• The Other Home Of Mine

    Tiina Kivelä

    I’ve been back to arctic tundra (also known as Lapland, my home) a few days now and as mentioned already, been eating and drinking well. And to earn all that eating and drinking, I’ve been running around Rovaniemi; road running by the river, and trail running on the Ounasvaara trails, an example of which in here.

    The path below is really for biking and since I wasn’t on a bicycle (this time), I have to apologize for the collision danger caused by my unresponsible actions. Normally I really do go according to the written and unwritten rules – and advice you to do the same, as it’s good for everyone – but up here, I just can’t help it and end up running everywhere. (Luckily though the summer season up north is quite quiet still, so I had the trails all to myself this time.)

    After the long periods in Switzerland, I’m always so excited to be back to the flatlands and mellow hills and fjells of Lapland – the air here is so fresh and the uphills so smooth. Not to mention the midnight sun, which messes up your sleep and allows running around whatever hour of the day or night (good way to get the most out of the messed up sleep patterns).

    Oh, and it’s also easy to make pace records here, at least compared to the Alps.

    All the vanity…

    Tiina Kivelä

    Ps. The trails are more than nice for some semi-urban hiking as well. But please note that the signalization is a bit outdated and confusing – new, a better system should be up next year though – so take a map with you when going.

    Where: Rovaniemi 66°N, Lapland, Finland (guide)

  • BLOG
  • Exploring Ticino – Monte San Giorgio

    Tiina Kivelä

    Ticino’s the sunny side of Switzerland, they said. And after last Sunday I can pass the message on, with empirical proof. Past year, many people and magazine pages have advised, especially during the rainy months of Bernese Oberland, to visit Italy or at least Ticino, as it’s said to be almost always sunny in there. It tempted me, but since it hasn’t rained so much (or even better; it’s been snowing) and there’s been enough of exploring at home in the Jungfrau Region, it took me a while to get myself further. But last Sunday, on my birthday, when it was pouring rain in Interlaken,  as it regularly does during these months, which further on didn’t allow any nice hiking or biking or climbing or skiing at home, my road trip wishes were answered. And so I got a ride and the crew to Ticino, with the mission of hiking to the top of Monte San Giorgio and eating some pizza in Italy.

    Ticino’s only three hours away from Interlaken, so it’s almost perfect for a day trip and just perfect for a weekend getaway (next time hotel and biking too, please). Not to mention that it’s just an hour drive away from Milan if you’re interested in flying nearby. But luckily we didn’t need to fly this time; all we did was took the car and drove away. After the Gotthard tunnel (of course I had google how the story of the fire goes in that loooong tunnel – btw when did they start offering 4G in road tunnels?!) the rain stopped and the sky turned cloudy but dry. Moreover, the roadside signs turned to Italian; it was like going abroad, even though we weren’t even officially on the Italian side yet.

    Tiina Kivelä

     Finally in Ticino, after the drive and 10min hunt for the parking spot, we hit the trail through this forest towards our destination, the top of Monte San Giorgio (which holds an UNESCO status, btw), in where the greatest birthday surprise was waiting for me: it was sunny, and the views were just breathtaking. The “Sunday walk” kind of hike didn’t really do the job, but the snow-topped Swiss alps in the north, Italy in the south, the lakes, and the green hills of Ticino took my breath away, big time. And when the day ended just a short drive further to the Italian side, with pizza and wine, panna cotta and espresso, I hugged my crew and said that this was definitely one of the best, if not even the best, birthday I’ve ever had. My favourite people, food, drinks and mountains. La grande bellezza. Only thing missing was the sea and gelato, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time when I get the crew to Finale Ligure or Ascona, for even more Italian outdoors fun. Or I might just return to Ticino with more time and my bike, as it was already more than fine in here.

    Pizza: La Ghironda, Viggiù

  • BLOG
  • Get Up – Rock Climbing In Interlaken

    After almost a year here in the adventure capital called Interlaken, I still find almost every day a new thing to be amazed and learn more of in here. This Sunday, after the “I say this third time, but still” last (resort) skiing day of the season, the new thing was rock climbing. I’ve done some indoor bouldering previously and always been fascinated by the “real” climbing. And for this summer, with the help of dear friends who know more than I, I’ve decided to pick up the rock climbing.

    Tiina Kivelä

    If you aren’t yet up to climbing itself, I can also recommend just hanging around rocks and cracks. The climbers are cool people and when the most talented and well-trained gets up, it’s like watching a dancer performing a unique and beautiful choreography. Myself I’m now lucky to have a friend who guides me to this world for free, but there’s also lots of options to choose from when you want to hire a guide. Just google or call your friend, to spend an awesome day outdoors like we did. Highly recommended.

    Next time though, I need to do less bullshit (when I’m nervous, I talk and swear a lot) and more climb; concentrate more on the rock that is. And I also need to build up some muscles, especially the small hand ones (yes, again one more thing to motivate me to do things and exercise, which is more than ok).

    And maybe one day I look as peaceful hanging up there as these guys.

    Tiina Kivelä

    Ps. RIP Ueli. Today I gave the north face of Eiger a long look, thinking of you and all the ways you have inspired and pushed the limits. I’ve seen you running here and most likely you’ve been also climbing these same routes and I hope you knew how much you’ve inspired so many people. I’ll most likely not climb the north face myself; nevertheless I apply your spirit to my own kind of doing almost every day. 

    Where: Unterseen/Interlaken, Switzerland