• 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.

  • Badi
  • Badiseason Is On – Badhütte Rorschach

    Tiina Kivelä

    Opened my badiseason today, on Monday, at Badhütte Rorschach.  Just because I can, and because my St. Gallen home office is getting way too hot for work during the midday. And because this is still one the best things one can do with 5CHF (admission + locked garderobe for an adult) in Switzerland, in the summer. If and when the muscles are too tired for more intense activities and if and when one doesn’t need to spend her day in a different kind of office, that is.

    Today’s location, a traditional wooden bathhouse from 1924 (the only remaining structure of its kind on the Swiss side of Lake Constance/Bodensee), can be found in Rorschach, appr. 15min train ride away from St. Gallen. If you’re lucky, it comes with the zeppelin, and it gets extra points for plants like this cute little olive tree, excellent looking wine list, and occasional cultural events.


    Where: Badhütte Rorschach


    Ps. From now on, you’ll find all the swimming and lake/river bath posts in the menu under the activities category badi. And I’ve also re-categorized my Switzerland posts according to cantons, which you may find in the menu section Switzerland.

  • 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!