• LIFE
  • Happy Holidays From Zürich

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Happy Holidays from Zürich!

    I’m having very untraditional holidays this year – spending the season in Switzerland studying, working and planning next year. No parties, no family, not even snow right now. But oh all the lovely Swiss things like this Zürich in the pics. And cheese. And chocolate. And wine…

    It’s all good.

  • 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
  • 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.

    ONE EVENING IN HELSINKI, FINLAND

    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!

     

    TWO DAYS IN LAPLAND

    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.

    LOOKING FOR AN ASSISTANT

    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.

     


    FI:

    Lappi on aina hyvä idea. Ja Sveitsi myös.


    *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?