• 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
  • Quiet Towns and Sleeping Lions – Morning Run in Luzern

    Vierwaldstättersee Tiina Kivelä

    I rarely do them, yet I have always liked to do morning runs. Especially in beautiful cities.

    Tie the running shoes to my feet when the most of my surroundings still sleeps. Get to the narrow cobblestone streets and old towns, fortresses looking over the city, before most of the businesses open – while getting to smell the small bakeries and freshly ground espresso brewing  –  and especially before the crowds find their way to the same narrow streets and viewpoints.

     Luzern last week did not make exception.

    The covid-19 restrictions have closed most of the businesses and international borders in Switzerland for many weeks now. Making even the normally very buzzling and busy (of bankers and tourists) Swiss boutique towns resemble sleeping beauties. And this – with the exceptionally warm for April morning sun and clear skies –  made my simple morning run in Lucerne simply great.

    Like always, Vierwaldstättersee and Pilatus with the white swans and snows made an exceptionally nice background. It also happens to be the time for blossoming magnolia’s and cherry trees – a bit earlier than normally for the exceptionally warm winter and spring – and even the Sleeping Lion got a very long stare from this runner. For not being covered by the tourist masses.

    Luzern Löwenplatz Tiina Kivelä

    Luzern Morning Tiina Kivelä

    Luzern Pilatus Tiina Kivelä

    Magnolia Luzern Tiina Kivelä

    You may wonder why I was here though.

    Shouldn’t I stay home in the mountains, or at least in the home trails these weeks? Yes, I do that as much as I can.

    Yet, despite the restrictions and cautious measures there is work to do – even and luckily for me too – and runs allowed in one’s everyday surroundings. And since my current Mary Poppins gigs bring me now to Luzern occasionally, I am spoiled with these morning runs.

    Vierwaldstättersee Luzern Eggen Tiina Kivelä

    Vierwaldstättersee Spring Tiina Kivelä

    Luzern Kapellbrücke Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Luzern / Lucerne, Switzerland (running views from Luzern, old town and by the lake, and Meggen.)

  • Badi
  • How To Do Wellness – Frutt Lodge & Spa & Sauna

    Melchsee Switzerland 2019

    Melting the pains away – the best alpine & Finnish way – in Frutt Lodge & Spa.

    So, I’ve become a spa person. (Or maybe just old, though won’t admit anything.) A good, clean, quiet spa (and sauna – more than else a good sauna) kinda person. To balance the life well, as I’m also more frequently the runner-skier-biker semi-physical worker kinda person.

    And slowly – yet with a great intention – I have become a Swiss spa person. (Very slowly really, because Swiss spas require good Swiss budget. Which I luckily have now.)

    Finally literally even, since earlier this week  I tested the Berglauf Engelberg track (9km up – and down – with 1200m+ vertical) resulting in pretty (read very) sore legs in real need of sauna and spa. Yet first, I joined my friends on their Via Alpina multi day hike from Engelberg to Interlaken.  But since I didn’t have time for as long hike as my friends, I took the chance, skipped the Tannensee – Meiringen stage and directed my sore legs to the Melchsee-Frutt direction after a hike from Engelberg to Engstlenalp and night in the cozy, Wes Anderson’ish hotel Engtslenalp (more of which some other time). Knowing there would be a pretty good spa to try get a good cure for my pains.

    And oh boy, did it do it. Very well indeed.

    In addition to offering effective and lasting cure to my sore legs as a spa (they were like newborns on my way back home) Frutt Spa (in the Frutt Lodge & Spa complex by lake Melchsee in Central Switzerland, not far from Lucerne) also seems (read feels) to have the best Finnish sauna I have ever stepped into (funny how the Swiss seem to know very well how to do good things of wood –saunas included).

    Offering unique alpine wellness, the frutt spa pool and the saunas were topped with good wood (including the smell and carvings) and cows crazing outside the big windows opening to the lake. Lucky me (for once) also got the saunas and spa almost all to myself on this day – note how you can visit the spa as external day quest only by request, 40,- for an admission– and could walk away with mind and body relaxed, simply cured and amazed by the experience.

    Next time gonna come by bike though. And book a room. Because after sauna like this, a good sleep or easy lazy roll is way better than the long hike I did to get back home with the last lifts in the Engelberg side.

    Finnish Sauna Frutt Lodge & Spa Switzerland

    Melchsee-Frutt

    Frutt Lodge & Spa Switzerland 2019


    Where: Hotel Frutt Lodge & Spa, 1920m above sea level, Melchsee-Frutt, Switzerland (map)

    Ps. Note how a spa or hotel visit in here can be combined nicely with a multi day hiking, mountain biking or trail running tour from/to Engelberg, Meiringen or Stöckalp direction (only for a limited period in summer you can drive to Melchsee-Frutt).

    And while Frutt Lodge & Spa is a very stylish place, it’s still true to the alpine lifestyle. So, in here hiking boots and mountain bikes are better accessory choices than stilettos and Teslas.