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Adventure

Getting to know a Finnish sauna can be an adventure, mainly if you feel the 100 degrees, if you have to get completely undressed and, in the end, if you throw yourself onto a lake or decide to roll over in the snow, if it’s winter. But nobody will take it the wrong way in case tourists do not comply with the “protocol”.

Experts say that the sauna cleans and treats the body, calms the mind and provides pleasant moments. In the case of Finland, where there are two million saunas for five million habitants, it is a lot more than a way of wellbeing. The history of Finnish traditions tells that, in the past, sauna was the chosen place to bathe in hard winters, when there was no hot water in the house. It became a national bath and many houses – be it flats or country houses – have saunas.The traditional saunas are found inside a hotbed where wood is burnt to heat up stones, and then water is thrown onto the stones to increase humidity. If you decide to try out one of the traditional Finnish saunas, prepare to stand up 100 degrees. Start by having a shower and enter the sauna naked (this is natural and almost compulsory, according to the “protocol”). In the end, you should also have a shower, but you can follow the locals’ example and throw yourself onto a lake or roll over on the snow, in the winter. To keep the tradition, there is the Finnish Sauna Society, with more than three thousand members (www.sauna.fi/inenglish.html).

Adventure: other destinations

Natal Bissau Porto Santo São Tomé and Príncipe
Natal Bissau Porto Santo São Tomé and Príncipe