• BLOG
  • Swiss Christmas Markets & Sternenstadt – The Best Thing Ever

    Tiina Kivelä

     

    It’s a year of a new Grinch movie and I was kinda close to be all grinch this holiday season myself. Hasn’t been much of a my year, despite many awesome things.

    Nevertheless, they started to put up the christmas trees, markets and lights and here I am, all awwwww for the season.

    Central European Christmas markets are world famous and there’s something in the huge festivities in Germany especially. Though not for me really. I tend to like more of the more quaint Swiss ones or the local quarter ones like the Salon one in Brussels.

    Swiss markets smell of raclette and fondue and glühwein and they just are so… Swiss. In other words, just my type, except the most biggest ones. Around this time of the year you also find one in almost every town and village – some last for a whole month and a bit more, some just a weekend, so if you have something in mind good the exact info, just in case.

    St. Gallen, my local one this year, is also almost too big for the best kind of market and the market itself I haven’t really toured yet. But these starry lights in the Aldstadt – Sternenstadt as they call it. And the huge Christmas tree next to the Abbey Cathedral. And the café Øya around the corner, which serves real gløgg. With rum.

    These are the things which makes me like St. Gallen on holiday season and well, the holiday season in general. And the Christmas market too, though still have to walk through it all.

    And to highlight my ungrinchiness, I even got small Christmas tree to the home office.

    One might not have office Christmas party this year (hopefully next year again though) but one can casually have after work (glühwein) every day from now to Christmas, I decided. And for that one needs a tree. Even a small one.

    Because Christmas is only once a year.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: St. Gallen

     

  • BLOG
  • That Time Of The Year Again (Almost)

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    I’m not a Christmas person in a traditional sense (funnily enough, for I have worked for the real Santa Claus).  But I do have a sweet spot for this Swiss Christmas cuteness and the sun which shines even in December and all the wrapping because nothing is better than wrapping cute packages. And I also noticed I liked a lot the Grinch movie posters all over Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus.  (Could we also have Grinch visit Santa, please?)

    In other words it’s not so bad to come back to Switzerland and notice that it’s starting to look a lot like Christmas in Switzerland.

    This year I have also decided – even though all the things are more than complicated and tricky again – to be a Christmas person on my own way. Which means (just so you know) that I’ll be all awwww for the Christmas decorations and the raclette and the glühwein and the sun, and visit fancy and not so fancy churches to pray for snow. Also some pre Christmas skiing would be nice, to nicely slide to the Christmas itself.

    Fingers crossed the praying works.

     

  • BLOG
  • Mountains & Mountain People

    Tiina Kivelä

    In 2015 I traveled to Engelberg for a little camp, which eventually became one of the most significant travels of mine.

    It cannot be proved how exactly it did what it did. But still I would like to say that especially because of that trip I eventually made my home in Switzerland, and made other challenging things with great success as well. (Of course there’s been failures too, there always is, but I’ve done my best to not do the same mistakes again.)

    Especially on that trip and many times after I pushed myself towards new challenges like never before. More focused, more determined and more grounded.

    One of the biggest inspirations was definitely Matilda (go check the good work they do with the foundation in here) but also others – in Engelberg and in other places – have been of great influence of who I am now and what I go after.

    Oh and the mountains too of course.

    And maybe a bit has to do with the age too – more years and more experiences leave their mark and lessons.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    After Engelberg, there’s been new mountains, new towns, new work, new people, new loves, and new way of living. I did not totally invent myself again and I have done some crazy – or should I say challenging – things before too.

    But I would like to say I am very happy I did that trip, which accelerated a series of trips and adjustments which worked their own transformative powers in me. Like this La Grave in the pics. And I would like to say, with some scientific facts and many empirical studies in my pockets, that a good mix for these processes to happen are the mountains and the mountain people.

    The people with whom you one way or other end up traveling and doing things with and more than else the guides from whom you buy a service from. (Thank you, the ones who end up reading this.)

    Funnily enough, I am currently looking for a place to live in Engelberg. So it’s like a circle would close and I would have found my way to the place (and mountains) which have been calling me for long already.

    In other words, be careful what you sign up for, people. Travels and adventures work their magic constantly.