• BLOG
  • Tricks For Doing Solo Ski Trip Well

    Davos Tiina Kivelä Creative

    For various reasons, the past years and especially last year I have traveled a lot solo. This way, I’ve had the privilege to travel regularly during the weekdays and off peak season. Making it cheaper and less crowded than in the weekends and peak seasons. I’ve also been able to tweak and adjust it like only a solo traveler and hustler can.

    And more than else, I’ve been doing stuff I really want to do. Not needing to adjust to other people’s desires, schedules and skill levels. Though not saying that it would always be my #1 choice. Many times, I would like to just go with the flow of good company, adjust and make compromises, to enjoy the amazing thing called sharing the best and the worst. Nevertheless, traveling solo is always better than not traveling at all. (Well, at least when it doesn’t cause lots of harm to environment etc.)

    In other words, there’s many benefits of solo travel and the freedom I have. Yet, I have to admit many times it’s damn demanding and tiring to be in charge of everything myself. To make all the planning, execution, hustling and figuring out all by myself. No extra pair of hands available to give a helping hand when needed. No extra pair of eyes looking after things needing looking after. And especially, no stupid jokes in every possible occasion. And the only possible solution for pictures of yourself are the selfies.

    All this said, I have luckily figured out few tricks which makes traveling solo a bit more easier and pleasant. Especially when it means traveling for skiing and other activities, when traveling with many heavy bags and hangry moments.

    And for the nice person I am, want to share them in here. With this stupid selfie from my Davos trip last week.

    Douchebags Davos-Klosters Ski 2019

    Doing Solo Ski Travel Well

    • Get good bags for your toys. Like, really good bags. The handy robust ones. The ones with wheels and/or possibility to carry them in your bag/shoulder and the ones with as little extra weight as possible. (Extra points for good looking and recognisable bags). You’ll really thank yourself when you haul them into the trains through crowds and long staircases and icy roads. My choice for my skis: Douchebag.

     

    • Figure out where to storage your stuff, well in advance. For example, if you don’t get into your accommodation or don’t stay in the destination for the night you have to have secure place for your stuff, as your mom or no one else is looking after them. Figure out where’s lockers and at which size and with which price, and how long the storages are open. As a skier/snowboarder/whatever, you can never travel light and you most likely will have some stuff you don’t wanna carry along all the day.

     

    • Get used to being ok eating alone and finding out the good in it. When googling where to eat, check for recommendations for single eaters and really go for the things you really like. When solo, you don’t need to worry of the friend only eating still living stuff nor the other highly allergic to chili. On the other hand, you need to be happy to be squeezed into communal table or get a seat only from the bar. Yet, there’s the good in that too: you easily get to chat with the staff, get very personal service or alternatively can just concentrate on your phone or book or food or beer or the other guest. My restaurant recommendation for Davos in the pics: Lokal.

     

    • Get used to not getting the best accommodation if and when you don’t have limitless budget. Unfortunately, the single tax – higher price if it’s just you in the room vs. two person sharing the room – is still exciting in many places. Also, very few places have good deals for solo travelers, even though the trend is picking up the businesses too. So, if and when you’re not into paying 200,- for a hotel room, you have to stick to the hostels most of the times. Nevertheless, if you are also interested to combine i.e. spa or sauna or other activities into your trip, have a look at how much the hostel bed + local spa visit costs separately bought and compare it to the best rate to a room in a spa hotel. Alternatively, keep an eye on the camps and similar, in where you end up being one solo traveler among many other solo travellers. Might get you surprised. And, if you’re going for the hostel and especially in Switzerland, check the Swiss Youth Hostels. There’s a hostel in almost every best mountain destination, some of which with very good views and breakfast and the whole thing focused on sustainable business.

     

    • For the transport, skip the car and take the train and/or bus. Roadtrips are super nice, but especially when traveling solo you most likely want to stress less of finding the right way and parking place, and of the traffic conditions in the foreign place etc. Also, sitting in the car all by yourself is not really good for the environment.  So, let’s skip that. And then in the train and bus, try to be there well in time to secure the window seat. It’s way nice to look out from the window or lean your head to the window when napping, than do the same to the stranger sitting next to you. In Switzerland, Swiss Travel System is my more than recommended transport method, for solo travellers especially.

     

    That said, look at how happily I enjoy my daily exercise in the pic above. Dragging my two pairs of skis and boots and other heavy luggage uphill in over 1500 meter above sea level. All the way up to my hostel behind the steep uphill, after not being wise and going directly from the train to the Langlaufzentrum Davos, to keep my stuff there while waiting for the hostel to let me check in and doing my first cross-country tour of the visit.

    My solo travels doesn’t always go as smoothly as I would like to. But most of the times they are still more than worth doing.

     

    Davos Platz 2019 Tiina Kivelä

    Davos-Klosters Train Travel 2019

    Tiina Kivelä Creative
    Davos Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Tiina Kivelä Creative


     

    Where: Davos, Graubünden, Switzerland

  • BLOG
  • Davos-Klosters For Cross-Country Skiing

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Davos

    I think I’ve said this many times already, but I’ll say it again still. The best kind of getaway is the one from which you are more than happy to return to just resting and working by your laptop for few days. Like my recent cross-country skiing getaway in Davos-Klosters.

    Last week – with a short notice in the middle of the week, which this lucky bastard can do – I went to Davos for two nights and three perfect cross-country skiing days. In perfect February weather. It was more than great trip and one of the biggest dreams come true.

