• BLOG
  • Instagram Brought Us Here – Appenzell edit.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Most of us have seen the pics. The hut, nestled tightly against and under the mountain face. And the lake, reflecting the surrounding mountains, so green in the summer and so white in the winter. And so many of us have gone there, even me. Or, well, close enough.

    It’s Appenzell, or more precisely the Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli and the lake Seealpsee, and the mountain Säntis above them. A few weeks back we were skiing close by, in the Ebenalp, when it really hit me. Instagram brought us all there. Me, us and most of the people in the mountain restaurant. Without hashtag, we or the places don’t exist.

    Well, Instafamous or not, Appenzell is a very nice region, with nice small ski resorts (pro tip: t-lifts are always a good sign) and very nice local products; Appenzeller beer, cheese and whisky. And whisky trek! So why not to love? And why not go there in summer, when you’ll most likely see my version of the most famous pics too. And get some more (whisky) hiking tips.

    Until that, let’s enjoy the food and drinks.

    Or go voting. Soon it’s time for a very Swiss tradition in the town of Appenzell, the Landsgemeinde, which is the original form of the famous Swiss direct democracy. On the last Sunday in April the citizens entitled to vote gather to the square, under the open sky, to elect their government and courts, and to decide about laws and financial matters.

    These days this form of direct democracy is possible only in the smaller areas though, and yes, Appenzell is one of them. Cheers for democracy!

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where & What & How Appenzell:

    Brauquöll Appenzell for the beer (open year-round)

    Appenzeller Schaukäserei for the cheese (open year-round)

    Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli for food (season opening May 1st 2018)

    Säntis & Ebenalp for views and sweat (summer for hiking, winter for skiing)

    SBB for getting there

    Instagram for inspiration

     

  • CYCLING
  • Serious Symptoms Of Bike Fever

    Tiina Kivelä

    That time of the year again. Looking around, looking old pics, and thinking that damn, biking would be sooooo nice again.

    For the reasons stupid enough not to write down, I have no bike available though. So all I can do is shiver in my fever and think how cool it would be to get that heart really pumping on these mountain passes and the knuckles white on the downhill switchbacks.

    Anyone in the same situation? Is there any other cure than to walk to the store and get the bike? Or click it in the online basket?

    Ps. Funny to think that just a little over a month ago I was biking in falling into the fluffy snow in Lapland… And apparently, up there it’s still the best xcskiing season…


    Where: Grindelwald / Grosse Scheidegg summer of 2016

  • BLOG
  • Good Running Flow in St. Gallen

    Tiina Kivelä

    As some might have guessed already, I’ve found my new swiss home in St. Gallen this spring. And in here I’ve also found myself more than enough on the running trails and roads. Back to basics, so to speak.

    While living in Interlaken, my original swiss basecamp, the choices for running were mainly flat to the lake / around the lake, or flat to Lauterbrunnen and up the almost 2000m to Kleine Scheideggen, like on the Jungfrau Marathon. Or then there was the killer steep uphill to Harder Kulm or likes (any HC uphill runner familiar with Strava should check and try the Harder Kulm segments and top times). And in dear Lapland, it was all slippery, snowy and icy the past half a year,  although beautiful, and the xc skiing was more tempting activity when it wasn’t too cold for any high-intensity outdoor activity whatsoever (more of the Lapland trails coming soon in a separate post).

    In St. Gallen on the other hand, it’s nicely rolling, downhill to the Lake Constance / Bodensee or up the mellow (well mellow in Swiss standards) hills on both sides of the town, which has made me run a lot again. In here and well, in this weather, it’s easy to gain km’s and even though not the easiest place in Switzerland to gain elevation, it’s not too big of a problem either. And with the elevation in here, you get kinda good views as well, to the lake and/or to he Alpstein massive and Appenzellerland. And without extra elevation, this time of the year, you get these pretty blossoming trees. Yes, those are the reason for the strange split times, hard to resist taking pics of the prettiest ones.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Basics for running in Switzerland

    As always in Switzerland, I run mainly on the wanderwege aka on the yellow signposted hiking trails (pic above), along which (and in the villages) you also find water posts for drinking, which is just so great. And if not with own snacks, carry some money for the restaurants and kiosks if and when on a long run; those aren’t too far from the trails either.

    You may find the trails on a map in here, ticking the box “hiking trails”, and as you see in the pic the signs also show the direction (and time!) to the nearest public transport station and train or bus. Sometimes I even do the Swiss train run; run a long way to one direction and then take the train back, as on Friday when I run 15km+ to Lake Constance from St. Gallen, a few km’s by the shore and then took the train back from Rorschach, which btw offers for less active sweaty visitors interesting Würth Haus Rorschach with some art and stuff.

    For tracking and inspiration (hopefully to others too) I’ve been tracking my running on Strava (links on the menu on side), though it’s been annoyingly buggy lately and therefore I’m now testing other apps and looking for suggestions on the best multi/mountain sports tracking app and compatible watch (iOS preferably) there is – please leave your comments and advice below or email me directly – any suggestions will be highly appreciated.

    And to not just ask but also give, I would be more than happy to help you if you are interested in running in Switzerland, so please just ask directly by email or leave your comments below. Or it would be also cool if you happen to come to Switzerland / St. Gallen / around and looking for a running mate and would let me know about it, so I could volunteer for running and after run drinks company (and no worries, the non-running readers and friends, the same trails and company works for hiking too, as always).

    If and when we don’t have the change to run or drink together the next weeks, I wish you all have as flowy spring as I have, running or whatever way and wherever you prefer. These weeks, as I finally have the time, I’ll come here with a lot of stories, way more than the past months, from Switzerland and Lapland. But before that, it’s time to give the running legs well deserved rest and work on the tan, as it’s promising amazingly beautiful and warm spring weekend in here.

    Take care, stay strong and talk to you soon!