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The Bare Facts about Finnish Sauna - Luxe Adventure Traveler
Steam hisses from hot coals in the corner of the sauna, almost in chorus with the deep exhales of 10 naked women lounging around me. I've never met these women before, and I can't even talk to them in their native tongue, but here we are without even a towel to cover ourselves, laughing, panting, and chatting in broken English in a 19th-century locally run sauna in Helsinki, Finland. If I'd completely understood what the night would entail when I agreed on a whim to visit Kaurilan Sauna with a fellow travel writer, I probably wouldn't have gone. After all, the prospect of getting completely naked with strangers in a small, remote cabin in Finland sounds more like the makings of a horror story than a memorable travel tale. But to unbeknownst to me at the time, that random night would teach me more about nudity, female friendship, and body confidence than any experience I've had since puberty. When our taxi driver turned off the highway and onto a dirt road that wound erratically through dense forest, I should've known this wasn't a typical tourist experience.
Nudity no longer compulsory in bathhouse
Mind, I tell you what; I can understand the Scandinavians being ok about getting naked; they generally tend to look a darn sight better than what you see on an average UK beach…. Got you RudeBoy, not secure enough in your sexuality to trust yourself around naked men. Fairy nuff! Brits are far too uptight about these things. Me too and often in Austria there is a sign at the door which takes away any doubt ie.
Germans seem to love escaping the biting winter months in the baking heat of a wooden cabin. They're so crazy about the whole concept that they even have a nationwide competition for the best sauna attendant which mysteriously involves people getting dressed up as native Americans and devils. And who wouldn't enjoy having hot air whipped into their face by a gruff Berlin bath attendant vigorously swinging a towel round his head? The one thing holding many foreigners or at least Anglo-Saxons back, though, is the uncomfortable question of taking your kit off in public.