• Badi
  • Cheap Luxury In Zürich

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

    I have a Switzerland secret which I wanna share with you – in summer, it’s easy to spend a cheap but awesome day in Zürich. Yes, you heard right. Cheap but good Zürich is possible. Because good life is luxury and Zürich has it a lot.

    And these are the simple Zürich budget tips:

    First, buy a cheap beer or two (Quöllfrish/Calanda/Rugenbräu) and/or a bottle of cooled down wine (colour according to taste) and some snacks from the Coop in Hauptbahnhof, or similar. Then, wander along the Limmat -river and sit down somewhere there, to enjoy your drink and the views. Third, when in need of a good architecture and excellent free toilet (all that beer, I know), visit Landesmuseum.

    Finally, end the sweaty afternoon (alternatively you may also start the day this way) in one of the free badis in town, i.e. my favorite the Oberer Letten Flussbad (psst. if you want to look like a local there, take a fouta with you). And when talking of the badis, CNN just listed Zürich as the second best swimming city in the world, right after Copenhagen, which in other words makes Zürich the best freshwater swimming city in the world. Yay!

    More of my Zürich tips (includes the more pricey drinks, shopping and bath options as well), you can find in my Zürich -guide in here, and in the category Zürich, obviously.


    Where: Limmatquai & Landesmuseum, Zürich

  • BLOG
  • Granada

    Tiina Kivelä

    Last summer, on our trip to Granada, we stayed in this cute apartment in Albayzin (rented through Airbnb) with the amazing views to Alhambra. For me, it was one of those trips when I was just happy to be away, in a nice town. A special trip of the kind in which nothing really is special and in which one of the best things is just to sit there watching the rooftops and palaces shining in the moonlight. And drink wine.

    I’ve visited Granada a few times now and I guess that’s one of the secrets for this kind of good trip – familiar enough to feel comfortable and fascinating enough to not feel too comfortable. First time I was there just for sports (orienteering, hiking and skiing in the Sierra Nevada) on our sporty road trip through the Spanish countryside. The second time, we visited a friend studying there, and the Alhambra, and enjoyed the tapas and wine and flamenco in the rainy cold March weather (which caused me the most awful travel flu ever).

    The third time, in June last summer, I mainly concentrated on drinking wine and tinto de verano, eating tapas and finding the already known and new (for me) gems in and around this lovely town.

    It’s hard to say why exactly I like this place so much that I come back over and over. Some of it, and maybe even most of it, is because of the combination of mountains, a lively city, amazing food and music culture, of tapas and flamenco, and the Arabic influence.

    Or maybe it’s just because everything’s so beautiful there. Just look at this.

    Tiina Kivelä

    During summer the city can be extremely hot and on our visit, at the beginning of June, it was moderately hot, because of which the visit to the mountains was extra nice. During winter, on the other hand, it can be cold, even snowy, and then especially the hammams are a nice option.

    Have you been here? What did you like the most?

    Granada Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä

     

    Tiina Kivelä

    Where: Granada, Andalusia, Spain

  • BLOG
  • Winter is Coming & I wish I’d Be In Switzerland Now

    Tiina Kivelä

    Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot of autumn in Switzerland – that awesome indian summer, which according to the messages is there again. This time though, I’m myself back to Lapland – I clearly didn’t think this through when signing for this work gig last summer. While bathing in Zürich, it was hard to remember that the long and dark winter was waiting. And right now, it’s very hard, if not impossible, to not forget the kaamos, as we call this dark period in Finland.

    In Lapland, my least favorite season is this late autumn, October and November. Up here, it’s the season which develops from 50 shades of autumn to 100 shades of grey, ultimately leading to pitch black polar night. Some years, early snow and crispy clear, sunny late autumn days soothe the pain a bit, not to forget the nordic skiing if and when snow arrives early. And there’s stars and moon and northern lights – signs of sun and light somewhere. Though not this year, because of the never ending overcast. It’s definitely one of the most challenging periods, and this year doesn’t seem to make exception.

