Finnish summer

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There has been a huge lack of updates on this post - blame the Finnish summer for starting! I'm mostly on holiday (still a few exams left), and even though the weather has not been blessing us yet, to me summer has already started.

The reason for that is that I've already accomplished something that is almost vital for every Finn in the summer: getaway at the cottage! My hubby's grandparents had rented a nice cabin for some relatives since it was the granny's 70th birthday and so we headed to Eastern Finland for four days.

The weather was brilliantly sunny, but unfortunately horribly windy at the same time. We didn't let that bother us, especially because the wind kept most of the mosquitoes away! The cottage had a regular sauna inside, but also a smoke sauna near it. There is something magical about the atmosphere in a smoke sauna: the walls are blacked with the smoke from centuries past, the "löyly" (the heat wave you get when you throw water on the stove) so soft and mellow and not too aggresive smoke-scent lingering in the air. The effort to get this is rather big: you have to start warming the sauna at least 6 hours before it's ready. You block the vents so the smoke from the burning woods gets trapped inside and roasts the place. Then you open the vents so all the smoke gets out and burn more wood to get to the desired temperature. But the long effort results in long-lasting heat: the sauna was warm even on the next day!

Above are some buckets outside the sauna and below is another example of staying warm: a glass of quality cognac.

Finnish summer experience would be nothing without these two ingredients below: grilled sausage and beer. Finns eat humongous amounts of grilled sausages every summer, even to the level where they're jokingly called summer vegetables here. I'm not a fan of Finnish beer, since it's very watery, but this Czech beer is one of my favorites. 

There was no boring moments on that weekend: somebody was always ready to play football, throw some darts or whip up a round of poker. We even invented our own games, with the bets of running around the cottage, drinking, or having to go swimming after sauna. The birthday girl and her son cooked us amazing meals and my hubby heated the regular sauna every night to the perfect temperature.

But the most magical moment for me was when me and my hubby both couldn't get sleep so we stayed up till 5AM and talked about our past, future and dreams, watched the sun rise at 2AM and finally fell asleep on eachothers arms. That's some Finnish summer magic!

I'm wishing a splendid summer to all my readers!

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