Rain, plumbing, swimming dogs, and saunas
For 10 years I spent 4-5 months each year working in Helsinki (at Aalto U). I loved it. Every minute of my time, which was almost always in the Fall and Winter, the cold and dark. The snow. It was wonderful.
About the sauna: Essential for life. Perfection.
Loving the detailed observations of Finland.
I am so glad you got to experience the marvels of sauna -- doing it in Finland for the first time would be something else! I love saunas, but only combined with the cold plunge option. Russia has that, too, though it's different. Sounds like a wonderful journey.
Wow, what an incredible experience! Your photos are like postcards! I went to Norway this year and was blown away by the tranquility and intricate layout of the fjords. I'm sad we didn't get to do the saunas or hot springs. Helsinki is def on my list and it looks like you had a fantastic time there. Will have to make it there one day. Thank you for sharing! :)
I'm having fond memories of my swim in the Baltic, which was also pleasantly warm, although it didn't feel like it after a sauna.