• Badi
  • Welcome (Back) To Switzerland

    Cute Swiss towns and villages. The Swiss Alps. Glaciers, rivers, lakes and alpine meadows. Happy cows and cheese, Swiss wine…

    Italian vibes in Ticino and French in Valais. Cute black faced sheep and long haired goats in Zermatt.

    All are waiting for you, to travel here again.

    First week of June, Switzerland announced further easing of (leisure) travel, inland and international. Which will be executed in the coming weeks and months. Making the travel possible, finally again.

    First opening are the borders to and from Austria, Germany and France. Also, traveling to Italy from Switzerland is free, but still we have to wait for further announcements how it is for travels from Italy to Switzerland.

    EU-countries will follow 15th of June and Schengen countries in July.

    Then, it’s just which “boutique” town you choose for parterre lunches. For dipping in the Swiss rivers and lakes from the various urban badi’s opened recently too. Or taking a dip from your own secret spot in sunrise or sunset.

    Maybe Bern. Or Luzern. Or Zürich.

    Or maybe you prefer a mountain resort for all kinds of great outdoor adventures? Hiking, biking, and well earned glass of good swiss wine with great views to a famous mountain top?

    Or maybe, you prefer standing on the mountain top, like on Titlis in 3000m (=10 000 ft). Aadmiring the more or less snowy frozen views and glaciers, like in the pics below.

    Or bivaking near those tops, that works as well.

    Titlis View Tiina Kivelä

    Buddha Engelberg Titlis 2019

    Melchsee-Frutt Tiina Kivelä

    MTB Zermatt

    Gornergrat Zermatt Tiina Kivelä

    Meglisalp Alpstein

    Swiss spas and saunas are also waiting for the wellness travelers, as well as well worked hiker feet and biker legs.

    And – kind of for the first time ever – you may visit Jungfraujoch, Gornergrat or the top of Titlis without the usual massive tourist groups. Some even come with special offers valid just for this summer.

    That if something makes Switzerland even more luxury destination this summer. Because what else is luxury than space and freedom and safety and unspoilt nature?

    Trübsee Engelberg 2019

    Melchsee-Frutt Engelberg Switzerland
    Melchsee Switzerland 2019

    Sauna Frutt Lodge & Spa

    Graubünden in the South-East of Switzerland is also more than a good travel idea now. The biggest of Swiss Cantons, with plenty of space to keep a safe distance to fellow explorers.

    In there, you may find excellent bike parks and trails, for running too. And the Bernina Express, which also runs now without the usual massive groups.

    (Btw, Gian & Giachen wait you there too.)

    Graubünden Mountains Flags

    Graubünden Tiina Kivelä

    Of course there are also the more or less traditional hotels and mountain guesthouses, and SAC huts. All over Switzerland. Taking care of the traditional Swiss hospitality and good night sleeps.

    Luxurious hospitality with champagne for late breakfast in some. And alpine wakeups with bircher müesli and hüttentee in others.

    And, don’t forget the Michelin -starred or the more casual restaurants and cafés. In cities, towns, villages and by the alpine trails with excellent views.

    The rules are a bit different than they used to now; the maximum number of guests and distances between people are adjusted for the time during and after cover-19.

    But the food and drink offerings as well as the service are the same. Or even better than they used to be. At least I have been super happy to be working again and serving the customers who come to us for food and drink and good times.

    Breakfast Zermatt Hotel Matthiol

    Gourmetweg

    Aescher Alpstein Mountain Guesthouse

    Engstlenalp Tiina Kivelä

    It would be very nice to see you around this summer or autumn. If you are coming from the counties from which the borders are open now or a bit later this summer.

    And if you are from a country in where you need to wait a bit longer, you are more than welcome to keep on dreaming. Your time will come as well. Even I just dream of travels to Lapland still, while extremely happy to be able to make concrete plans for Swiss adventures this summer and after.

    Plans of amazing, responsible, sustainable and safe adventures. Only executed with good health and taking all the hygienic guidelines seriously.

    Because exploring and traveling don’t loose their charm easily.

    And even more, Switzerland keeps her charm.


    Ps. Please note, how still Switzerland remains with the right to set the restrictions back, or make new ones. Depending on the situation in various countries, and in Switzerland itself.

    Right now all looks good though and when interested, please refer to this site for the latest info on safety measures and travel advice in Switzerland. Briefly, the covid-19 numbers have steadily come down the past weeks, Switzerland has been announced to be one of the most safest countries regarding cover-19 now, and it’s looking better and better in many other countries too, especially European ones. That’s why it’s ok for some to change from dreaming to planning.

    And for all, I wish good health.

