• HIKING
  • Las Alpujarras In Andalusia

    Tiina Kivelä

    It’s the typical spring rain season in Switzerland, which makes me think of the more sunnier days and adventures, like this one in Las Alpujarras, Spain.

    These villages, in the southern slopes of Sierra Nevada mountains, bordering the Sierra Nevada National Park in Andalusia, are easily reachable by bus from Granada or Malaga. They also offer an excellent basecamp for mountain sports, hiking and mountain biking, and even for getting on top of the Mulhacén, the highest peak of continental Spain (there are mountain huts, cabañas, on the way as well).

    They can also offer just a cute setting for a lazy hazy day or two, admiring the architecture and plants, drinking wine in the patios and shopping local handicrafts.

    For Andalusia, the villages are refreshingly green, thanks to the waters from the Sierra Nevada mountains and especially the Mulhacén, which still holds some snow on it sometimes. Though like everywhere in Andalusia, fresh water and cold are getting rarer and rarer every year in here too, and it was nice to learn on this trip (and still read more of) how they try to support especially the sustainable tourism practices in the Sierra Nevada area. Kinda refreshing knowing the not so sustainable tourist traps in other corners of Andalusia.

    On our trip, after a sweaty day hike in the river gorge of Porquai, from the village of Capileira to the village Pampaneira (which was after a few sweaty days in Granada) it was a very nice surprise to find a fresh water to swim in, in the river gorge, next to a nice little waterfall. It was fun and a good reminder that even though warm sunny days are nice to dream of and live through sometimes, the freshwater and snow on mountain tops is even better most of the times.

     So, this Swiss rain isn’t so bad after all. But a little trip to Spain at some point would be kinda nice too. Or what you think, doesn’t these look tempting?

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Las Alpujarras, Andalusia, Spain

  • BLOG
  • Good Daytour – Seealpsee & Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli

    Tiina Kivelä

    Summer season is here. Little by little the Swiss destinations, guesthouses, gondolas, summer timetables, high mountain trails and activities get back from their traditional spring breaks and open for the summer season. In other words, it’s time to tighten up the hiking shoes and hit the trails!

    A bit for my birthday and a lot for “I wanna get to the mountains!” cries I got to start my hiking season this week as well, visiting hiking to the instafamous Seealpsee and  Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli in the Alpstein area. I was a bit worried the place wouldn’t live to the expectations, but for once (or well kinda typically to Switzerland really) it was way better in real life than on Instagram.

    If and when getting inspired, please note that even though the Ebenalp cable car doesn’t reach exactly the berggasthaus nor the lake, the needed hikes are kinda short and easy, meaning many tourists. This is good to take into an account when planning a visit especially for the high season, on July, August, weekends and public holidays. We were up there the day after the bank holiday, on Friday, and even though not holiday for all the population, the berggasthaus was already kinda busy, especially during the lunch hour.

    Nevertheless, the places are magnificent and definitely worth the hike even with the fellow tourists. But if and when you want to do your best to avoid the masses and lines on trails (or combine your instafame trip to a bit more real hiking trip), Alpstein area offers Switzerland’s densest network of hiking trails, three mountain lakes, 27 mountain inns and six cable cars of which to choose and combine your day trip or even a good multi-day hut to hut tour. And in winter there are skiing and other winter activities available.

    For the afterhike beers, I’ll again suggest local Appenzeller bier (though mind your step extra carefully after it, if and when taking it already up in the mountains). For food, all the local specialities are worth to try, and one shouldn’t forget the Appenzeller cheese either. (Always a good idea to really earn the beer by taking the hike, not the gondola, to the guesthouse though.)

    I think next I’ll try the blue and white alpine hiking trails to earn even more beers and cheese.

    Who’s with me, for the mountaineering or the beers in here? Or both? Or maybe even a swim…

    Hyvä retki Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Hyvä retki Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Seealpsee & Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli, Appenzellerland, Switzerland. Map.


  • BLOG
  • But I’m Hiking In Lapland

    Tiina Kivelä

    Despite the recent efforts and wishes I still haven’t seen any tickets to Switzerland with my name. Luckily though, the sun started to shine in Lapland as well. And on top of that, the first snow arrived with glistering frost and magical landscape. Yay! They’ve also opened the first “stored” snow Nordic skiing tracks in Rovaniemi, so it’s not so bad being here either. I haven’t been skiing yet, but I’ve enjoyed the weather and posed well for selfies while hiking in Lapland – exactly in Pyhä-Luosto National Park in the pictures, for example. [Strava data]

    And please, let me have a fashion blogger moment in here. May I introduce: my cool new jacket! It was damn expensive, but as it’s 6 years since my last shell jacket I kind of needed badly a new one. Moreover, this practical beauty (and apparently a bit of eco too) is finally a jacket which is long enough to cover my butt (no fitness blogger butt selfies in this blog), and it has long enough sleeves while being lean enough. Quite naturally then, it’s the kind of self-care I deserve, especially with this color (still a rare find in women’s collections).

    This week I’m having few more days of this and work, followed by weekend in Helsinki, for some books and wine and urban training (Helsinki Book Fair, some wine & food fair which has no english name, running, swimming and sauna). Maybe I find and can then tip you another cool remote working place in there too. In the series of which, I’ve moved myself into a new office up here, so less remote work in the coming weeks. And I have to say, if something, constant change is permanent in my life. It’s not light, but it has some good sides too. At least I don’t get bored easily.

    Now I’m plugging off to sleep the Monday blues away. Take care, enjoy the sun while you can, and talk to you later!

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Pyhä-Luosto National Park