• Appenzell
  • Alpstein – I Have Almost Had Enough Of You

    Last Wednesday, I hiked another almost 25km hike with almost 2000m ascent and descent in the Alpstein massif (in horrendous heat), after which the Swiss of the family noted that seems like I’ve now hiked all there is in the Alpstein area. Well, really not all. There’s still plenty of paths on which I haven’t stepped on and mountain restaurants I haven’t stopped for a break beer.

    But, almost all. Whoopsie.

    It’s been many day tours in the are indeed, between April and August this year. The time for this (since I haven’t really had a holiday) I’ve taken from free weekends but also weekdays on good weather. Honestly speaking, it’s been pretty too quiet in the work field the past months – so when I’ve needed a break from work related pitching and studying and projects which do not cash in right away, no matter how fast I execute and finish them, I have taken some days off during the week too and headed many times to the mountains, of which Alpstein is the most easily reachable from St. Gallen.

    Alpstein massif is funny, because it’s not really part of the (Swiss) Alps and it’s also strange with its own micro climate and really Swiss German allure – no English speaking signs by the paths (damn, I would have learned so much of the geology and history of the area, if my German would’ve have improved faster the past months), no English websites for most of the berggasthauser (thank god for google translate though and some brochures and websites in English) and there’s also no English announcements in the Appenzellerbahn (the trains) nor the gondolas in the area In other words, it’s been a good opportunity to find creative solutions as the ones I’m more used to it aren’t applicable in here, and it’s also been more than a good opportunity to learn and improve my German on the go. Halte auf Verlangen etc. (Realised the difference very well on my recent trip to Interlaken, where everything is translated to English)

    Oh and of course it has also plenty of options for amazing hikes and outdoors training.

    But no matter how nice of a playground, I think I’ve had enough of this for now. The recent getaway to Interlaken reminded that there’s so much to see in Switzerland with just a short travel times – there’s no point on going to the same place over and over again. I’m also more than ready to get some more routines (and money) in my life, so spending more time in the office during the weeks is a tempting option too (just have to find the office – any ideas?).

    Also, some more good city life wouldn’t be bad either, as I have my dresses more than ready and neglegted.

    Nevertheless, before getting into other business there’s a collection of pics I took on my latest hike up in Alpstein (route in here). About 25km, almost 2000m up and down, 10h, from Wasserauen to Äscher – Ebenalp – Schäfler – Säntis – Rotsteinpass – Meglisalp – Wasserauen. It was great but well,  a long and demanding one, and I can only recommend it to others with enough stamina and nerves.

    There’s many guesthouses on the way though, for a long lunch (beer) or even a night’s sleep.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Alpstein (map)


    Ps. On My Photography

    I just realised you may wonder why I always publish in here the sh*tty iPhone (iPhone SE btw) pics and not quality ones. Well, the main reason is that many times I’m just way too lazy to carry my good camera with me on my hikes, runs and daily errands. Even though how much I like to take pics of the awesome things I come past.

    And even when I have my real camera with me, I’m rarely into stopping and taking it out from the bag – iPhone is just so much easier and always ready for spontaneous pics.

    Nevertheless, I do carry the good camera sometimes and I do take nice (or at least good enough) printable quality pics, and wanna develop in that field too (and be less lazy). But for now those I keep for other purposes only. Maybe someday I put up a print shop in here, or something like that.

    And strangely enough, I also kinda like the bad quality pics myself. For me, it’s not really about the technical capabilities of the camera nor the sharpness (at least not every time) what drives me to admire pics, nor what drives me to take pics. And I feel like with simple camera like iPhone I’m more able to capture the fleeting moments of which really are worth capturing.

    They might not be sharp and shiny, but they’re real and honest. And they leave more time for the real life itself.

     

     

  • LIFE
  • Website Update!

