Four hours after I got to the hotel, the wakeup call came in.. I had 45 minutes to pack up my stuff, shower and get to the train for Hethrow Airport. Lucky, I made it and 6 hours later I touched down in Helsinki. It was snowing outside and I could feel the cold as I entered the terminal. Ville, Lasse and Juri, picked me up and we grabbed Toomas before heading to the store to buy supplies (beer and food and beer and beer) for the night at the cabin.

After that it was a quick hour car ride to The Jarvi cabin in the woods of Finland. I guess almost all families in Finland (a country of less then 6M people) has one of these.... it was a really cool very relaxing place surrounded by trees on a stunning frozen lake lit by the moon. After some whiskey and a few beers we headed over to the sauna house right on the lake where we loaded the firewood into the sauna and took an axe and punched a hole in the lake for water for the sauna... and I learned.. to JUMP IN. These Finish boys are freekn crazy. However, you only live once.

We went back in the house to play UNO (the drinking version of course) and wait for the sauna to get hot.. 45 minutes later, I was the looser (thank god, I was gonna need the whiskey warmth to handle the FREEZING LAKE). We headed back to the sauna house, stripped neked and got in the burning hot room, chatting and laughing. As they poured water on the hot rocks the room burned warming every inch or me inside and out... I was gonna need that too.

Then it was time. They opened the door and we all headed, butt neked across the snow onto the icy lake and over to the watery hole of doom. I slipped several times getting covered in snow before taking my turn jumping into the frozen water and screaming like a girl... but I was proud of myself for doing it.. and once back in the sauna it felt great.

After a few more trips into the snow (I cant believe I was actually hanging out with 4 hot Finish dudes naked in the snow... random), we headed back into the house, where we warmed up and Ville cooked sausages over the fire for us for dinner. Sometime after that I passed out, and the boys took pics of me..... Truely a great, relaxing, and VERY Finnish day.

Posted 24th March 2008 by Josh Gray-Emmer