• BLOG
  • Nightless Night Luxury in Rovaniemi

    Tiina Kivelä Hyvä retki

    A strong warm wind messing up my hair. The bright sun which makes all the blonde hair and blue eyes around me shine like the finest of silk and the most exotic of jewels. Street covered with umbrellas and people of all ages dancing salsa on a roof terrace. The bars serving their own signature Negronis.

    Where am I?

    Late last night, sitting in a new restaurant in Rovaniemi, in the Arctic Circle, far up north, I couldn’t help thinking that although small, the scenes of the evening could have happened in any modern city in the world. Or well, in the hipster quarters. We could have been in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Bilbao, even Zürich. At least until the night came and the sun didn’t show any signs of going down. The signature of Lapland.

     I landed here on Wednesday and so far it’s been a perfect summer getaway, despite few confusions. I’ve gotten into sauna – taking care of my wellness – and running in the trails of Ounasvaara. And I’ve had a lovely adult evening, first having drinks at the roof terrace Mökki, of Hostel Café Koti (which is definitely not the kind of hostel you’re used to) and continuing the evening to the recently opened Roka Wine & Kitchen, the second establishment of the par behind another Rovaniemi favorite of mine, Roka Street Bistro.

    While Mökki is the best terrace in town, with dance lessons, palju and sauna option (though just today a rival will be opened by the guys behind Café Bar 21 and Yuca, other favourites of mine) Roka Wine & Kitchen made the best first impression I’ve ever had with a restaurant/wine bar. Excellent wine selection and service (don’t ask for wine list, ask for staff which acts as the walking and talking winelist), stylish decoration (check especially the tableware and the counter covered with white tiles) and simple yet delicious menu, comprised mostly of local ingredients.

    These made a perfect day already, but for my two week’s Lapland trip I have also on my list the gelateria of Cafe Bar 21 – the closest establishment of which I have very conveniently close my northern home – an activity day at Kesärafla, pizza’s at Pure Pizza, drinks and maybe a breakfast in Arctic Light Hotel, the current exhibitions at Korundi, and a trip or two further up north, to the national parks and my family.

    I’ve pinned all my Rovaniemi tips in the map, link to which below the pics, and will be updating all my Lapland tips during these weeks, so stay tuned for more Lapland adventures and tips, which I hope will be helpful if and when you will pay for this awesome place and the midnight sun (fyi, this year the nightless nights season in Rovaniemi is from June 6th to July 7th) a visit some day.

    Until that, adventure, eat and drink well.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä Hyvä retki

     

    Tiina Kivelä Hyvä retki

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Rovaniemi, guide

    Roka Kitchen & Winebar Koskikatu 8

    Mökki, Valtakatu 21

  • BLOG
  • VISITING FINLAND NOVEMBER 2016

    Tiina Kivelä Lapland

    It was Arctic, Finland November 2016. Snowstorms in Helsinki, below -10°C degrees in Lapland, trains and planes delayed because the cold and snow, and for whatever reasons. And I was delayed from everywhere too, because the phone decided to freeze and because the sparsely build Finnish cities managed to surprise me, after months abroad in  these cozily arranged Swiss towns.

    ONE EVENING IN HELSINKI, FINLAND

    But despite the cold Finland was nice. Most of the time. Seeing dearest friends is always nice. And Lapland is always nice, and Swedish Lapland was the nicest and the most tempting destination showing off in Skiexpo (yes, Swedes have eye for detail and style). And the Skiexpo sidekick party for Freeskiers, Vapaalaskuiltamat at Vanha, was also nice, but this time the hotel bed* and especially solitude, after 5 months in shared dorm-like flat, was more tempting than the party and films for more than short stop. Sorry friends, I can see them later online I hope. And hopefully see you all f2f in the Swiss slopes this winter; welcome to Jungfrau Region, I’m waiting!

