was very traditional and interesting. Night two tested all the MGs as it was held at the top of one of the ski lifts. All 150 cars gathered at one departure point and then processed through the town and then up a very steep winding and narrow road which passed by snow guns and lift pylons before reaching the lift station restaurant at the top. This road, driven in convoy, proved a little too much for some drivers and their cars. However, once committed there was no room to turn back so onwards and ever upwards was the go. All cars eventually made it but there were a few stoppages and blockages on the way up! The view at the top should have been fantastic, however the mist descended obscuring all. The dinner was fantastic! The drive home a little less dramatic.
The Gala dinner on the last night was again at the top of a ski lift, though a different restaurant at the top of a different lift. The views were magnificent, the restaurant pretty classy, the food excellent and the whole event went off in a very polished and professional manner.
From Top left: Ros and John with organisers Tina, EEOTY organiser, and (husband) Martin, President of the Swiss Club (and owner of the polka dot MG!); Dave (Godwin of previous trips with us) and Dave, two other Aussies; Ruedi and Stroupy (who went everywhere) and Verena; Werner and John toasting a fabulous event; Martin receiving a gift from Pierro from the Italian MGCC.
Our hats are off to the Swiss MGCC for a magnificent and exceptionally well organised event. If you are in Europe around the time of the European Event of the Year and with access to an MG then this is an event not to be missed. But, you do need to book early to ensure you get a place. Next year EEOTY is in Barcelona.
Finally, thanks again to our Zurich friends: Werner and Ruth, Ruedi and Verena (and Stroupy!).
We did think that this would be our final European jaunt. However …..! There appears to be a MG event, organised by Pierro from Italy, to Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro in 2019 and it appears there is just enough room for 1 MG and 2 Aussies!
So, we will be back in Goldie next year for another MG adventure! Thanks for travelling with us, we love having you all along for the ride.