So during the visit of my mom and my "little" brother we did some more hiking. (At this point there is no denying we like to go hiking). The first day was in a swampland near Oulu and it was a nice trip through the autumn colored forest. The only thing were we had some bad luck was the barbecuing because the wilderness hut we chose hat no wood left. Any way here are some pictures from the trip.
These are acually quite similar to the ones we have in Germany
This is how you comfortably hike through the swamp.
For the next trip we travelled to a national park "near" by: Syöte. In other words we travelled to winter land. Where we also finally hat the chance to grill some makkara. By the way, in my memories from holidays we had quite a bad memory of the sausages here (makkara), but the ones we had tried during the visit of my family were quite good although a little bit exotic. The most normal ones were some chorizos made here in Finland. Next up: some more typical short "sauna sausages" filled with chili cheese, which we ate during the hiking trip. We were hungry so maybe our taste was a bit of from normal, but we all liked them. The last ones were Frankfurter filled with blue cheese! The blue cheese was very mild and overall it was a good sausage (even my mother said so!). Another thing you would not imagine is, how many different sausages for barbecuing you can find here… Anyway here are some images from our snowy hike.
It is also worth to note that we were never the only ones hiking nor barbecuing.
So this is what roughly 500€ a month will get you as a students appartment. Water and heating are included. Electricity and furniture are not. The high prices for furniture and the lack of a nearby IKEA made it even easier for us to pursue our hobby of woodworking and make some furniture ourself. This results in the fact that I have grown quite fond of this appartment in a short time. The layout is realy nice, as are the big windows that can flood the room with sun. (Altough the fotographers among you might notice that I cheated a bit)
The point of this post meanwhile is not to show of our apartment but to show some distinct features that are common here but probably nowhere else. I guess every country has these, altough I do not know what we have to offer in Germany in that regard. Anyway. You know the winter is cold when you see these triple glas double frame windows:
Strikingly the big windows are not easily opened, because they don't have any preinstalled handles (there is one loose handle for all them). Which probably means it also does not get to warm in the summer – which I would consider a plus point. The heating and ventilitan in general is quite sofisticated. There are small vents next to every window that you can open to let a small amount of air in and out. Meanwhile the heaters can not be turned on the way you are used to – which means they do not get hot. You can turn them completly of and regulate the temperature in three steps but contrary from what you might expect they do net get hot when you turn them to three. But I can confirm they work – in the sense that it is warme in our flat than outside.
The kitchen also has some unique things to it. Above you see an integrated cutting bord of which we have two. I never used one of them though, because they are a little bit to low. What we use everyday instead is the ingenious dishes drying cupboard which they have everywhere around here.
Next up is the bathroom which can come up with this device:
What is it? It is useful. It is a small shower head that is fittet to the faucet. It works by turning on the faucet and then pressing the lever on the shower head. In general it is meant for cleaning, specifically your behind while you sit on the toilet. It is not as sophisticated as a japanese toilet but it does its job quite well. And other than its japanese counterpart it is very useful for other cleaning tasks in the bathroom. See this is what I mean with pragmatism around here. Anyway.
Well how to go to the sauna? Yeah, it is in the basement.
As some of you know, I know at least somethings about sauna. So this is neither my first visit to a "finnish" sauna nor my first visit to a sauna on finnish ground, therefore I feel qualyfied to tell you: the basement of this student appartement building has a good sauna. Well, ok not a great one, but it is honestly good. But surely if someone knows how to build a sauna then it is the Finns. So let's show you some details. Because you know it‘s the details.
Let‘s continue the journey with the changing cubicle. First thing you will note is that there are way more clothes hooks than people will actually fit in the cubicle or the sauna for that matter. Why? Because it is just nice if you can put you bathrobe, jacket and two towels anywhere. Also it is nicely made, covered with wooden planks. But you have to watch the details:
This is a bottle opener with a trash can next to it so you can open your beerbottle and put the crown cap right where it belongs. Nice. Next up are the showers.
Well they are showers nothing fancy about it. So let's cut to the meat…
Well, no not so quickly. Let‘s have a look at the door. Notice something? Exactly this is a heated room that is about 50°C warmer then the shower room and there is a big gap under the door. Why would you build it like this? Madness! Nope it isn‘t. This is what gives a sauna a good climate. You have to set some priorities when it comes to climate and here they favour the on in the sauna not the global one.
So here it is the heart of the matter, the sauna cabin. Nothing fancy. It is nicely made out of wood. It has a nice light and a poweful big oven with nice lava stones that can make a lot of löyly (water steam) bevor they cool down. There are some more details that make it good, some of them are not in the picture though. First of all safety. It does not look so good but the very high handrail surrounding the oven makes it almost impossible to touch it. While the low level seats are quite small, the top ones are nice and broad. Probably because everyone wants to sit where the climate is best and the heat of the löyly steam comes down first. There is acually a vent in the top, but I belive it is only open when the sauna is off. What you can not see, simply because it is not there is a hourglas. Indispensable in a German sauna. (The stupidity of using a clock while you try to relax is beyond any rational but anyway.) Also there is a very simple solution the be safely able to clean the sauna without geting electrocuted by the oven, the connection is just mounted over the floor to the wall. This is not pretty, you can see the cabels in the picture. But it works.
Another thing you can see is a big plasic bucket. While I am still offended by putting plastic in a sauna it is quite common around here. The other thing that you can not see but that is somehow related to the big bucket is the temprature, which is much lower than you might think. This thing geht’s only up 70-80°C. Like it more hot? Put more water on the oven. So simple!
So this is where we spend one of our nicest hours of the week.