Imagine a place where you can sit half-naked sweating it out with a dozen of strangers, some of which might be local celebrities or even the city mayor. Or just imagine a place where you can totally forget where you come from, what the leading political party in your country is and what preoccupied your mind in the morning. This old sauna is a temple for the locals, a social living-room where 365 days a year one can enjoy being outdoors in a swimsuit.
What I find amazing about Rauhaniemi sauna is that people come here to chill also, even on Christmas eve, and to celebrate the New Year. I have felt newly born every time I’ve come here, provided I take a compulsory dip in the ice cold lake after being exposed to the heat of 120 degrees in a sauna. In the wintertime, the contrast of the temperatures between these two activities can be also equal to 120 degrees!
Repeat this ritual several times and join the happy locals chilling in the sauna yard, all relaxed and on top of their sociable mind. To top off the experience, grill a sausage from the nearby supermarket on the communal grill, sip your sauna beer, get the stunning sunset over the lake of Näsijärvi, and you will get much closer to the secret of Finnish happiness than any researcher can get.