• BLOG
  • Granada

    Tiina Kivelä

    Last summer, on our trip to Granada, we stayed in this cute apartment in Albayzin (rented through Airbnb) with the amazing views to Alhambra. For me, it was one of those trips when I was just happy to be away, in a nice town. A special trip of the kind in which nothing really is special and in which one of the best things is just to sit there watching the rooftops and palaces shining in the moonlight. And drink wine.

    I’ve visited Granada a few times now and I guess that’s one of the secrets for this kind of good trip – familiar enough to feel comfortable and fascinating enough to not feel too comfortable. First time I was there just for sports (orienteering, hiking and skiing in the Sierra Nevada) on our sporty road trip through the Spanish countryside. The second time, we visited a friend studying there, and the Alhambra, and enjoyed the tapas and wine and flamenco in the rainy cold March weather (which caused me the most awful travel flu ever).

    The third time, in June last summer, I mainly concentrated on drinking wine and tinto de verano, eating tapas and finding the already known and new (for me) gems in and around this lovely town.

    It’s hard to say why exactly I like this place so much that I come back over and over. Some of it, and maybe even most of it, is because of the combination of mountains, a lively city, amazing food and music culture, of tapas and flamenco, and the Arabic influence.

    Or maybe it’s just because everything’s so beautiful there. Just look at this.

    Tiina Kivelä

    During summer the city can be extremely hot and on our visit, at the beginning of June, it was moderately hot, because of which the visit to the mountains was extra nice. During winter, on the other hand, it can be cold, even snowy, and then especially the hammams are a nice option.

    Have you been here? What did you like the most?

    Granada Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

     

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Granada, Andalusia, Spain

  • BLOG
  • Good Daytour – Seealpsee & Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli

    Tiina Kivelä

    Summer season is here. Little by little the Swiss destinations, guesthouses, gondolas, summer timetables, high mountain trails and activities get back from their traditional spring breaks and open for the summer season. In other words, it’s time to tighten up the hiking shoes and hit the trails!

    A bit for my birthday and a lot for “I wanna get to the mountains!” cries I got to start my hiking season this week as well, visiting hiking to the instafamous Seealpsee and  Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli in the Alpstein area. I was a bit worried the place wouldn’t live to the expectations, but for once (or well kinda typically to Switzerland really) it was way better in real life than on Instagram.

    If and when getting inspired, please note that even though the Ebenalp cable car doesn’t reach exactly the berggasthaus nor the lake, the needed hikes are kinda short and easy, meaning many tourists. This is good to take into an account when planning a visit especially for the high season, on July, August, weekends and public holidays. We were up there the day after the bank holiday, on Friday, and even though not holiday for all the population, the berggasthaus was already kinda busy, especially during the lunch hour.

    Nevertheless, the places are magnificent and definitely worth the hike even with the fellow tourists. But if and when you want to do your best to avoid the masses and lines on trails (or combine your instafame trip to a bit more real hiking trip), Alpstein area offers Switzerland’s densest network of hiking trails, three mountain lakes, 27 mountain inns and six cable cars of which to choose and combine your day trip or even a good multi-day hut to hut tour. And in winter there are skiing and other winter activities available.

    For the afterhike beers, I’ll again suggest local Appenzeller bier (though mind your step extra carefully after it, if and when taking it already up in the mountains). For food, all the local specialities are worth to try, and one shouldn’t forget the Appenzeller cheese either. (Always a good idea to really earn the beer by taking the hike, not the gondola, to the guesthouse though.)

    I think next I’ll try the blue and white alpine hiking trails to earn even more beers and cheese.

    Who’s with me, for the mountaineering or the beers in here? Or both? Or maybe even a swim…

    Hyvä retki Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Hyvä retki Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Seealpsee & Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli, Appenzellerland, Switzerland. Map.


  • BLOG
  • Why Traintravel In Switzerland

    Tiina Kivelä

    On my last trip by train in Switzerland, I got again reminded why train in Switzerland is one of the best ways to travel, ever.

    It takes you places like Luzern^ and it offers views like these on the way – like a transport vehicle and National Geographic live broadcast in one.

    So much better than a car or especially plane. Fewer emissions and better vibes.

    Who wouldn’t love and go on many trips like this?

    (Though there have to be few road trips this summer too.)

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Luzern and Voralpen-Express between Luzern and St. Gallen in Switzerland