• 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.

  • BLOG
  • One Key Is Enough – At Home In Engelberg

    Tiina Kivelä Engelberg

    One home is enough.

    It was the response early this spring. Response to my confusion when I realised that after a while I had in my possession only one key. Only one home.

    I had then signed off my latest flat in Finland and moved back to Switzerland. Finding myself standing there with just a key in my pocket. A key into a home.

    And it truly was enough. Even more, a good rest to the tired vagabond I had become over the years.

    Though soon enough, I found myself back with two keys. Got myself a job in Engelberg and moved into the angel mountains, in the heart of Switzerland. With the key to the one home in my pocket and few more in other. (Since finding a permanent good enough home in resort town with short notice isn’t the world’s easiest task.)

    Yesterday then it was time to say bye to the one key, and realise that my home is in here now. For real. Here I have many keys again and not the one home key there was for a while. But from here I have found a community, people and quality of life which makes me feel more than home. And I am ready to root.

    Here are the mountains, glaciers, racing rapids and crystal clear rivers and waterfalls. Excellent trails for hiking and running (unfortunately tough for twisting ankles as well – but luckily then local doctors speak good english and the care is excellent), bike paths, skiing in the winter, and via ferratas and cafés and bakeries and local food. And the nicest of people, who work hard and play hard and care for the same stuff as I do.

    This is Engelberg, town in the end of a railway line (like my original hometown in Lapland, funnily enough) and place I am gonna stay and root in. For a good while at least.

    Because if something I have learned over the years is that if some place feels this good and you have the chance, stay a while.

    For me the while must be at least long enough to learn the names of all the local mountain tops and make my personal records to the top of Mount Titlis (3020m) from the village, and for the Berglauf Engelberg.

    I should also learn to bike. For real.

    So here’s enough for few summers at least. And the winters.

    With just a one key.

    Engelberg Mount Titlis

    Swiss Wine 2019

    Tiina Kivelä Switzerland


    Where: Engelberg, Switzerland

     

  • BLOG
  • Eat More Than Well in Tibits When Traveling in Switzerland

    Tiina Kivelä Switzerland

    This spring, I traveled a lot in Switzerland with many train changes in beautiful Luzern especially.

    This spring, like always really, I also liked to eat well whenever I traveled. Because well, dragging heavy bags make hangry (me not travel light).  And even though it’s more than once I say to my graving for coffee and croissant with the window seat and panorama views to the lovely Switzerland, or the falafel pita or burger and fries from the station area stands, I have found Tibits the best place to eat, take coffee and cake or takeaway in and near the Swiss train stations. When traveling or when just wanting to have good food in any of the Tibits towns.

    Tibits is vegetarian (about 80% vegan) yet offering more than great food for any eater, with a middle eastern flair mixed with swiss specialities thought innovatively. It’s open from morning to late evening, and offers buffet style serving so you can eat as much as you like (or can afford) – from cold salads to warm plates and delicious desserts (I mean, dessert buffet… <3)

    Tibits Tiina Kivelä

    And if you are like me and a bit awkward with the not so familiar restaurant settings, the whole thing works like this:

    1. Walk in (in Baseln, Bern, Darmstadt, Lausanne, Luzern, St. Gallen, Winterthur, Zürich, London) and see if there’s is seat/table available (if planning to eat in) and reserve it with your jacket or hope it stays free until you have hauled your food. 
    2. Take a plate, normal or take away, from the stand nearby the door. Proceed to the buffet line and pick up your breakfast, lunch, apéro, dinner, dessert or late evening snack. I recommend especially the mousses and seasonal specialities. Piece of bread is on Tibits.
    3. Proceed to the cashier, which weights your plate, gives you the price and takes your drink and additional orders, if you have any. Tap water is on Tibits. 
    4. Take a seat and enjoy. In the restaurant, terrace, in the train or wherever you like. 

    Btw, it’s also possible to take 2 plates and my friend just told me she has managed to get 1kilo on one serving. In other words, Tibits is also more than fine place for the really hungry lovers of good food. It’s not cheap, but really good quality and sustainable practices never are.

    Remember that, please.

    Tibits Café Luzern Tiina Kivelä

    Tibits Tiina Kivelä

    Tibits Tiina Kivelä

    In Luzern (Lucerne) in central Switzerland you find Tibits in the train station and both in Bern and St. Gallen just few steps further from the station (these are the places I have tested so far). Therefore, Tibit’s more than excellent place to cure your hangry whenever traveling through these stations. It also offers some excellent seats for some remote working and studying with power outlets and did I already say the good healthy food and excellent coffee?

    And as a kind of the little brother of the world’s first vegetarian restaurant Hiltl (in Zürich), Tibit’s whole way of doing follows same innovative, sustainable and responsible ideals as Hiltl. Which are great. In example, the latest addition to the more sustainable solutions Tibits offers for takeaway eaters is their bento bowl.

    And the food, it’s just so awesome. More than conveniently located too.


    Where: Tibits Luzern & St. Gallen, Switzerland