Saturday, May 12, 2007

sauna thermodynamics

I will miss Hyytiala, for all its quirks. Yesterday three of us skipped out on our group work and went for a hike around the lake (we talked about our project, i swear). It was fabulous. The trail disappeared after a while, so we just headed off across the moss and the rocks (admiring the lovely example of deciduous to coniferous succession, and the very cool treefalls...).

We spent the last evening enjoying the sauna. The women had the small sauna this time, which is, well small. But the sauna is better designed than the others, so you can keep it VERY hot, and as humid as you want. I strongly recommend dousing the rocks with lake water frequently - the hotter and more humid, the more relaxing it is. You also can make it so hot that the less heat tolerant people leave, generating more space for the rest of us....

Once you have become so hot and sweaty that you can't stay in the sauna any longer, you get out and run to the lake. Different people have different approaches. For some, it is better to slowly cool down outside having a beer, and then when you are a little more acclimatized to the cold night air, you mosey down to the pier and jump off. For me, I prefer to not think about the temperature difference, and just run out the sauna, down the steps, and (remembering to drop my towel just before - very important), jump into the lake, and swim as fast as i can. Then once the shock to the system has worn off, slowly swimming back to the pier and climbing out before having a beer and repeating the process. So fun!

Well, I'm off to Helsinki this afternoon, and then on to the ukraine tomorrow!


bootless cries said...

This is a scientist who really knows how to enjoy life! Great blog.

Matthew said...

Thanks for letting me know about your blog, Delphi. You sure sound (and look) like you had a great time in Finland!