• Badi
  • Pizol 2844m And The 5 Lakes Classic In Heidiland

    Tiina Kivelä

    It’s the heatwave in Europe (like you wouldn’t have heard already). And there’s no air conditioning in the Swiss home, which also works as my office. Or “works” as working productively in 30°C  is simply impossible. And so, I’ve found cooling in the IKEA (also nice cabin role plays they offer) and mountains,  and so on Tuesday I found myself on top of Pizol (2844m) and speedhiking the famous (and super popular) 5 lakes trail in the Heidiland tourism region, Eastern Switzerland.

    Pizol is not in any way iconic peak nor in the alpine mountain category beautiful and famous like Matterhorn or Eiger. But it offers some nice scrambling on the bluewhite alpinwanderweg and excellent views down to the turquoise Wildsee lake, the second by the classic 5 lakes trail. There’s also something left of the Pizol glacier, though like every glacier in the Alps everywhere in the world, it’s step by step dying (stupid climate change).

    If thinking of going, you may reach Pizol from the Wildsee/Pizolhütte/5lakes direction, or take the less popular alpine hikingrtrail from the south, trailhead of which can be reached by bus from Bad Ragaz (in where there’s also nice baths to take care of the wellness side, as the name suggests).

    When taking the 5 lakes trail instead, please note that it’s a very popular route (can’t blame though – the lakes and views are awesome), especially during the holiday season and weekends. Crowded paths and easy pace is more than sure thing in here.

    To save your time and knees, you may also take the gondola and lifts from Wangs/Sargans to Pizolhütte and trailhead, and end your tour in the Gaffia lift station. My Tuesday route in here – for me it was about 5,5h with short breaks, but I would suggest you reserve at least 7h for the whole thing, the 5 lakes trail and Pizol. Oh and add more, if you’re gonna swim (in every lake).

    I headed home after the hike, though now in the sweaty home office I do think I should have never left these waters, ice and snow…

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Ps. Happy birthday dear Switzerland! I love you and for this a silly but oh so happy face of mine.


    Where: Sargans – Pizolhütte – Wildseeluggen – Pizol – Schottensee – Schwarzsee – Baseggla – Baschalvasee – Gaffia (map) – Sargans

     

  • 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

     

  • BLOG
  • Distances & Scale – The Difference Between Lapland And Switzerland

    Tiina Kivelä

    I’ve noticed the scale of things, and distances, differ a lot between Lapland and Switzerland.

    An ok distance in Lapland is like the longest distance on earth in Switzerland.

    While in Switzerland everything’s small (except the mountains) and close by, in Lapland everything’s big (but not tall) and sooooo far.

    And while in Switzerland a train half a minute late is a problem, in Lapland you’re super happy if and when there’s a train. Or a bus. You don’t care about when – if it’s a once a day or once a year thing or if it’s on time or not – you’re just happy that it exists. (Very few things to be taken for granted in Lapland.)

    No wonder I prefer endurance sports over sprints.

    Right now the distance between my home in Lapland and my home in Switzerland is 2952km. It’s already a lot even for me even, but for the Swiss, it’s like the equivalent of living between Earth and Pluto.

    You may guess which one I think is the more inhabitable one.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Berggasthaus Staubern &  St. Gallen, Sveitsi.