Some spottings

As I have been off the radar for a while due to illnesses, my brain’s still been working over drive. I have been reading and surfing, exploiring and digging, meeting and spotting. Wanted to share some of my visions, spottings and experiences from the last few weeks about trends, travel and social media.

I. Travel by iPhone

I’ve been playing around with the different iPhone apps related to travel (Wallpaper FREE Berlin guide, North Face snowreport, NY Art Beat, Gowalla & Foursquare, found even a Design District Helsinki application! YEY!). Foursquare is making deals in the US; posted a few articles on this from Mashable at my FB profile and tweets. Also watched a few videos about online publishing for tomorrow (for the iPad): Bonniers and Wired – the Barcelona selected guide is working already forward to this way… not to mention virtual travel..check out the Trans Siberian railway article at PSFK or latest TED talk by Blaise Aguera y Arcas on Bing augmented reality maps. Cool stuff!!

II. It’s cooking

Have found some good blogs & websites covering trends and travel among other stuff (spotcoolstuff.com, outside.in, treehugger.com, communitiesofthefuture.com, trendsmap.com, littlediggs.com…) I have also activated myself on twitter and started to follow lots of people and organizations. There is plenty relevant (and irrelevant) out there! But i feel i’ve found a few sweet spots. I also read about the Finnish project called nopsa travel agency – nopsatravels, which is a totally new concept of sustainable travel. Have a read: nopsatravels.com (think it’s only in Finnish….) it totally compresses the whole thing about sustainability into a practical level and it is very much worth the PELOTON prize! And remember fluxury?

III. Trends in cities

There was a relatively good read at Travel and Leisure about 2010 travel trends: http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/top-travel-trends-of-2010, also the magazine Viewpoint (made by The Future Laboratory) had a perfect roundup about future communities and citizens.

“There will be self-sufficient small villages and self-built homes, car free zones. Hyperlocalism is a growing trend that is already seeing everything from fashion to bicycles to media and food being sourced, produced and sold wholly within local communities. These rurbans are predominantly to buy and consume goods that have been produced in the local vincinity. This encompasses food, via vertical farms, rooftop beekeeping, and urban allotments; transport solutions such as Bowery Line Bicycles, produced start to finish in Brooklyn, clothing, including Melbourne fashion store Lupa, which sells only Melbourne-made fashion and art; and media – user-generated newspapers that cross with blogs are springing from the UK to Canada. Rurbans live in or use vertical farms and create viable urban gardens that fulfil all their food needs. In NY, hte Gotham Greens hydroponic rooftop farm is endorced by Mayor Bloomberg; London recently appointed its first “food czar”; and the recent competition bids to rebuild Paris envisioned select parks being tilled for vegetable and fruit production…”

IV. Cabin fever

The latest trend form this altitude (1085m above sea level) is old tiny warehouses renovated into fluxury habitats. There are not many, yet a few, 1800’s really small, typical alp storages in Chamonix, that have been renovated into skilodges. These shelters were originally used as a storage area for nearby located farm and other housing. They did not have any windows, just a door. Normally, these buildings have three floors (to store wheat in a dry place), each floor area about 9 squaremeters. So they might be tiny, but nevertheless cosy. People are now hunting these few buildings left to be used as getaways instead of the traditional luxury villas in the valley, redoing them to modern and mobile homes.

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Let it snow

Since we arrived in December it has been snowing almost EVERY day. We have been skiing fresh powder on a daily basis, which is nice. In addition to perfect snow conditions it has been perfectly COLD.
Yesterday morning temperature dropped to -15 in Les Tines. I’m glad I have my bootwarmers. Can’t live without them.

The snow cover has thickened as well on the glaciers, which allows some fantastic skiing, but unfortunately does not stop the accidents. Last week a snowboarder fell down fatal 20 meters to a crevasse on a popular tourist route at Vallee Blanche. Downtown just by our place before the ascent to Le Lavancher authorities are stopping traffic and checking on proper winter equipment. This is a typical scene in front of our house on snowy days – socks on, socks off…

Christmas went by as did New Year’s. We enjoyed some powder days in Courmayeur, where it dumped for three days while it rained in CHX. Back home the house was full of sweet kids and merry adults, flying helicopters, spidermans, dinosauruses and even Santa came by. Hedda spent nearly two weeks skiing with us liking it a lot. She is coming again for a week soon. It will be fun!

After Hedda left, we went on a first tour to Trient with Björn and Heidi. The latter part was like walk in a park…


I have been testing a new pair of fat skis. They are like a smooth operator in deep snow (and, oh, did I mention there has been a lot of it)!