• BLOG
  • Nightless Night Luxury in Rovaniemi

    Tiina Kivelä Hyvä retki

    A strong warm wind messing up my hair. The bright sun which makes all the blonde hair and blue eyes around me shine like the finest of silk and the most exotic of jewels. Street covered with umbrellas and people of all ages dancing salsa on a roof terrace. The bars serving their own signature Negronis.

    Where am I?

    Late last night, sitting in a new restaurant in Rovaniemi, in the Arctic Circle, far up north, I couldn’t help thinking that although small, the scenes of the evening could have happened in any modern city in the world. Or well, in the hipster quarters. We could have been in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Bilbao, even Zürich. At least until the night came and the sun didn’t show any signs of going down. The signature of Lapland.

     I landed here on Wednesday and so far it’s been a perfect summer getaway, despite few confusions. I’ve gotten into sauna – taking care of my wellness – and running in the trails of Ounasvaara. And I’ve had a lovely adult evening, first having drinks at the roof terrace Mökki, of Hostel Café Koti (which is definitely not the kind of hostel you’re used to) and continuing the evening to the recently opened Roka Wine & Kitchen, the second establishment of the par behind another Rovaniemi favorite of mine, Roka Street Bistro.

    While Mökki is the best terrace in town, with dance lessons, palju and sauna option (though just today a rival will be opened by the guys behind Café Bar 21 and Yuca, other favourites of mine) Roka Wine & Kitchen made the best first impression I’ve ever had with a restaurant/wine bar. Excellent wine selection and service (don’t ask for wine list, ask for staff which acts as the walking and talking winelist), stylish decoration (check especially the tableware and the counter covered with white tiles) and simple yet delicious menu, comprised mostly of local ingredients.

    These made a perfect day already, but for my two week’s Lapland trip I have also on my list the gelateria of Cafe Bar 21 – the closest establishment of which I have very conveniently close my northern home – an activity day at Kesärafla, pizza’s at Pure Pizza, drinks and maybe a breakfast in Arctic Light Hotel, the current exhibitions at Korundi, and a trip or two further up north, to the national parks and my family.

    I’ve pinned all my Rovaniemi tips in the map, link to which below the pics, and will be updating all my Lapland tips during these weeks, so stay tuned for more Lapland adventures and tips, which I hope will be helpful if and when you will pay for this awesome place and the midnight sun (fyi, this year the nightless nights season in Rovaniemi is from June 6th to July 7th) a visit some day.

    Until that, adventure, eat and drink well.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä Hyvä retki

     

    Tiina Kivelä Hyvä retki

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Rovaniemi, guide

    Roka Kitchen & Winebar Koskikatu 8

    Mökki, Valtakatu 21

  • Badi
  • The Lake – Oeschinensee Day Tour

    Tiina Kivelä / Hyvä retki

    ~12 km ~ ascent 900m ~descent 400m ~ 4h ~

    What can I say except that this is the best lake I’ve ever seen and dipped into. Oeschinensee in 1578m above the town of Kandersteg, in the Canton of Bern in the Swiss Alps, is kind of an Instagram celebrity by now, and definitely worth the hype.

    Just look at that colour!

    The area around the lake belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jungfrau Aletsch and offers many options for day tours as well as multiday hut tours, hochtours and few hotel and hut options to sleep in as well, during the summer season from June to September.  And it’s family friendly as well (like I’d really know anything about it, but I’ve seen many happy kids there).

    My hiking day tour (or solo hike) suggestion of the day, for the Oeschinen lake, would be to hike up from Kandersteg train station to the Oeschinensee, past Grüenewald and Östhibach. From the lake, after a picnic and maybe a dip I’d continue, the lake on the right, to the Underbärgli and Oberbärgli, from where I’d turn to the upper path leading back to Kandersteg, leaving the lake to the left side now.

    Finally, I’d take the gondola down from the upper station of the Oeschinen gondola (and maybe consider giving the rodelbahn a try too) to save my knees, before catching the train back from wherever I was going to.

    Good tour, and don’t forget your swiss suit!

    (Of course, you can always skinny dip, but I’m not sure about the Swiss laws so can’t recommend and also remember the instafame – might end up naked there. Or maybe that’s exactly your thoughts, who knows? Everything for the likes 😉 )

    Tiina Kivelä


    Where: Oeschinensee, Kandersteg, Switzerland (map)

  • 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.