    During the years, I have developed quite good survival skills for this season though (might have some resemblance to hygge). I exercise and spent as much time as possible outdoors, preferably during midday, to get as much natural light as possible. And I try to date people as much as possible – this is not a good time to be alone (thought reading, netflix, knitting and ski movies aren’t bad options either). I drink moderately, if any, alcohol, and try to get at least 8h sleep per night, take additional vitamin D and make the dreams come true as far as credit balance permits. It’s time for daydreaming, and while others hunt game, I hunt for last minute flights. Somewhere like Switzerland.

    Nowadays I try to avoid thinking “what if” too much. Rather, I think how to do it. Nevertheless, sometimes I can’t make it, no matter what. And then only option left is daydreaming, the what if. And so, below my tips on what to do in Switzerland this time of the year (fyi that’s what I’ve been dreaming). Maybe you have better options than I have, and can even make it. Maybe my dream could be your reality. So, my pleasure, you’re welcome. Free of charge. But if you want to give something in return and happen to have some kind of magic recipe for getting there conveniently and cheaply, let me know – I would really like to make it there too. As soon as possible.

    Tiina Kivelä

    If I’d be in Switzerland, I’d start from my normal landing city, Zürich. In there, I’d stop for wine on a boat during Expovina, and maybe do some window shopping too. Then, I’d pretend I could effort every day like this, and go to Markthalle, eat simple hangover breakfasts like the one below (I really didn’t have hangover then, but it does look like it, I admit), and eat excellent burritos in the city.

    After Zürich, I’d take the one hour train to Bern. In there, I’d first and foremost visit Berner Weinmesse (Oct. 13th-22nd).  Yes, I know, it’s after the Expovina, in a matter of fact right now, so hurry up – but like said, we are dreaming here so we don’t need to care about the facts too much).  After wine, or well I should really do it before, I’d do some people watching and remote work in Einstein Café and shop a bit mountain gear.

    There’s no Switzerland without bathing, I’ve come to realise, and so I’d consider going to Valais to do a crispy wine hike and combine it with a spa day or two in Leukerbad, or to another region for an excellent bad, like Rigi. Of course I’d also take a dip in the natural waters like Aare river, but this time of the year a heated pool and sauna is more than nice compulsory addition too. Maybe all this would include some yoga too. And moments like this.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Finally, after few days of wine and pampering, I’d end up in my Swiss home region, the Jungfrau Region. To say hi to my friends and continue up to the mountains, to get the balance right after all the wine*. Up there, I’d enjoy the hopefully clear technicolor days like last year, run down the hill in the style of sound of music (maybe), hike up and stay a night or two in the winter room of some of the huts. If I’d be lucky, I’d taste the first snow, and if not, there’s always the eternal snow waiting up in the mountains – maybe I should already visit the Jungfraujoch as well. And of course I’d take a concerned look on the melting glaciers, and learn more mountaineering tricks.

    All this, with the sun, would hopefully provide me with enough energy and inspiration to survive rest of the year until another ski season. And if you bring my tips into action, I’m sure they delight you too. If not, there’s something wrong with you then 😉 People, go to Switzerland, especially during the off-season. Or wait. You can also leave it all to me. I’ll go book my tickets now…

    Tiina Kivelä

     

    *I’ll gonna do a poor northern woman weinmesse version in Viini & Ruoka -expo in Helsinki Oct. 26th-29th. So if I manage to find the reasonably priced flights to Switzerland, it’s gonna be lots of wine then. Didn’t I just mention the moderate amount of alcohol?


    Where: Berner Weinmesse 13.-22.10.2017, Bern

    Expovina 2.-16.11.2017, Zürich

    Huttour, SAC & my tips for a tour, Switzerland

    Inspiration for mountains: Alpinsight