• BLOG
  • Nordic Skiing In Engelberg

    Engelberg Talloipe Langlauf

    Here and there I have now heard nordic skiing (or cross-country skiing or langlauf or hiihto) is the coolest winter sport. Even many of the cooler than cool free skier stars are doing it!

    And in general as an endurance sport, nordic skiing is even cooler than trailrunning and triathlon, which kinda try too much to be cool and popular (sorry, I guess I just aren’t old enough). And which can be done and for which one can train almost anywhere on the planet, almost any time of the year.

    Different is nordic skiing, which requires cold, snow, prepared tracks (especially the skating version) and good profiles for those tracks. Not too flat, not too steep hilly and definitely not too urban. And luckily this poor winter again, from time to time, one has been able to find all this in Engelberg too, making it kind of ok place to live and visit (just less than 2h from Zürich, wink wink) for nordic skier as well.

    And of course, in good and bad, nordic skiing requires skills and endurance. Although that is best learned and gained by doing it. So hop of to the tracks, if you have any close by. (But take a technique course first, if you aren’t born nordic with compulsory nordic skiing classes at school.)

    The cool Maloja clothing and Kästle skis (btw, did you know Kästle is making Nordic skis again, and they look pretty nice, which is not default in nordic ski design, unfortunately) are obligatory, as well as company. Gang shreds suit nordic skiing too, but for me this works best as active meditation and time in nature with me, myself and I.

    Eh and after nordic skiing, sauna is almost compulsory. So don’t forget it before the traditional aprés beers and well deserved raclette. Your muscles will thank you.

    (Psst. From Engelberg  I have found a decent enough Finnish sauna with reasonable price in Titlis Resort and for a bit more extra sauna and spa you may find in Eienwäldli, a bit out of the town by the talloipe in these pics).

    Talloipe Engelberg Langlauf

    Talloipe Engelberg Nordic Skiing

    Engelberg Talloipe Langlauf


    Where: Talloipe, Engelberg Switzerland (current conditions & langlaufinfo here)

  • BLOG
  • Sauna

    Tiina Kivelä

    Finnish sauna. Almost everyone in this country has one and even though the nuances are varied, the basic concept could almost be found in our constitution.  Tiina Kivelä

    It’s a funny concept — you warm it hot (80°C is about right), get naked, go in, sit (or lay) and sweat there for some time (15mins is about right), silent. And throw some water to the stones constantly. Then you scrub your skin with something, or beat yourself with a birch whisk (don’t ask), and sit silent for some more minutes. Further on, you go out, jump into an ice cold water or if the season is right, snow, and curl there for some seconds, get back in, sweat some more, and shower.

    Then you take your bathrobe and an ice cold beer, go out to cool down for few minutes and take another set of silent moments. Finally, you come to the conclusion that life isn’t so bad after all. With perfect skin.

    That’s Finnish sauna, my favorite, almost daily, wellness ritual. And a very good excuse to close off rest of the world for a moment.

    Tiina Kivelä

    For Finnish sauna, you don’t have to stay in or come to Finland though. When traveling, it’s always interesting, and rewarding, to find sauna, especially if it’s labeled “Finnish”, and test enjoy it. To see what the prefix Finnish means with each case; if it’s hot, humid and minimalistic as the best ones, or if it’s just good enough. And then I just sit there quiet for a while, letting the body and mind relax.

    I’ll add few good sauna finds below, around Europe. And if you know a nice one, which you think I should definitely try, please tell me or invite me over. If it’s close snowy mountains, or in the middle of busy city, the better.

    Recently, I’ve even started to browse and dream of spa holidays or at least travels including as much spa’s and sauna’s as possible.  Steam sauna’s and hammams, Korean saunas and so on. Traveling with a tight budget, as I normally do, creates stress for which spas and saunas offer nice remedy. Almost as good as a long sleep in comfy king size hotel bed.

    In Finland, finding sauna for the everyday stress relief is pretty easy, and one of the best perks of Finland is definitely the saunas even in the smallest urban flats. In few weeks, when finally moving to a new flat after months of homelessness, I’ll even get a tiny home sauna myself. And for that personal “spa”, and since my skin is screaming “woman why did you bring me back to this hell called dry Finnish winter air!”, and hair is screaming “come on woman, you can’t run with me from the -20°C directly to the +80°C sauna without consequences“, I’m also updating my wellness self-help kit, starting with Aésop in pictures (they came wrapped in that cute paper, ordered from their own webshop). It’s high-end, a bit expensive, and not as eco as I’d really like, but oh boy it will look nice in my shelves, next to sauna.

    And hopefully they make my skin scream less.


    Where

    Spa’s with sauna(s):

    Bödelibad, Interlaken, Switzerland

    Seebad Enge, Zürich, Switzerland

    Finnish Rooftop Sauna, London, Great Britain

    Hotel saunas:

    Züri by Fassbind, Zürich, Switzerland

    Arctic Light Hotel, Rovaniemi, Finland