• Some Skiing & Skier’s Dinner In Ski Lodge Engelberg

    Spannort Tiina Kivelä Photography

    It’s been an interesting winter in Swiss Alps. Or may I say bad, very bad.

    Not just for the poor conditions for cool fluffy powder turns, long scenic langlauf  tours and the pics (after all, I wanted to shoot more skiing and pretty snowy landscapes more than ever this winter) . It also makes me sad how bad this is in general for the environment, for the lifestyle we many so much love, and the livelihoods of these cute little villages in the heart of the marvellous Alps.

    Also the February, normally the last proper winter month in the Swiss Alps, hasn’t been this year even close to this excellence in Davos year ago (or maybe in Graubünden it’s been, who knows).

    Luckily there has been few good ski days, enough snow and cold days for few powder turns and even once the 11km talloipe open for good sunny (and full moon) skating style xc skiing. And more than else it makes me happy that the ski towns like Engelberg have so much good stuff to offer even on a bad winter (which is gonna be the norm in the future I am afraid).

    There are good cafés and bars to hang in, bakeries to buy excellent bread and other daily carbs, shops selling exactly what one needs (though not much extra, for which one is happy for the sustainable webshops especially), the Kloster Engelberg (celebrating it’s 900 year birthday in 2020!) and the restaurants.

    And while my heart (and tummy) always have a special place for the authentic mountain restaurants, ski huts and even the local Sporting Park pizza (who knows, knows), the Skier’s Dinner in Brasserie Konrad (Ski Lodge Engelberg) always deserves a extra mention when speaking of Engelberg restaurants. Especially on a week like this.

    It was a rainy warm evening this Monday, following way too warm (for February) xc skiing loops. But the food and athmosphere in the dinner (this time set up for locals) really made one feel that after all, it’s very good with just some excellent Swiss wine and three course menu close to perfection, enjoyed around big table with some good friends and lovers. Laughing and living.

    And of course, talking of this winter…

    Brunni Engelberg Freeskiing

    Brunni Engelberg Vapaalasku

    Ski Lodge Engelberg



    Gross & Chli Spannort

     skiing Brunni (Brunnibahn)

    cross-country skiing schanzenloipe (Sporting Park)

    Skier’s Dinner Brasserie Konrad, Ski Lodge (during main ski season every night)

    Engelberg, Switzerland


  • BLOG
  • Comfortable Getaway In Zermatt

    Goats Zermatt

    No matter how much I like active holidays, sometimes it is more than nice to just be as comfortable as possible. And indeed that was the case last week in Zermatt, in the home of the fluffy black nosed sheep and long haired blackneck goats (in the pics).

    The previous time I went to Zermatt though, I said the next time I come with my bike. Yet again, no bike with me. For the pure joy (and need) to take it as comfortable as possible. A pure wellness holiday by the famous chocolate Matterhorn.

    Surprisingly for late August (the second best time of the year) I managed to secure exceptionally good deal for – in almost exactly the kind of small hotel I would run if I would run a hotel – Matthiol Boutique Hotel. Which sits a bit further away from the bit too crowded cute streets of Zermatt town centre (no worries, transfers are on the house). And has the official swiss bike hotel label.

    The deal came with excellent breakfast (though the coffee wasn’t so great but there were many cheese, pancakes and dry prosecco to compensate), good service and the smallest of details gotten right (pure new luxury!).

    For me though the best there was their gem of an wellness area and especially the Finnish sauna there. Which I got all to myself on both evenings there (Finns seem to like it hotter than most people, which goes more than fine with me), to take care of the mediation and ultimate self care needed.

    Zermatt Matterhorn Village

    Matthiol Boutique Hotel Breakfast Zermatt

    Matthiol Wellness Zermatt

    Matthiol Boutique Hotel Restaurant


    And yes, I spent hours in there just eating and sweating in sauna. But, I also did some light hikes and pure tourist activities. (Just so I could eat more and because the weather was already that great early autumn sunny and fresh).

    First, I added a hike on the 5 Lakes Hike trail (5 Seenweg Hike) with a little detour to the Gourmetweg (Gourmet Path) for  lunch in Chez Vrony by the path. (Got the restaurant tip from passing bikers who asked the right trail to there, which was later proved to serve one of the best (vegan) mountain lunches I have enjoyed. With views to Matterhorn.)

    Chez Vrony Zermatt 2019

    Chez Vrony


     Then the next day, for the real tourist experience (which I rarely do) and for the lack of time, I took the train up to Gornergrat to check out some never before seen with my own eyes glaciers and mountain tops. And after just 20minutes up there– taking pictures and admiring the amazing views to the glaciers, Matterhorn and the majestic mountain tops of the Monte Rosa massif – I simply took the train down and headed home.

    It was a brief visit again – too brief considering all the amazing outdoor adventures Zermatt can provide on foot, bike and skis – yet very lovely and enchanting.

    Next time though, I really bring my bike.

    MTB Zermatt


    Zermatt Trails

    Gornergratbahn Zermatt

    Five Lakes Hike Zermatt Matterhorn

    Zermatt Matterhorn Switzerland

    Where: Zermatt | Matthiol Boutique Hotel | 5 Lakes Hike | Gornergrat

    How: Being totally car free village, Zermatt is easiest to reach by train (station Zermatt). Further on, to the Gornergrat top station in 3135m, you may take the Gornergratbahn next to main train station (about 30minutes ride). & the 5 Lakes Hike starting point you reach by taking the funicular to Sunnegga and from there gondola to Blauherd (if you prefer uphills like me, I can also recommend starting the hike from Sunnegga and then taking the gondola down from Blauherd). From Sunnegga, you can also easily reach the Gourmetweg and the restaurants by that trail.

    For train and lift tickets, check the day passes (especially if moving on skis or bike), single rides and occasional combine offers, and compare them to eventually find the best deal.