• 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
  • Keep On Going

    In Northern Scandinavia it’s been pretty amazing skiing lately. Nordic and free skiing. Almost the midnight sun already, and the record amounts of snow.

    Haven’t been there myself, but I have heard about it and seen the pics.

    Many have also learned to bake a very tasty looking sourdough bread. Not me though. But I have seen the instastories.

    (What I have made is pretty good tiramisu though. With the help of Massimo Bottura’s Kitchen Quarantine. And bought exceptionally good spelt bread from my local bakery in Engelberg.)

    For some, it’s been their normal everyday activities in their extended backyards. For others, innovative ideas resulting from the corona times and lockdowns. And for me, it’s been something to keep me sane. Something to keep my hope alive.

    So keep those sourdough and Lyngen  pictures coming, please. You are allowed to enjoy your life and show it. Tell and publish stories about it. Especially now.

    Engelberg Wander

    Engelberg May 2020

     

    You don’t need my petitions nor advice. Yet, I wanna write about this. Because last weekend (again) I heard a comment saying one shouldn’t publish a lot of nice outdoor pictures now.

    Like the above mentioned. Or especially similar to mine. The pics and videos and stories from my awesome backyard in the Swiss Alps. In where I the past month walked, biked, ran as safely as possible, keeping min. 2m distance to other people, and avoiding groups of more than 5. As the rule in Switzerland still goes.

    Things like these shouldn’t be told about loud now, comments say. Because “those remind of people that those things exist” now.

    Now, when traveling to those isn’t allowed. Now, when everybody should stay home and safe. Now, when many (here I would also like to say everyone though)  struggle a lot.

    Sigh. For me, it’s been amazing to see how my friends – and the not even friends but just people I follow in (social) media –  cope with the current circumstances. All around the world.

    It’s been more than nice to just see people going on with their lives, everyone on their own way. Keeping going on. Like it was before Covid-19 and like it will be after Covid-19 (if that time ever comes).

    (Btw that Patagonia Storm Racer Jacket’s been the best purchase for outings in pouring rain, and the running in pouring rain is still one of the best things ever. Right after mountainbiking in sunny spring days, when all the fields and alpine pastures are full of wild flowers, which is also more than good for the bees . *no ad just honest opinion. )

    Tiina Kivelä Running Patagonia

    Engelberg MTB

    And especially now it’s nice to be able to do it with the good distance. No touching, no hugging, no standing closer than 2m. No spreading the virus even by accident. Just through social media, or similar, with the help of the technology and good ideas of past and present.

    Now, my family in Lapland is happily skiing in Lapland. Other one I know is working hard in home office under tight lockdown in Barcelona. Third is baking bread in Malaysia. Fourth is biking in the Swiss Alps, like me. Fifth is finding creative solutions for handling the own home office and homeschooling of kids.

    Sixth has just moved into new house with marvellous big kitchen and sauna. Seventh tells daily how her work and especially funny meetings in the home office go.

    Engelberg River

    Engelberg Wanderwege

    Engelberg Farm

    Eight, me. I am healthy and adventuring in the mountains, yes. But I am also unemployed, poor, living alone in a less than 20 square meter flat with no oven nor separate rooms. Sauna I can only dream of, as long as the public saunas in town keep closed for the restrictions.

    Yes, my pictures from the mountains might show a happy life in the mountains, which it kinda is. Tempting even. Tempting to travel, tempting to visit, tempting to get out yourself too.

    But you know? So does the freshly baked bread of the friend number 3. The beer after sauna of the friend number n. The work meeting which results in writing an ok amount bill, of a creative entrepreneur I follow in Instagram. The dinner shared with the family living in the same house of whom the one food blog tells about.

    I would like to have those things too. But I don’t. And that’s life. Not perfect, but pretty ok still.

    Therefore, please people. Take notice of the good things in your life and please tell me about them. (If you like to, don’t need to if you don’t like to. But if you do like to, please do it.) With insta posts and stories. With messages. With live streams and calls. Etc.

    And the same goes to businesses and organisations. Tell me what you can offer, how’s it going, are you there for me with your products and services, or are you not. Is there something I can help you with? Or if you just want to let me know it’s the goodbye for now and maybe we see later, maybe not…

     I wanna see your smile and smile back. Of course you may also tell if it’s not going so great. Maybe I can help. Or maybe I can just say that its good and bad here too.

    We are in this together. We really are. d

    And maybe some day I have the oven, in which to bake the good sourdough bread made with the help of your tips. Until then, I make another patch of tiramisu. And run these awesome backyard trails in rain and sunshine.

    Because it’s great and makes me giggle. And giggling is always good.

    Engelberg Achtung Kinder

    Swiss Alps May


     

    Where: Engelberg, Switzerland.

     

  • BLOG
  • Basic Helvetia

    Tiina Kivelä

    It takes a Finnish to appreciate this Swiss end of the year sun like no one else.

    And take the most out of days like these.

    Literally out, skiing alpine, free or nordic. Or simply walking from the gondola to the nearest stübli or hütte for a healthy portion of älplermagronen, followed by älpler -kaffee.

    And talking of the current skiing conditions in central Switzerland and the Alps, for nordic and free there’s not much for a good base yet. At least not in the lower elevations.

    But above 1500m it’s enough for some good rounds of nordic and alpine skiing, and a bit for a piste side powder too. And on a lazy sunny day there’s more than enough good views for some walking tours too. And those patio hangs with good food and drinks.

    It’s also just enough snow that one isn’t too sad to spent many days a week working. Epic “sick” days are for late season anyway.

    Although this Tuesday already was pretty epic.

    Trübsee Engelberg Tiina Kivelä

    Trübsee Engelberg Switzerland

     

    Trübsee Alpstübli Engelberg Switzerland

    Trübsee Engelberg Tiina Kivelä

    Trübsee Engelberg Switzerland Skiing

    Ps. Helvetia (/hɛlˈviːʃə/)[1] is the female national personification of Switzerland, officially Confœderatio Helvetica, the Swiss Confederation.

    The allegory is typically pictured in a flowing gown, with a spear and a shield emblazoned with the Swiss flag, and commonly with braided hair, commonly with a wreath as a symbol of confederation. The name is a derivation of the ethnonym Helvetii, the name of the Gaulish tribe inhabiting the Swiss Plateau prior to the Roman conquest.


    Where: Trübsee, Engelberg 6390 Switzerland