     

     

     

  • BLOG
  • Some Skiing & Skier’s Dinner In Ski Lodge Engelberg

    Spannort Tiina Kivelä Photography

    It’s been an interesting winter in Swiss Alps. Or may I say bad, very bad.

    Not just for the poor conditions for cool fluffy powder turns, long scenic langlauf  tours and the pics (after all, I wanted to shoot more skiing and pretty snowy landscapes more than ever this winter) . It also makes me sad how bad this is in general for the environment, for the lifestyle we many so much love, and the livelihoods of these cute little villages in the heart of the marvellous Alps.

    Also the February, normally the last proper winter month in the Swiss Alps, hasn’t been this year even close to this excellence in Davos year ago (or maybe in Graubünden it’s been, who knows).

    Luckily there has been few good ski days, enough snow and cold days for few powder turns and even once the 11km talloipe open for good sunny (and full moon) skating style xc skiing. And more than else it makes me happy that the ski towns like Engelberg have so much good stuff to offer even on a bad winter (which is gonna be the norm in the future I am afraid).

    There are good cafés and bars to hang in, bakeries to buy excellent bread and other daily carbs, shops selling exactly what one needs (though not much extra, for which one is happy for the sustainable webshops especially), the Kloster Engelberg (celebrating it’s 900 year birthday in 2020!) and the restaurants.

    And while my heart (and tummy) always have a special place for the authentic mountain restaurants, ski huts and even the local Sporting Park pizza (who knows, knows), the Skier’s Dinner in Brasserie Konrad (Ski Lodge Engelberg) always deserves a extra mention when speaking of Engelberg restaurants. Especially on a week like this.

    It was a rainy warm evening this Monday, following way too warm (for February) xc skiing loops. But the food and athmosphere in the dinner (this time set up for locals) really made one feel that after all, it’s very good with just some excellent Swiss wine and three course menu close to perfection, enjoyed around big table with some good friends and lovers. Laughing and living.

    And of course, talking of this winter…

    Brunni Engelberg Freeskiing

    Brunni Engelberg Vapaalasku

    Ski Lodge Engelberg

     


    Where:

    Gross & Chli Spannort

     skiing Brunni (Brunnibahn)

    cross-country skiing schanzenloipe (Sporting Park)

    Skier’s Dinner Brasserie Konrad, Ski Lodge (during main ski season every night)

    Engelberg, Switzerland

     

  • BLOG
  • Mountain Staycation In Engelberg – Huttour To Rugghubelhütte

    Tiina Kivelä Rugghubelhütte Engelberg

    Note to self: always bring to the mountains a wine bottle (or few) with screw top. Or even better, support your local wine providers in remote places by buying it in place. Especially in Switzerland, where even the remotest of mountain huts offer excellent wine for fair price.

    But that about the wine. Because this one night staycation in my backyard in Rugghubelhütte was way more than just a bottle of wine shared in sunset and full moon. (After all, there wasn’t even wine because the wrong top and some other reasons.)

    Simply, it was one night mountain hut tour in bluebird September weather. From Engelberg to Rugghubelhütte, which sits in the sunny side of the Engelberg valley – 2296m above sea level – behind of appr. 3h hiking uphill. (The hike can be adjusted to slightly lighter by utilising the local lifts and stopping for drink of two on the way, as the offerings of local restaurants and farms are plenty.) And if you prefer running and racing, the annual Engelberg Berglauf follows the same route too (fastest times for the a bit over 1200 ascent and 8km falling under 1h).

    For the two of us – me and a friend visiting – it was now  a hike up to the hut the afternoon before. Just in time for dinner, sunset and full moon. And the next day – after a good night’s sleep, a little morning yoga and a large morning coffee – a little detour to higher grounds before descending back down to valley. With marmot sightings and more or less deep talks.

    For some others staying the night in the hut, it was a tour from Bannalp and back to Bannalp, with just a sight to Titlis and Engelberg below in the valley. We also passed some climbers and slight alpinists too, on their way to the walls and tops in the area. Which is kinda normal, because Rugghubelhütte offers a good basecamp for many kinds of activities in summer and winter. And pretty epic sunset, in good weather.

    It was also just natural to end the good tour with afterhike in Ski Lodge Engelberg terrace. In our smelly sweaty hiking clothes (again very hot for September), eating and drinking and solving our first world problems.

    And trying to glue in mind the wine bottle rule. (Alternatively, always carry a swiss knife with all kinds of bottle openers.)

     

    Rugghubelhütte Switzerland

    Sunset Rugghubelhütte

    Tiina Kivelä Creative

     

    Rugghubelhütte Hiking

    Rugghubelhütte Engelberg Valley

    Rugghubelhütte Huttour

    Ski Lodge Engelberg


    Where: Rugghubelhütte, Engelberg, Switzerland

    More tips for hut tours in Switzerland behind this link.