    For the ones not familiar with my history, I learned to cross-country ski almost immediately after learning to walk. As the tradition in Lapland goes. Alpine and freeskiing – and skitouring – came only later and even though nowadays I enjoy them a lot as well, from the 80’s on I have loved this nordic sport the most.

    At school though – yes in Lapland you have to ski nordic at school – it was far from fun sometimes. I also have many annoying memories of cross-country skiing with frozen fingers and toes – and frozen bindings – and failed waxing of classic skis etc. Nevertheless, cross-country skiing has been my favourite outdoor sport discipline since the beginning. I haven’t even minded that especially once in a time it was one of the most unsexiest sports, even in Lapland. (Nowadays happy though that it’s very popular even in these alpine countries – I’ve heard this for the reason it being one of the toughest sports there is – the winter version of triathlon and road cycling kind of.

    I personally like cross-country – or nordic – skiing because it’s challenging and damn good exercise. And because in Lapland in winter you are almost always just few steps away from the nearest track, free too use. It also brings me to these amazing places, and nicely combines silent natural settings with hard-core exercise, and simply brings me to the best kind of flow state. And what’s best, few hours of cross-country skiing is definitely worth a beer or two. And many pieces of Swiss chocolate. (Btw, on my tours I like to carry along these Arctic Warriors Puhti Honey Shots).

    No wonder I’ve been hooked since kid (minus the beer part).

    Kinda naturally so then – besides hooking myself to this sport in the Lapland tracks – I’ve for years already dreamed of the best cross-country skiing places around the world, Davos-Klosters high on the list. For the change of scenery and climate and for the higher altitudes too.

    And now, after a good bite of the place, I have to say Davos-Klosters is in reality way better than in the dreams.

    Davos-Klosters For Cross-Country Skiers

    After this lengthy intro – maybe you’ve seen the pics and stories in Instagram too –  you may already guess that my recent trip to Davos-Klosters was awesome. I mean, all this^ and to make things almost too perfect, the weather was the best kind of weather Swiss February can offer, and the amount of snow perfect.

    Sun was shining, the snowy pillows glittering, and the flowing rivers kept my side and majestic mountains the back while I glided on. Though I have to admit, at some points my skiing wasn’t very smooth, for various reasons (something to do with lack of training and not the best skis maybe).

    I’m going to introduce you to my exact tours of the three days, for inspiration and useful info, in separate posts this week. But to start with, here’s some pics and general information for cross-country skiing in Davos- Klosters.

    First of all, take the train to Davos (Davos Platz or Dorf) or jump off in Klosters (about 30min train ride between these two) . Swiss Travel System and the Rhätische Bahn (Rhaetian Bahn) bring you and your skis to Davos-Klosters (in about 2,5h from St. Gallen and Zürich). And when in place, the cross-country tracks, accommodations and restaurants can be found within a close distance to the railway stations, or with the local buses which transport you all around the village centres and in between.

    (Read here more of the Klosters-Alp Novai cross-country track & here of the excellent Sertital -loipe.)

    Tracks & Services

    Please note that if you are staying the night (or two) in Davos, and pay the tourist tax CHF4 for the night, you also get the Davos Guest Card for the length of your stay. This lets you travel free in Davos, and even between Davos and Klosters.

    Moreover, for the skiers one of the best services in Davos is the Cross-Country Skiing Center – Langlaufzentrum Davos – in Davos Platz. It offers you excellent service in the form of toilets, changing rooms and showers (CHF1), lockers, cross-country track information and a bistro for refreshments. You may also note the excellent terrace on the sunny side of the center, in where to relax after good pass on the tracks. Open appr. from 9am to 4:30pm during the cross-country season.

    And last but not least, for the skiing itself Davos-Klosters area offers 170km prepared tracks, some of which for skating, some for classic and some for both. For the evening tours, there’s also some lighted trails and snow farming for early season tours. And what’s best, all these are free of charge to use.

    So if you’re still wondering, I would just say just book the damn ticket and go here. You’ll not regret, at least if the snow and weather is even close to what I had.

    Davos-Klosters Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Davos Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Davos-Klosters Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Davos-Klosters Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Davos-Klosters Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Davos-Klosters Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Davos Tiina Kivelä Creative

    Ps. With the Davos Guest Card you get some discount from the local spa and wellness center, and very good price for the public bath. Nevertheless, next time I am going to book myself into a spa hotel or at least b&b with sauna. Because first, Davos is also more than fine place for a real wellness holiday. And second, even though my choice, the Davos Youthostel, wasn’t bad for the price and for a solo traveler, I rather walk directly to my room in slippers from the spa or sauna, than walk the deep uphill up to the hostel.

    I guess that comes from getting used to having the sauna at home in Finland and especially getting used to the perfect winter ritual of cross-country skiing followed by sauna and beer.

    So if you have any recommendations for my next trip when it comes to accommodation in Davos-Klosters, please let me know.

    Psst. My restaurant recommendation in Davos: Lokal, Promenade 10, Davos Platz.


    Where: Davos-Klosters, Graubünden, Switzerland

  • BLOG
  • Postcard From Davos

     

    Switzerland Davos Tiina Kivelä Creative

    This week I stumbled directly into a vintage travel poster for Davos. Or well, it was real. But still.

    More stories from Davos coming soon, but first some rest. Because my little two nights getaway to Davos was also a damn good xc skiing training awesomeness session.


    Where: Davos, Graubünden, Switzerland