Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Kathy from Kathy's Klavier has asked me about sauna in Finland.

Finns LOVE their sauna, though I don't know if they go there every day or not. I don't think so, since if you have an electric sauna and you go there every day, then you'll end up paying a HUGE amount of electricity bill later on. And if you have a wooden sauna, then you need LOADS of firewood if you go there every single day.

Anyway, in my hubby's office there's even a sauna room complete with two showers and a changing room, can you believe it? I mean, the office isn't THAT big, yet they have two showers, a changing room, and a sauna room? Tsk tsk tsk...

I think to read the complete sauna guide, you can just go here: Finnish Sauna.

I especially like being whipped by vasta or "birch twigs" (click the Finnish Sauna link to see the pic) during sauna. It's SO fragrant and it makes me feel GOOD.

My in-laws have a portable wooden sauna. It consists of two rooms. One is the changing room (or cooling down room) and the second one is the sauna. Decades ago they didn't have an indoor bathroom, so they went to sauna twice a week to shower (as well as to enjoy sauna). I can't imagine not having an indoor bathroom during harsh winter days since the distance between the house and the sauna was approx. 6-8 metres. BRRRRRRRRRR...

Anyway, here are some pics of my in-laws' sauna. First pic: the sauna from outside.

The second pic is the changing room. I took the pic from the doorway. There's the Pefletti box next to the table. (Pefletti = a disposable tissue designed to endure heat and humidity, we sit on it in the sauna room)

This third pic is the left part of the changing room. As you can see there are some clothes hangers on the wall for us to hang our clothes.

There you go: the sauna room itself. The white "tissue-like" stuff hanging is the Pefletti he he he he...Don't ask me why it's there. I took the pics when the sauna wasn't being used.

The stove and buckets of water!!!

Our regular sauna session goes like this:

1. Father-in-law warms up the sauna before we can go in (they use firewood to heat the sauna), then after about an hour we can go inside.

2. Bring some cider and towels and put them in the changing room, then we'd get undressed.

3. Soak ourselves up first with warm water before sitting down on Pefletti towels in the sauna room and throw some water on the stove. Steam, steam, steam!!!

4. Use the birch twigs (vasta) if my in-laws have it prepared in the sauna room.

5. After a while, we cool down in the changing room while drinking COLD cider. YUM YUM!!!

6. We go inside again and then throw more water to produce steam.

7. Then we go out again a bit to drink COLD cider in the changing room (usually by now the temp. inside the sauna room has gotten up to 70'C)
8. We go inside the sauna room again to wash ourselves and wash our hair.

9. We dry ourselves in the changing room while sipping more cider.

An exception to this order was made the last time we went to stay in the cabin. The cabin is located right in front of a lake, so in between sauna, my hubby decided to jump into the lake twice. The water was TOO cold for me, though. My hubby said that once he did it in September, when the lake water was colder than August. YIKES!!! No, thank you.

This has something to do with ice swimming. This is what I found in
It is common to have a sauna near such a swimming hole, and to cycle from the sauna into the water and back.
I also found a nice set of pics of (crazy) people going ice-swimming here: Avanto. Here are some info about public saunas (I've never been to one, so I can't share any personal experiences): Sauna. There are also some links on this site about sauna and ice-swimming.

Some hot-blooded people may not like sauna since their bodies have a hard time cooling down. Their bodies are so easily heated up. Two friends of mine are like that and they both dislike going to sauna.

All in all, I LOVE sauna since it's TRULY relaxing for me. You can't really do anything much while in sauna as it's SO hot, so you can only enjoy yourself and relax. Plus, I get to drink COLD cider. YUMMY!!!

I think I'd DEFINITELY enjoy sauna more in winter when it's cold outside. Last March when I first arrived here, there was still some snow outside and it was cold for me, yet sauna was always a welcome experience. I salute the inventor of sauna: THANK YOU for creating such a MAGNIFICENT thing!!!

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