Finland, discovering …. sauna

Here at Hub Feenix I am lucky to experience and enjoy the typical Finnish sauna tradition.

In Finland, sauna’ing is a social affair that should be enjoyed slowly and includes multiple steam sessions punctuated by a cold swim, shower or beers.

The preferred sauna is a wooden house equipped with a stove having a pile of stones on top and sometimes includes an integrated watertank to make warm water for washing yourself.   The stove is wood burning and uses – if available – birch to heat the room. Throwing water on the stones creates steam which increases the sauna’s humidity and intensifies the experience. 

It is believed and so do I, that each sauna has its own typical steam and the better the steam, the better the sauna.

Having the sauna cottage at a lakeside makes a cooling swim into a fantastic experience, there are even floating sauna’s being build.

At Hub Feenix there are two sauna cottages of which one is “trailable” and is regularly moved to the nearby lakeside.

Tradition at Hub Feenix are “Sauna Evenings” where the volunteers, the AiR’s and people from the NGO living and working in other buildings here will gather around the sauna and swim in the lake.

Almost every sauna evening is a unique experience on its own, sometimes quiet and enjoying the silence of forest and lake, other times with a lot of participants, beer and noise like being in a bar.

In those cases a surprising number of sitting, laying or, when no place is left, simply standing persons do fit in a small sauna like this portable one.  

It’s custom that whoever is near the water bucket, is in charge of throwing water on the hot rocks, here that is also being done every time someone is coming in or going out, imagine what it is looking like during the crowded sessions!

Now, looking from a window  at the co-workers area I can see the red-painted “mobile” sauna cottage,  ready for the next sauna evening.

I wonder when it will be moved to the lake again and sure …. I will join the party!!

Sure I’ll sleep and dream wonderfully afterwards.

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