    Tiina Kivelä

    You may wonder why it seems sometimes so wrong in here these days and I may tell you I’m updating – thanks for your patience, it will be way better when I’m done with this. As it’s a pro bono work from me to myself, and I have a bunch of other things to do as well, I can’t promise an exact launch date, sorry. But I do my best to be done at the end of next week. Until that, there’s lots of happening on Instagram, as usual.

    Take care! Or vote:

    My micro blog is nominated in Momondo’s Bloggers’ Open World Travel Awards 2018 and if you like, you may vote me clicking the pic saying “Äänestä” below, or on the right-hand menu. Voting closes 15th of April and for voting me I’ll love you and bring you more quality content more frequently, in here and on Instagram. xoxo!

    Vote here

  • LIFE
  • Honestly, I’m A Finn And I Need My Solitude

    Tiina Kivelä

    November is really November these days. Monday too. With rain and around 6h daylight – basically, it’s just a loooong and dark night followed with 50 shades of grey before another looooong and dark night. And over again. Calls for a badass attitude and not just in Helsinki.

    For a while it was nice. There was snow and I could go skiing even, the Nordic style – 1,5 year break made me feel a bit like Bambi on ice though. But I’m getting there – and whatever the style, it’s one of the best and most effective training methods ever, let me tell you. Watch out skimo and skitouring season, this year I’m really training for you…

    And then there were these extremely beautiful and cold days fairytale-like days with frost and all the muted shades of care bears. No wonder Frozen is my favorite Disney film – the one I can really relate to. There was well needed light, sunny (although cold) days and beautiful hikes.

    Tiina Kivelä

    And it’s been so quiet and empty. No wonder solitude has been another thing in my mind and agenda these weeks. It has felt a bit that I’ve been paying the bills from last winter still, the bills from when I for a while forgot what I need to keep it all together. In the end, I survived, and it was the best winter I’ve ever had. But honestly, I was too close to exhaustion with all the work, long mountain days in the weekends, shared flat, etc. There were good things, but there was something important missing. And things didn’t really go as I hoped them to go. Luckily though, life is a journey in which I don’t need to repeat the same mistakes all over again. And when stepping into another ski season, I do make sure I do things better this time and after.

    Last winter, solitude was missing, while some other shitty things were taking it’s place, like the pitfalls of bad management. I still do love most of the firm and it has been the best learning experience I’ve ever had. But it had it’s flaws, like any organization. On my freetime, I did some solo hikes, and took my time alone, but not enough. And now, it’s not just my freetime into which I try to squeeze better practices and the solitude. It’s also the work part of my life for which I try to invent better practices. And in which I hope to be able to focus on the really important things and do them better.

    Now when I read and hear how good solitude does, I’ve understood that it’s clearly one of the secrets for my success too. The thing I can do to ease the pain. In the best case, it also makes me a better team member. At work and at home.

    So, to not repeat the same mistakes again, it’s been sauna almost every day now. The real Finnish one – alone, quiet, naked, veeery hot one. I guess it works like bath for Emma Watson. And then there’s these moments in the nature, almost like Thoreau. And all this skiing and running and reading, and knitting, etc. Yeah I know, I sound like a grandma. But please, just let me take my time and see you in (Verbier) afterski with all the energy gained these months. Darling, it will be wild, I promise.

    And for the work I have new calendar and scheduling practices, as well as new confidence to do things my way, the way I know works best for me and for the goals of whatever project I’m on.

    If you want to read more about why solitude is good, you may start from this. Or this. Or maybe this. One of them tells you that solitude is even a competitive advantage! Who knew – it’s not just for us introverts to curl up in our comfort zone.

    Oh and if you want to come up here too, I may tell that my Lapland guide is almost finished (working on this site and menus this month). And to give a tip from here already, I may recommend the place offering that risotto (Restaurant Roka, Rovaniemi, Lapland Finland) which I enjoyed in solitude – comfort food, alone or made with love and enjoyed in good company, it’s an excellent self care ritual too. Especially after exercising out in the cold, which makes a girl hungry. Veeery hungy.

    With these words and pics, let’s survive now (and hopefully enjoy too) November.  See you later!

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä