24.07.2007 - 29.07.2007 21 °C
After 120 days on the road we arrived at our final destination, Helsinki. We had heard that the Finns were famous for inventing the sauna and with only 5 days left we were pretty tired and keen to unwind after 4 months of travelling. We met a couple, Andrew and Terhi in St Petersburg who were from Melbourne. Andrew is a Maltese Aussie and Terhi a Finn and they invited us to give them a call if we were passing through Terhi´s home town of Tampere so they could show us the sights.
We had a fantastic day with them experiencing some local cuisine (black sausage amongst others), wandering through the woods picking wild berries and our highlight - experiencing a local public sauna. The sauna experience was fantastic and we were glad to have a Finn with us to talk us through the routine. Basically, you sit in the sauna for as long as you can stand the heat and then go outside and swim in the cool lake water (thankfully for us it is summer, so the water was only 18 degrees. The Finns do this year round by preventing one section of the lake freezing over in winter and walking on heated carpets from sauna to lake to swim in the icey cold water whilst people are ice-skating or skiing on the frozen lake). You re-enter the sauna to heat up again and repeat this cycle for as long as you please.
From Tampere we went to Turku to meet up with Elise´s sisters´ friend, also a Finn. Our timing was pretty good as we were there during Turku´s biggest summer festival where the Finns take their partying to extremes to take advantage of the 3 months of the year where there is evening sunlight.
So as they say in the classics ´all good things must come to an end´and as we sit here in the Helsinki airport lounge, our end has finally arrived. It has been an adventure of a lifetime for both of us. We have seen so many unbelievable sights and met some great people along the way. But after 4 months we are looking forward to coming home and seeing all our family and friends. Until then .....