• BLOG
  • Some Skiing & Skier’s Dinner In Ski Lodge Engelberg

    Spannort Tiina Kivelä Photography

    It’s been an interesting winter in Swiss Alps. Or may I say bad, very bad.

    Not just for the poor conditions for cool fluffy powder turns, long scenic langlauf  tours and the pics (after all, I wanted to shoot more skiing and pretty snowy landscapes more than ever this winter) . It also makes me sad how bad this is in general for the environment, for the lifestyle we many so much love, and the livelihoods of these cute little villages in the heart of the marvellous Alps.

    Also the February, normally the last proper winter month in the Swiss Alps, hasn’t been this year even close to this excellence in Davos year ago (or maybe in Graubünden it’s been, who knows).

    Luckily there has been few good ski days, enough snow and cold days for few powder turns and even once the 11km talloipe open for good sunny (and full moon) skating style xc skiing. And more than else it makes me happy that the ski towns like Engelberg have so much good stuff to offer even on a bad winter (which is gonna be the norm in the future I am afraid).

    There are good cafés and bars to hang in, bakeries to buy excellent bread and other daily carbs, shops selling exactly what one needs (though not much extra, for which one is happy for the sustainable webshops especially), the Kloster Engelberg (celebrating it’s 900 year birthday in 2020!) and the restaurants.

    And while my heart (and tummy) always have a special place for the authentic mountain restaurants, ski huts and even the local Sporting Park pizza (who knows, knows), the Skier’s Dinner in Brasserie Konrad (Ski Lodge Engelberg) always deserves a extra mention when speaking of Engelberg restaurants. Especially on a week like this.

    It was a rainy warm evening this Monday, following way too warm (for February) xc skiing loops. But the food and athmosphere in the dinner (this time set up for locals) really made one feel that after all, it’s very good with just some excellent Swiss wine and three course menu close to perfection, enjoyed around big table with some good friends and lovers. Laughing and living.

    And of course, talking of this winter…

    Brunni Engelberg Freeskiing

    Brunni Engelberg Vapaalasku

    Ski Lodge Engelberg

     


    Where:

    Gross & Chli Spannort

     skiing Brunni (Brunnibahn)

    cross-country skiing schanzenloipe (Sporting Park)

    Skier’s Dinner Brasserie Konrad, Ski Lodge (during main ski season every night)

    Engelberg, Switzerland

     

  • BLOG
  • Nordic Skiing In Engelberg

    Engelberg Talloipe Langlauf

    Here and there I have now heard nordic skiing (or cross-country skiing or langlauf or hiihto) is the coolest winter sport. Even many of the cooler than cool free skier stars are doing it!

    And in general as an endurance sport, nordic skiing is even cooler than trailrunning and triathlon, which kinda try too much to be cool and popular (sorry, I guess I just aren’t old enough). And which can be done and for which one can train almost anywhere on the planet, almost any time of the year.

    Different is nordic skiing, which requires cold, snow, prepared tracks (especially the skating version) and good profiles for those tracks. Not too flat, not too steep hilly and definitely not too urban. And luckily this poor winter again, from time to time, one has been able to find all this in Engelberg too, making it kind of ok place to live and visit (just less than 2h from Zürich, wink wink) for nordic skier as well.

    And of course, in good and bad, nordic skiing requires skills and endurance. Although that is best learned and gained by doing it. So hop of to the tracks, if you have any close by. (But take a technique course first, if you aren’t born nordic with compulsory nordic skiing classes at school.)

    The cool Maloja clothing and Kästle skis (btw, did you know Kästle is making Nordic skis again, and they look pretty nice, which is not default in nordic ski design, unfortunately) are obligatory, as well as company. Gang shreds suit nordic skiing too, but for me this works best as active meditation and time in nature with me, myself and I.

    Eh and after nordic skiing, sauna is almost compulsory. So don’t forget it before the traditional aprés beers and well deserved raclette. Your muscles will thank you.

    (Psst. From Engelberg  I have found a decent enough Finnish sauna with reasonable price in Titlis Resort and for a bit more extra sauna and spa you may find in Eienwäldli, a bit out of the town by the talloipe in these pics).

    Talloipe Engelberg Langlauf

    Talloipe Engelberg Nordic Skiing

    Engelberg Talloipe Langlauf


    Where: Talloipe, Engelberg Switzerland (current conditions & langlaufinfo here)

  • 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