     

    TWO DAYS IN LAPLAND

    And then there was the Lapland in details. Santa Claus Village, of course, as it happens to be so cozily on my way always. There was Arctic Light hotel, pampering with the in-room Sauna, polar bears and the famous, best ever breakfast! Highly recommended. And there was couple of drinks and beer tasting at friend’s place (greetings to Haarige Kuh Brauerei, you got very good reviews!) too.

    And then there was more Sauna at the original home, packing and frozen surroundings (and one broken red wine bottle in the checked in carry-on, damn.. (Goodbye that carry on and nice paper wrappers for swiss chocolate). And a last dinner at Roka, and way too early wake up call for the flight back.

    LOOKING FOR AN ASSISTANT

    After all this I have to confess that at some point during all that traveling, including the last day with wake up call at 4 am, 12h traveling in 2 flights and 2 trains, with 4 bags and couple of kilos too much, I decided this was the last time I took care of everything by myself. For the next time I’ll hire a personal assistant. Or find a husband, as that would suit better my poor budget… Or something. Too many bruises and aching muscles to count now, no matter how proud of myself I am after surviving the challenge in one piece and with all the bags (except the one^ destroyed by that bottle of wine).

    And in the end I would like to say, if this isn’t already clear enough: Go to Finland, and especially Lapland! It’s always worth it, and it kinda needs it. These days you can even take direct Germania flight from Zurich to Rovaniemi, if you’re from Switzerland or close.

    Or the other way round, dear Lapland people. Your host is waiting for the first guests! The cute little villages are dressing up with fairy lights and snow. Can’t get more idyllic for the end of the year. Both in Lapland and in Switzerland.

     


    FI:

    Lappi on aina hyvä idea. Ja Sveitsi myös.


    *Ps. I have to ask, Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport, where was the real butter and fatty milk for coffee in breakfast? ? Non fat is so last season, didn’t you know? 

  • BLOG
  • RECOMMENDED READING ON TRAVEL #2

    Tiina Kivelä

    AIRBNB AND THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY

    Offering additional travel services could provide a lucrative new revenue stream for Airbnb. Competing travel sites give customers the option to book rental cars and other services, but Airbnb expects to offer something unique.

    Airbnb Will Start Selling Travel Experiences Later This Year by Emily Chang and Eric Newcomer, Bloomberg / Skift


     

    RESEARCH ARCTIC TOURISM, EXPEDITION STYLE

    Arctia Ltd. is looking for partners to conduct an international Arctic expedition in the summer of 2017. Arctia Ltd. is the owner and operator of eight icebreakers, of which three have both the necessary classifications and the experience in operating in Arctic waters. The company now offers universities and research institutes across the globe the possibility to plan and participate in a unique Arctic expedition conducted in the summer of 2017. The planned expedition is based on the research interests and needs of parties interested.

    Arctic 100 Expedition – an international expedition in Arctic waters on board a Finnish icebreaker


     

    ARCTIC EXPLORATION CRUISES ARE COMING FOR REAL

    Crystal Serenity’s 2016 voyage is pioneering. Beginning August 16, 2016, Crystal Serenity will be the largest luxury cruise line to ever navigate the route, maneuvering through 900 miles of majestic waterways lined with spectacular glaciers, towering fjords, and vast unspoiled landscapes away from mainstream civilization and tourism, north of mainland Canada, says the company.

    In the longer term, Arctic cruising is expected to increase, and the IMO Polar Code is anticipated to enhance the safety of such voyages.

    Tabletop Review for Crystal Serenity’s Arctic Voyage by Wendy Laursen 6.3.2016


     

    NINJAS WANTED

    If you’ve ever dreamed of being a ninja, you now have a shot. Japan’s Aichi region has placed an advertisement to hire six full-time ninjas as part of their efforts to attract more tourists.

    Wanted: Japan Hiring Six Ninjas To Promote Tourism, by Jordi Lippe-McGraw 15.3. 2016


     

    + HOW AIRBNB DESIGNS FOR TRUST