• Appenzell
  • The Extra Mile

    Tiina Kivelä

    Almost right after I said I’ve had enough of Alsptein I went back to Alpstein. To hike the Altman. Though in the end I didn’t climb it all the way up. Just passed by. Hah.

    There’s a lesson in there though. I’ve learned that when there’s no other option (or well there is but they’re too expensive, risky or whatever) you just do things. And then you also don’t do things.

    There’s those days when you push a bit more, a bit further than you intended to go and a bit further you feel like really doing – you’re tired, hungry, your muscles ache, you just want to be home already – but still you continue. You go, because deep down you know you can make it and you didn’t come this far just to come this far.

    But then there are  also those days when you just say f*ck it, I’m done, no more, what’s needed to be done is done and I just go home/have a beer/cut this short now. For it would be too risky, too tiring and for you just don’t feel like it. or have better things to do.

    Lately I’ve learned that if it’s just about the steps, putting one feet in front of another, and so on, I’ll do it. If it’s not about the time, to be somewhre on exact time, if it’s more of just doing something than achieving something in exact time and exact way and if there’s not better then things to do with your time and energy, then I just go further on.

    And so I just dip myself in the lake on the way if that’s possible (Fählensee on this trip, highly recommended) on a hot day and just go as far and high as I need to and I can, to experience something awesome. But when it comes to sketchy mountain tops, exposed trails and possible serious fall incidents, and maybe someone’s waiting for me, I’ll pass if I’m not 100% sure I can do it without risking much. And so I cut it short, don’t climb higher, but run the last km’s to catch the bus to be on time doing something more important. Alive, healthy and happy.

    In other words, sometimes it’s good to be selfish and just do things for the sake of doing, and sometimes it’s good to remember that oh yeah, one needs other people and sharing is caring and not everything is worth of doing.

    I have no idea if this made any sense but well, there’s at least some pics from my latest Alpstein hike – up with the Schwebebahn to Säntis, along Lisengrat to Rotsteinpass, up to Altmansattel, down to Fählensee (and dip) and Bollenwees before a run all the way down to Brülisau and bus home.

    Where: Säntis to Brülisau through Lisengrat and Altmasattel (map)

  • Appenzell
  • Alpstein – I Have Almost Had Enough Of You

    Last Wednesday, I hiked another almost 25km hike with almost 2000m ascent and descent in the Alpstein massif (in horrendous heat), after which the Swiss of the family noted that seems like I’ve now hiked all there is in the Alpstein area. Well, really not all. There’s still plenty of paths on which I haven’t stepped on and mountain restaurants I haven’t stopped for a break beer.

    But, almost all. Whoopsie.

    It’s been many day tours in the are indeed, between April and August this year. The time for this (since I haven’t really had a holiday) I’ve taken from free weekends but also weekdays on good weather. Honestly speaking, it’s been pretty too quiet in the work field the past months – so when I’ve needed a break from work related pitching and studying and projects which do not cash in right away, no matter how fast I execute and finish them, I have taken some days off during the week too and headed many times to the mountains, of which Alpstein is the most easily reachable from St. Gallen.

    Alpstein massif is funny, because it’s not really part of the (Swiss) Alps and it’s also strange with its own micro climate and really Swiss German allure – no English speaking signs by the paths (damn, I would have learned so much of the geology and history of the area, if my German would’ve have improved faster the past months), no English websites for most of the berggasthauser (thank god for google translate though and some brochures and websites in English) and there’s also no English announcements in the Appenzellerbahn (the trains) nor the gondolas in the area In other words, it’s been a good opportunity to find creative solutions as the ones I’m more used to it aren’t applicable in here, and it’s also been more than a good opportunity to learn and improve my German on the go. Halte auf Verlangen etc. (Realised the difference very well on my recent trip to Interlaken, where everything is translated to English)

    Oh and of course it has also plenty of options for amazing hikes and outdoors training.

    But no matter how nice of a playground, I think I’ve had enough of this for now. The recent getaway to Interlaken reminded that there’s so much to see in Switzerland with just a short travel times – there’s no point on going to the same place over and over again. I’m also more than ready to get some more routines (and money) in my life, so spending more time in the office during the weeks is a tempting option too (just have to find the office – any ideas?).

    Also, some more good city life wouldn’t be bad either, as I have my dresses more than ready and neglegted.

    Nevertheless, before getting into other business there’s a collection of pics I took on my latest hike up in Alpstein (route in here). About 25km, almost 2000m up and down, 10h, from Wasserauen to Äscher – Ebenalp – Schäfler – Säntis – Rotsteinpass – Meglisalp – Wasserauen. It was great but well,  a long and demanding one, and I can only recommend it to others with enough stamina and nerves.

    There’s many guesthouses on the way though, for a long lunch (beer) or even a night’s sleep.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Alpstein (map)


    Ps. On My Photography

    I just realised you may wonder why I always publish in here the sh*tty iPhone (iPhone SE btw) pics and not quality ones. Well, the main reason is that many times I’m just way too lazy to carry my good camera with me on my hikes, runs and daily errands. Even though how much I like to take pics of the awesome things I come past.

    And even when I have my real camera with me, I’m rarely into stopping and taking it out from the bag – iPhone is just so much easier and always ready for spontaneous pics.

    Nevertheless, I do carry the good camera sometimes and I do take nice (or at least good enough) printable quality pics, and wanna develop in that field too (and be less lazy). But for now those I keep for other purposes only. Maybe someday I put up a print shop in here, or something like that.

    And strangely enough, I also kinda like the bad quality pics myself. For me, it’s not really about the technical capabilities of the camera nor the sharpness (at least not every time) what drives me to admire pics, nor what drives me to take pics. And I feel like with simple camera like iPhone I’m more able to capture the fleeting moments of which really are worth capturing.

    They might not be sharp and shiny, but they’re real and honest. And they leave more time for the real life itself.