• Appenzell
  • 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


  • BLOG

    Tiina Kivelä

    There are these places which just have to be visited; places like Verbier. For me, it all started years ago, when getting really into freeskiing and learning of these legendary places like Chamonix, Verbier, St. Anton etc. Where mountains are big, where extreme is the real extreme, and where the after ski is really deserved.

    I still haven’t done any proper ski bum season in the Alps, as I planned some years ago, and for which I tried to learn French and German without much luck (but someday, baby, someday). There came other dreams and other plans, but still, the places were always there, especially in my dreams. And then I moved to Switzerland. Not for bumming really, but at some point I ended up bumming in Verbier, for a while at least.

    It was, or well should have been, the FWT finals on that weekend in the end of March; Swatch Xtreme Verbier 2017. Unfortunately, for the lack of snow and for the strong winds, they could only run the junior race during that weekend, and we had only the weekend free to stay there. Nevertheless, it was a good trip. Drinking very good wine, eating very good burgers, and meeting the legends, the world champions and other weekend warriors, and dancing the night away. It was lovely and krhm. very Scandinavian, as Verbier is, and I sure need to get back there for some more of the good vibes.

    Below you may see Bec Des Rosses, which you should know if you know anything about the hardcore freeskiing. I don’t think I’ll never ski it myself, but en place it really impresses, and scares, even the mere spectator, giving that funny feeling in the stomach, just by watching it from distance… And I can only imagine how it feels to really ski it down; huge respect for the ones who can do it. Nevertheless, the other slopes and off piste areas of Verbier offer nice moderate challenges for us who are more for the comfortable kind of skiing.

    Verbier is about high-level extreme, but it’s also about high-level life quality. So if you are like me, or even less interested in the skiing, the wine and food and party scene are also more than nice to keep you entertained. Just remember to save some money first.

    Eat & Drink Verbier:

    Le Shed, Rue de Medran 5

    Pub Mont Fort, Chemin de la Tinte 10

    Offshore Café, 27 Rue de Medran,

    Sleep & Relax:

    W Verbier

    Wine: Renaissance

     FI: Muutama päivä Verbierissä maaliskuun lopulla. Hyvää viiniä ja ruokaa, legendoja ja skandimeininkiä. Menisin uudelleenkin.

  • BLOG

    Tiina Kivelä

    Postcard from the Swiss Alps, April 2017.

    The last resort skiing day of the season looked like this last Saturday. And when I say last, please do note that I’ve already said it two times before, so either third time’s a charm, or then the Alps provide as long (but luckily not as dark) winter season as Lapland. I’ll keep you posted about that…

    It was a damn good day. Powder snow and clear blue skies, the clearest I’ve seen this year, and it still amazes me every time that on a clear day like this, I can even see Mont Blanc from here. These mountains; I just can’t help loving them.

    And now it’s the first week of May. Planning mode on, for the future adventures both in travel and life in general. The days are strange, nothing is sure and corporate world has shown it’s cons big time lately. Nevertheless, I try to keep in mind that when nothing is sure everything is possible. And take the moments as they come, and enjoy fully when they are as awesome as the past weekend was. Or well, I still like to plan a bit, and I’ve especially realised this very deep love for custom maps; it’s apparently something which just happens when your brother is a cartographer and you’re the explorer… Now working on a map for a little roadtrip to Finale Ligure, Italy, and my personal Best of Switzerland guide. They’re still drafts but definitely more of these coming later, when I finally have time to concentrate 100% on my personal projects, which I hope will also help others, whenever possible.

    Talk to you later and until that, take care, and travel as much as possible.

    To be free is to learn, to test yourself constantly, to gamble. It is not safe. I had learnt to use my fears as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks, and best of all I had learnt to laugh.

    © Robyn Davidson

    Location: Schilthorn Piz Gloria 29/04/2017

    FI: Postikortti Alpeilta, mitä luultavimmin viimeiseltä laskupäivältä. Oli puuteria, ja oli kirkasta; koskaan aiemmin Mont Blanc ei ole kurkistanut paikallisten vuorten takaa näin selvästi.

    Mahtavan viikonlopun jälkeen toukokuu on alkanut hieman oudoissa merkeissä. Yritysmaailma ja kvartaalitalous on rypistänyt kulmia hieman liikaa, ja sima ja munkit piti korvata “vain” haaleanpinkillä rosélla. Yritän kuitenkin pitää mielessä, että niin kauan kuin mikään ei ole varmaa, kaikki on mahdollista. Otan eteen tulevat tilanteet sellaisina kuin ne tulevat, ja nautin hemmetisti kun ne ovat yhtä erinomaisia kuin mennyt viikonloppu.

    Tai no, yritän kyllä myös suunnitella tätä elämää edes hieman, ja olenkin jo varannut tulevaisuuteen muutaman viikon jolloin aion keskittyä 100% omiin projekteihini. Olen myls aloittanut puuhailemaan omia opaskarttoja ja roadtripehdotuksia (autollisille kavereille siis) ja miettinyt missä asioissa haluan olla parempi viikon, kuukauden, ja jopa vuoden päästä.  Kaikki tämä koska ympärillä on niin paljon inspiroivia ihmisiä, jotka saavat tavoittelemaan lähes kuuta taivaalta, tai noh ainakin ns. parempaa elämää. Koska jos hekin, niin miksen minäkin. Tai sinä.