• Bern
  • Sunday Breather – Velo Cafe Interlaken

    Tiina Kivelä

    Took a little breather and went to Interlaken for a long weekend getaway.

    Nah, who am I kidding. I had some things to do and sort out over there, so rather than a good breather, it was a hustle kinda break, including a bit of a disastrous bike transport across half the country and lots of rain. Nevertheless, past Sunday was more than relaxed in there, thanks to a beach hangout and Sunday afternoon coffee in the newest (and long waited) café in town, Velo Cafe Interlaken.

    Open every day (9am to 10pm), serving excellent coffee and drinks and homemade cakes (when a carrot cake is named rabbit cake I’m more than sold), having fixie on the wall and a nice little terrace – not to forget the overall looks seen in the pics – the café has very high hipster vibes. Sometimes though, hipster – or may I say well thought – is more than a good reason to love madly.

    Thanks for the coffee! Someday, I’ll be back for the after ride drink(s).

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Velo Cafe, Unionsgasse 10, Interlaken (map)

     

     

  • BLOG
  • Almost Mission Impossible – #Plogging In Switzerland

    Tiina Kivelä

    Once upon a time, there was Switzerland, and there a girl who wanted to save the world while running, one piece of trash at a time. In other words, the girl aka I thought to start plogging, just to notice that there’s not much to do for it in Switzerland.

    Switzerland isn’t perfect (surprise!) but I have to say that it does good on keeping the environment clean, on sorting the trash and recycling it. There are things to improve still, like the plastic issue. But when it comes to clean nature I have to say, after keeping an eye on the details for few days, it does pretty well in it. So thank you Switzerland and especially people in here to making my plogging almost impossible, and keeping the nature clean from dirt.

    With the saved time from plogging, I’ve thought about start making actions on reducing the plastic waste, to which the recent Earth Day and it’s campaign for the year End Plastic Pollution, has given a good boost as well.

    And like the style goes these days, there’s a good opportunity to brag about your world saving and inspire others (more of the latter please) with a simple hashtag if an when you want to join saving the world, act by act. Try #plogging, #endplasticpollution or #nomoreplastic.

    So we can more likely enjoy views like this in the future too.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: St. Gallen – Bodensee (Arbon-Steinach-Rorschach) map

  • BLOG
  • Good Running Flow in St. Gallen

    Tiina Kivelä

    As some might have guessed already, I’ve found my new swiss home in St. Gallen this spring. And in here I’ve also found myself more than enough on the running trails and roads. Back to basics, so to speak.

    While living in Interlaken, my original swiss basecamp, the choices for running were mainly flat to the lake / around the lake, or flat to Lauterbrunnen and up the almost 2000m to Kleine Scheideggen, like on the Jungfrau Marathon. Or then there was the killer steep uphill to Harder Kulm or likes (any HC uphill runner familiar with Strava should check and try the Harder Kulm segments and top times). And in dear Lapland, it was all slippery, snowy and icy the past half a year,  although beautiful, and the xc skiing was more tempting activity when it wasn’t too cold for any high-intensity outdoor activity whatsoever (more of the Lapland trails coming soon in a separate post).

    In St. Gallen on the other hand, it’s nicely rolling, downhill to the Lake Constance / Bodensee or up the mellow (well mellow in Swiss standards) hills on both sides of the town, which has made me run a lot again. In here and well, in this weather, it’s easy to gain km’s and even though not the easiest place in Switzerland to gain elevation, it’s not too big of a problem either. And with the elevation in here, you get kinda good views as well, to the lake and/or to he Alpstein massive and Appenzellerland. And without extra elevation, this time of the year, you get these pretty blossoming trees. Yes, those are the reason for the strange split times, hard to resist taking pics of the prettiest ones.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Basics of running in Switzerland

    As always in Switzerland, I run mainly on the wanderwege aka on the yellow signposted hiking trails (pic above), along which (and in the villages) you also find water posts for drinking, which is just so great. And if not with own snacks, carry some money for the restaurants and kiosks if and when on a long run; those aren’t too far from the trails either.

    You may find the trails on a map in here, ticking the box “hiking trails”, and as you see in the pic the signs also show the direction (and time!) to the nearest public transport station and train or bus. Sometimes I even do the Swiss train run; run a long way to one direction and then take the train back, as on Friday when I run 15km+ to Lake Constance from St. Gallen, a few km’s by the shore and then took the train back from Rorschach, which btw offers for less active sweaty visitors interesting Würth Haus Rorschach with some art and stuff.

    For tracking and inspiration (hopefully to others too) I’ve been tracking my running on Strava (links on the menu on side), though it’s been annoyingly buggy lately and therefore I’m now testing other apps and looking for suggestions on the best multi/mountain sports tracking app and compatible watch (iOS preferably) there is – please leave your comments and advice below or email me directly – any suggestions will be highly appreciated.

    And to not just ask but also give, I would be more than happy to help you if you are interested in running in Switzerland, so please just ask directly by email or leave your comments below. Or it would be also cool if you happen to come to Switzerland / St. Gallen / around and looking for a running mate and would let me know about it, so I could volunteer for running and after run drinks company (and no worries, the non-running readers and friends, the same trails and company works for hiking too, as always).

    If and when we don’t have the change to run or drink together the next weeks, I wish you all have as flowy spring as I have, running or whatever way and wherever you prefer. These weeks, as I finally have the time, I’ll come here with a lot of stories, way more than the past months, from Switzerland and Lapland. But before that, it’s time to give the running legs well deserved rest and work on the tan, as it’s promising amazingly beautiful and warm spring weekend in here.

    Take care, stay strong and talk to you soon!