• Visiting Finland November 2016

    Tiina Kivelä Lapland

    It was Arctic, Finland November 2016. Snowstorms in Helsinki, below -10°C degrees in Lapland, trains and planes delayed because the cold and snow, and for whatever reasons. And I was delayed from everywhere too, because the phone decided to freeze and because the sparsely build Finnish cities managed to surprise me, after months abroad in these cozily arranged Swiss towns.


    But despite the cold Finland was nice. Most of the time. Seeing dearest friends is always nice. And Lapland is always nice, and Swedish Lapland was the nicest and the most tempting destination showing off in Skiexpo (yes, Swedes have eye for detail and style). And the Skiexpo sidekick party for Freeskiers, Vapaalaskuiltamat at Vanha, was also nice, but this time the hotel bed* and especially solitude, after 5 months in shared dorm-like flat, was more tempting than the party and films for more than short stop. Sorry friends, I can see them later online I hope. And hopefully see you all f2f in the Swiss slopes this winter; welcome to Jungfrau Region, I’m waiting!


    And then there was the Lapland in details. Santa Claus Village, of course, as it happens to be so cozily on my way always. There was Arctic Light hotel, pampering with the in-room Sauna, polar bears and the famous, best ever breakfast! Highly recommended. And there was couple of drinks and beer tasting at friend’s place (greetings to Haarige Kuh Brauerei, you got very good reviews!) too.

    And then there was more Sauna at the original home, packing and frozen surroundings (and one broken red wine bottle in the checked in carry-on, damn.. (Goodbye that carry on and nice paper wrappers for swiss chocolate). And a last dinner at Roka, and way too early wake up call for the flight back.


    After all this I have to confess that at some point during all that traveling, including the last day with wake up call at 4 am, 12h traveling in 2 flights and 2 trains, with 4 bags and couple of kilos too much, I decided this was the last time I took care of everything by myself. For the next time I’ll hire a personal assistant. Or find a husband, as that would suit better my poor budget… Or something. Too many bruises and aching muscles to count now, no matter how proud of myself I am after surviving the challenge in one piece and with all the bags (except the one^ destroyed by that bottle of wine).

    And in the end I would like to say, if this isn’t already clear enough: Go to Finland, and especially Lapland! It’s always worth it, and it kinda needs it. These days you can even take direct Germania flight from Zurich to Rovaniemi, if you’re from Switzerland or close.

    Or the other way round, dear Lapland people. Your host is waiting for the first guests! The cute little villages are dressing up with fairy lights and snow. Can’t get more idyllic for the end of the year. Both in Lapland and in Switzerland.

    *Ps. I have to ask, Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport, where was the real butter and fatty milk for coffee in breakfast? ? Non fat is so last season, didn’t you know? 

  • BLOG
  • Bed & Breakfast In Copenhagen

    Tiina Kivelä

    The Notes from Copenhagen serial continues with bed & breakfast tips in the city. Where did we sleep, and where did we breakfast during the 5 days and 4 nights in Copenhagen this Easter. And coffee, of course.

    First of all, we had booked a hotel room with breakfast, so most of the days it was hotel breakfast calling. Nevertheless, there was a morning, the first one, when we landed Kastrup already before 9am* in a need for late breakfast and good coffee. So after bringing our bags to the hotel we were graving for food and coffee, and as the lucky girls as we are, we accidentally found the place to enjoy breakfast / brunch in Copenhagen.

    Copenhagen by Tiina Kivelä


    Since we had this accommodation deal – breakfast included, there was only this one morning when we enjoyed a breakfast “at town”, as the saying goes. And accidentally, to our fortune, we pumped into (now seemingly) the most coveted places in Copenhagen, The Union Kitchen. I had already seen the coffee cups on Instagram, but it was just a coincidence that the first place we pumped into, hungry and just a stone’s throw from our hotel and lovely Nyhavn, was this one. Googling it now and walking past it many times during the days we spend in cph, it’s become clear we were very, very lucky to get seats without reservation (though from the counter, but still). Seemingly popular place, and after tasting their breakfast and brunch, coffee and other drinks, I can’t blame people for gathering there like ants. So good it was, the whole experience from food and drinks to service and decor. ****

    The Union Kitchen, 21 Store Strandstrade, Kbh K, 1255. Copenhagen, Denmark


    For couple of reasons me and my travel companions are quite loyal Scandic customers. Or should I say, friends. And so it was that for the same couple + few extra reasons we spend the Easter in Scandic too; more precisely Scandic Front. Not extra fancy, but good enough.  And when it comes to the most important part, the breakfast, it had probably the best coffee I’ve ever had at hotel breakfast (served from Stelton; thumbs up!), excellent crispy bacon, good bread, cheese and fruits made it almost perfect. But only almost, because I did miss fish, which they, to my surprise (it’s by the sea, come on!) didn’t serve.

    The room was spacious enough for three women, it had good views (as a person who’s been stuck at inland for too long it’s always amazing to have the sea view), and when the construction projects nearby; the Inderhavnsbroen and Kvæsthusprojektet  will be ready, the hotel location will be one of the best ones in town. Therefore, I expect rate upgrades to come. This time I didn’t have time to try the gym or sauna (all the walking, cycling, dancing and morning “yoga” worked almost as well) but if I ever get back I’ll try those too. Especially during the winter months the sauna would be extra nice.

    Copenhagen by Tiina Kivelä

    Scandic Front, 21 Skt. Annæ Plads, 1250 Copenhagen, Denmark


    When I was living in Copenhagen back in 2011, I rarely visited this part of the city. I mostly passed it, cruising past Kongens Nytorv to Christianshavn, and other way round. But now, seen the newly opened places and development projects going on, I notice how much more these hoods attract me now. I’m definitely going back, both to the streets and cafés. And the Little Mermaid, of course.

    *Kastrup’s my favorite airport in Scandinavia, with smooth connections to city and vice versa, excellent food, shopping and lounges.

    **No, I have no idea why I have too pairs of knife and fork. Though I like to eat double the amount normal people do, especially on hotel breakfast.