• BLOG
  • GETTING SPACE: LAPLAND

    Tiina Kivelä

    I’ve finally made my way to the better (northern) side of the Arctic Circle, the real Lapland. More precisely, I’m typing this from a hotel lobby(when the WiFi doesn’t reach your room, in 2017) in Saariselkä fell resort, where I’m about to run some 15km+ today and tomorrow. While trying to adjust to the landscape which is so enormous and flat. And to the sky which is so big that it’s impossible to describe. You have to feel it.

    Talking about feelings, it’s strange to be back. I guess it’s like with the altitude – you shouldn’t rush to it but let yourself slowly adjust to a different kind of life. Or then you end up like me now… The whole body aching from making my way from sweaty Switzerland to the chilly Lapland on Wednesday after one hour sleep (the 1st of August party was definitely worth the tiredness though). I even had 3 checked in bags and 4 pieces of hand luggage with me (don’t tell the airline; I still don’t know how I did it). Whoopsie.

    And like that wouldn’t have been enough, during the two days in Lapland I’ve already found myself working, orienteering (our family likes to gather in forests) and meeting Santa and stumbling on the rocky paths to acquire some bad ass bruises and scratches (it seems to be that the less risk there is, like 2000m cliff by the trail, the more I stumble). I am rushing with this and feel dizzy, even though I should know better. But if I concentrate on the distance, look at the horizon far far away and think how far the mountains are… I’m not sure if I really want to think about the distance right now.

    Though it’s not so bad really, to slow down. What Lapland lacks in weather, mountains, urban settings and a number of people, it compensates with space, wilderness, freedom and sauna. And the reindeer paths, windy and rarely leading to anywhere, make me think that those creatures seem to know something crucial about freedom. How it’s not about the destination really, but about the journey. Or they are just lost and simply don’t care. Either way, let’s enjoy the ride, whatever speed.

    Now I have to run to run, but please be tuned for more Lapland stories. The map below will also acquire more content soon. Take care, stumble less, and see you later!

     


    FI: TERVEISIÄ LAPISTA

    Olen vihdoin löytänyt tieni taas napapiirin paremmalle eli pohjoispuolelle. Kirjoitan tätä Saariselältä hotellin aulasta (2017 ja hotellin WiFi ei yllä huoneessa kynnystä pidemmälle – not for remote work this place), jossa odotan tunturisuunnistuksen ensimmäisen kilpailupäivän lähtöajan koittavan. Viikko tähän asti on ollut aikamoista haipakkaa ja reilut 15km juoksua lauantaina ja sunnuntaina sopii hyvin kaavaan.

    Tiistaina aamuyöhön Sveitsin kansallispäivää tanssattuani suuntasin tunnin yöunien jälkeen keskiviikkona helteisestä Sveitsistä kolmen sisäänkirjatun laukun ja neljän käsimatkatavaran (älkää kertoko Finnairille, en itsekään oikein tiedä miten sen tein) viileään Lappiin. Ja täällä olen vajaan kolmen päivän aikana ehtinyt jo tavata joulupukin, käydä kolmessa eri saunassa, suunnistaa (perheellämme on hyvin metsäiset kohtaamispaikat) ja kompuroida yhden tunturin kivisellä polulla (näemmä mitä vähemmän riskejä, kuten kahdentuhannen metrin pudotus polun molemmin puolin, sitä kömpelömpää meno).

    Pitkän Sveitsin kauden jälkeen Lappi on henkeäsalpaavan tyhjä. Avoin, laaja ja hiljainen. Taivas  on sanoinkuvaamattoman suuri, sitä ei vain voi kuvailla sanoin; se on tunne. Ja tunturit… Noh, söpön matalia ja kumpuilevia.  Vuoria ja lyhyitä välimatkoja on ikävä, ja niitä etelän lämpimiä piemitä öitä. Toisaalta, Lappi korvaa osaltaan mm. kaikella tällä tilalla, saunoilla ja mutkittelevilla poropoluilla, jotka muistuttavat että loppujen lopuksi on aivan sama minne on menossa ja kuinka pitkä matka on. Tärkeintä on se itse matkanteko.

    Vaikka en olekaan ihan varma siitä onko poroilla mielessään mitään niin filosofista. Ehkä he vain ovat hukassa ja eivät vain välitä. Noh, molempi parempi ja nautitaan nyt siitä matkasta. Oli vauhti mikä tahansa.

    Alla oleva kartta tulee myös saamaan lisää sisältö matkani varrelta. Ja lisää lappitarinoita luvassa kunhan selviän nyt tästä ensimmäisestä viikosta ehjänä, joten pysykäähän langoilla jos kiinnostaa. Palataan asiaan ja yritetään olla kompuroimatta liiaksi siihen asti.


  • BLOG
  • HASHTAG I LOVE MY LIFE AND INDEPENDENCE

    Tiina Kivelä

    It’s the ski season now, meaning early wake up calls even in the weekends, when the first or at least the second train up is a must. For two weekends we had the perfect winter, with powder runs and postcard landscapes. After this the snowing ended and we’ve continued with the sunniest December of my experience. With Föhn winds and sunny, but cold, days. One day you may hike and have the routes almost only for you, and the sunny terrasses on the southern faces too. And then the next day you may ski, take some artificial snow turns (quite an impressive system they have here, btw) and then stop by for a hot chocolate (or nap) at the start bar terrasse (start for the Lauberhorn downhill) or just next to it. And if the timing is right, you may see others go flying.

    Then you take the train back town. At the house, heating doesn’t work and it’s many times bit too noisy and smoky for my Finnish taste. And in the end of the month it’s almost impossible to make the ends meet, no matter how cost effectively I try to live. And almost every moment, I miss someone, hoping they (you) would be here too. But still I have to say; I love my life. What else I could say, when surrounded with this beauty and hospitality. If I wouldn’t, that would be just ungrateful. I’ve lived now exactly six months here and I hope life gives me many many more. And well, apartment with working radiator. Or fireplace. Or sauna. *Santa, do you hear me?

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    * Did you know that today is the 99th Independence Day of Finland? Well, now you do.

    Happy birthday, dear homeland. You aren’t my home anymore, but I’m so thankful for so many thinks you’ve given me, starting from independence and freedom. 

    Without you I wouldn’t be here. 

    *


    FI:

    Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää, isänmaa ja äidinkieli Suomi. Ja hyvää puolivuotispäivää Sveitsi. Tyttärellänne menee ihan hyvin nykyisessä kodissaan, varsinkin näin talvikaudella (johon ei sisälly kaamosta). Lappilainen sisu paikkaa ne aukot, mitä melkein täydelliseen sveitsielämään sisältyy, kuten piiiiiiitkät työpävät, pienet palkat ja lyhyet lomat, olemattomat sisälämmitykset ja lähes jatkuvan ikävän.

    Olen tässä muuten miettinyt, että ikävä on yksi suomen kielen viehättävimmistä sanoista, jolle ei esimerkiksi englannista löydy suoraa vastinetta. Ihana, outo, hassu. Suomi.

    <3

  • 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?