So before we had even left Manchester I had got us booked onto this Viking Sauna Tour. The basic premise is the hostel runs a tour which takes a bunch of us out to this private sauna out in the countryside. Here we get into a 80c+ Sauna and then when it gets too hot run outside and get into a freezing cold lake, then out again and back into the Sauna…. Crazy eh?
The day started early and despite a relatively early night – 2am, I felt rather rough. We met up at 10am in the reception and headed out. We were greeted by a quite beautiful dawn in Stockholm with the lighting quite stunning. However it was really rather cold – and I was shivering already! It was the standing around waiting for buses that was killing me, if we had been moving all the time I think I’d have been okay. We eventually get to where we were going, and were greeted by a 15 to 20 minute walk through the countryside. It was amazingly beautiful here. The way the snow glistened in the low sunlight, it was almost worth the trip for that alone in truth.
Once we arrived at the Sauna, we ate lunch outside whilst the Sauna started to warmup. Jamie had found his shoes woefully inadequate for the weather and his feet were freezing so he just headed on inside, and then managed to fall onto the hot pipe in the Sauna, luckily he only slightly burned his hand, having very nearly going face first into it! Soon enough we all headed in to the Sauna anyhow, I could manage the heat quite okay at first, but as the temperature crept up I found it quite difficult to breath – as I have difficulties breathing through my mouth, i.e. I have to basically think about it all the time to do it! Other people got up the guts to go into the water. The lake had originally been frozen over and we have to hack a hole in the water to get in! As some may know I can’t actually swim. Well I can about 5m, but I wasn’t very confident if I slipped in ice cold water I’d be able to get out again! So I was understandably nervous about getting in the water! However I did eventually pluck up the courage to get in. We had to climb down this tiny little ladder and it was really slippy, and I didn’t dare put my head under. To be honest it wasn’t too bad the first time. I did quickly run back into the Sauna though – and grabbed my beer, which I had been told I couldn’t have until I’d been in the water! Wrong way round if you ask me, I might have gone in quicker if I’d had that first! I went in one more time, but I had been struggling with the heat of the sauna and hadn’t spent quite so long in there this time and it was really really cold this time, I didn’t get very far in before I went back inside. I struggled to stay in the Sauna after that, having to put a towel over my head in the end so that it’d keep the temperature down a little close to my face. Doing that I could stay in quite a bit longer.
At the end the temperature in the Sauna hit a lofty 95c, outside it was apparently as low as -10c at times, and the water was 1 or 2c at best! I don’t think we could have asked for a bigger range in temperatures! We headed back to the hostel after this, even by 2.30pm it was getting really dark outside.
Once we got back to the hostel, I was a little boring and just spent the rest of the evening chatting to a few people in the hostel with a few drinks. The place didn’t quite have the same atmosphere as the nights before, and there was visibly less people about. I should have probably gone out with the others when they headed out at about 11pm, however I was absolutely shattered so just enjoyed my last few beers in the hostel instead.