• Welcome Home – Tervetuloa Kotiin

    Tiina Kivelä

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    This week I was Home for two nights. In other words, I stayed few nights at Hostel Cafe Koti in Rovaniemi. Fun fact: almost exactly 9 years ago I moved into a house just 50m from here. Back then, this Hostel building was a bank, and on the other side of the street, where’s now an construction site for a new apartment complex, was the coolest rock club in town, “Tivoli”. During those 9 years we’ve all gone through some major transformations indeed and except Tivoli (RIP) I think we’ve all changed to better.

    Nowadays, in Koti, a sign behind the bar says “welcome home” and I have to say I really felt like home in here. For me, it’s not just the familiarity of the town I’ve lived in for 5 years. It’s also the mix of languages, other travelers, the stylish contemporary design which still has something left of the good old days. Moreover, the staff is awesome and entrepreneurs young and innovative, so why not to love this and feel home? I chose the private twin room, since it was a work stop for me (and since I still haven’t found a flat from this town) but for the more social travelers  on tighter budget I can also recommend the dormitories, which offer both mixed and only women/men rooms.


    When in Lapland, of course a hostel has Sauna too.  Koti’s sauna is warm every evening and open for every guest without extra charges (times: women 19-20, men 20-21).  From the top floor you may also find a roof terrace called Mökki (Cabin) with wooden hot tub, bar and special events like dance lessons, live music, outdoor cinema, yoga and flea markets.

    Hostel is stylish and has a very young contemporary, even a bit hipster feeling, but don’t let it scare you, older guests like the place too and the café and terrace attracts both locals and tourists. I’d give five starts for the whole experience and if you are interested, click here for details and book your stay directly (direct booking saves you some money). I got some discount for this mention, but let me tell you I’d pay the full price anytime. So much I like feeling home away from home.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    FI: Hetki Kotona. Osoitteessa Hostel Café Koti, Valtakatu 21, 96200 Rovaniemi

  • Bern
  • The Most Beautiful Marathon Of The World

    Tiina Kivelä

    About a year ago in Switzerland I hiked for the first time up to Kleine Scheidegg from Lauterbrunnen, and got greeted with these views. It was a really beautiful day (those views, just look at them!) and even though I’ve got to experience the same few times more, the big dream which started to grow that day haven’t realized itself yet. But soon – the most beautiful marathon of the world.

    I’ve been thinking of running a marathon some time now – I guess it’s quite a natural development phase for an kind of an endurance athlete like me. Nevertheless, I hadn’t really heard about this one before last year, when I moved to Interlaken (of which I hadn’t really l heard before either, strange enough). In there, I learned about the Jungfrau Marathon, labeled as the most beautiful marathon of the world, and one of the toughest too – 42.195 km and 1829m altitude difference. And soon, after the first hike and winter skiing around there, I started to dream of running the marathon myself.

    The race track starts in Interlaken, my swiss “hometown”, from where it continues to Lauterbrunnen and Wengen before ending at Kleine Scheidegg, below the famous Eiger North Face. Yes, like the famous names suggest, the region is legendary, and the label is deserved. Nevertheless, you don’t need to run the marathon to enjoy the same views and lovely atmosphere in this region. It’s open for everyone. But, there’s people like me too. Who always look for new challenges. And so I found myself thinking why not try running the marathon myself this year, since I was already going to be in the region around that time, and in quite of a good shape, if I may say. Luckily enough, my friend was selling his number (next year Bryan, next  year – maybe Le Marathon Du Medoc would be better for you this year, and next year for me) and so I got my number even though missing the initial registration, just three weeks before the race. Better late than never, they say.

    Though I wouldn’t recommend this same procedure for anyone else. I’ve done the half marathon and the Lidingöloppet 30k couple of times already. But, I haven’t had any structured training plan, not to mention the training itself, this year. Nevertheless, I do wanna try how having a generally active lifestyle (and well, over 15 years of active endurance training in the past) helps me to finish a marathon (or maybe not – I promise to try but not to be too harsh on myself). Shouldn’t be impossible, though challenging for sure.

    Of course, the views motivate me a lot too, giving the extra push – this is also my happy place, which became so dear while I lived in Interlaken. It’s where I fell in love, where I’ve experienced one of the biggest challenges of my life, and it will feel home to run there. And I’m sure other people have as good personal reasons to take part or enjoy the event some other way. So see you in Interlaken, along Die Schönste Marathonstrecke Der Welt, on September 9th 2017.

    I have to say, I’m a bit nervous, even scared, and not sure how the week of surfing and yoga in Morocco (oh have I told you I’m going for a Girls Surf and Yoga Week – well now I’ve done it) next week will prepare me for this marathon… Ok, let me admit that I’m very scared and wondering why the h*ll I’m paying 100CHF for this. But like always, in the end I’ll just feel the fear and do it anyway.

    Wish me luck! I’ll tell you later how it went.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Interlaken – Kleine Scheidegg (pics from August 2017)