01.10.2019 - 02.10.2019 7 °C
To your convenience I have translated few words for you which I am going to use in this one.
Sauna = Is warm room where we finns go to relax either alone or in good company.
Kiuas = Heater in sauna. Warmed either by wood or electricity
Löyly = Direct translation of löyly is steam but in this context is not entirely correct. Much like sauna it is unique word to our language and it means the water you throw at kiuas, yes, the end result is steam but if you hear in sauna a sentence “Heitä lisää löylyä” (=Throw more löylys), it means exactly that. That you should throw more water in the kiuas.
This one night trip to our capital came out of necessity this time. It’s kind of funny, I haven’t been Helsinki in years, last time was to visit Linnanmäki when I was an kid, if you don’t count “went-thru’s” and this year this is already second time I visit.
Toni, my boyfriend had these chairs he had to take to auctionhouse and as we happen to be on our summer holiday from work we thought that we could stay the night and do some exploring.
In 2015 one of Finland’s most famous actors Jasper Pääkkönen get involved in project which resulted one of our many public saunas called Löyly.
We head there tonight. I haven’t been in the public sauna before this. Yes, I have been in sauna in swimming halls and spas but it isn’t the same than public sauna. I know that Finnish sauna culture might be little bit bizarre for foreigners but bare with us, we are normally shy and modest people but of our saunas we are proud!
And even if the experience is not the same than in own sauna, in Löyly the kiukaat were warmed with real wood and this is important in real sauna. You can get electric kiuas warm but it’s not the same than warming it by wood. The smell and the heat is far better with wood.
Hmm, I might have started to ramble a bit there..Back to the topic, Löyly. In their websites they recommend to reserve a shift because in the saunas fit only 40 people in total. But we felt bold and went in without reservation, and got lucky because we didn’t even need to wait to get in.
There were separate locker rooms and showers for men and women, saunas and lounge were common and you need to wear swimming suits in there. In total there were 3 saunas but one were private which you need to make separate reservation. One smoke sauna and “normal sauna” were open to everyone. I liked that the “normal” sauna was better than the smoke sauna. Smoke sauna was very dimly lighted so when you came from outside in you wouldn’t even see if there is someone already sitting there or not. Quite atmospheric really but some light would be nice too, it would be awkward to sit on a lap of complete stranger, lol.
The “normal” sauna was good for me, but I observed that some of the people who were taller than me, ahem, okay almost all of the others, I am quite short, had some issues with the height of the ceiling. Many actually hit their head while getting out.
However, my favorite part of the sauna was the lounge area, they had big fireplace in the middle of the room with class windows all around so you were able to see the flames no-matter where you sit. You were able to get drinks from the reception and we spent quite a lot of our 2 hours sitting in front of the fireplace.
Most of the other customers were foreigners so it was amusing to watch they experiencing Finnish sauna perhaps for the first time.
Out side there were big terrace where you could go to cool off between löylys or even dip in the sea. And it is open in the winter too. I have to admit that I were an wimp. I didn’t go for an swim. Usually I am the first one in the water, even if it’s cold, it’s one of the best feelings there is to go from the cold water to warm sauna. But the terrace floor was so cold that I was already freezing without even dipping my toe in the water…Okay, excuses, excuses. But it was cold! Many of the foreigners risked the cold water for an swim though.
In side were there were the common showers were also this ominous looking bucket hanging in the ceiling. I didn’t dare to pull the rope my self but I watched when couple of guys did. The bucket was filled with ice cold water so obviously I watched this within a safe distance. This, the bucket is not typical in sauna but it was nice addition in my opinion. Amusing for the spectators for sure!
Sorry to say that I don’t have any photos from the sauna, I didn’t feel comfortable to take photos when others tried to relax..
Following day we had time to visit couple of churches. The first one was Temppeliaukio’s Church also called the Rock church. In 60’s brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen won a architect competition on their plan to make a church in the ground. Inside the rock to be more precise.
The dome is veiled in copper tape which were needed 22 kilometres of. Reredos is rock fissure from the ice age.
Instead of bells this church plays Taneli Kuusisto’s chime melody from the speakers which has been imbedded in the outside walls.
Reredos in Temppeliaukio's Church
Candles in Temppeliaukio's Church
Helsinki Cathedral was on our agenda next. It might be the most famous sight in Helsinki, or atleast it is one of them! It’s huge!
Officially it’s been in use since 1852 but they started building it in 1830.
Organs in Helsinki Cathedral
Chandelier and pulpit
Suomenlinna and Parliament House were left for our next visit.
The 4 most famous man in Finland