• 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.

     

     

  • 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
  • St. Gallen

    Tiina Kivelä

    In our series of urban hiking, history lessons and life lessons – St. Gallen.

    Recently, on a hot and lazy Sunday (no mountains this time), I sat in the old town of St. Gallen, next to the Abbey of St. Gall (UNESCO World Heritage site, btw), and procrastinated read about the St. Gall guy, from whom the city has gotten its name. It’s a funny and strange story, of a man who spent a hermit life in the woods near Lake Constance, and for whom the Cathedral and other stuff have been built, and whose statue now stands there in the middle of that fountain.

    You should check the story out (I’m too lazy to copy it here but) – it’s interesting how strange origins some places and names have.

    And I guess I should also tell you to check the city itself out. Though, I myself would have never thought I’d end up living in St. Gallen before I found myself living in here. It’s been strange spring and summer and I still don’t know exactly why I’m here and for how long I’m going to stay in here. But still, I guess after these kinda ok months I can say it’s worth a visit.

    By now, I have checked the cathedral of St. Gallen (very posh) and noted how there’s a good free public WiFi in the yard of it (note). I’ve also checked the Stifstbibliothek (more than posh), in where photographing is unfortunately prohibited (damn, all the missed Instagram moments), and I’ve been to the Textilmuseum and Drei Weieren badi, though for my taste the waters of those outdoor pools (artificial ponds of some kind) are too murky for to actually swim in there.

    And the colorful church roof there in the last picture. You know, for years already, I’ve been looking at these roofs all over Switzerland, on churches and other buildings, and thought that it’s a paint.  All this time.

    Well, now I know it’s not. The patterns, and sometimes writings, are done with varied coloured tiles. I know, should have seen it. But I should have also been wearing my classes more often…

    Also, note the excellent patio and creatively hidden dumpsters.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: St. Gallen Altstadt/Gallusplatz, Switzerland