Frostbite in Finland
TWO bizarre facts associated with the Finns are that they drink a lot and have a penchant for rushing out of a sauna and rolling naked in the snow. It turns out these habits are closely interlinked.
After a few drinks in convivial company in a room like a furnace, that cool, white snow looks so refreshing that you just have to dive right in. And anyone who plans to make naked contact with an icepack needs all the alcoholic encouragement they can get.
For holidaymakers bored of fun in the sun, frostbite in Finland offers a startling contrast.
Vast pine forests march over the horizon, interspersed by thousands of lakes. Pristine snow surrounds quaint log cabins, and the country boasts the only sea in the world that freezes over.
The capital, Helsinki, has wide cobbled streets and rattling trams, with Russian-style architecture imposed by its historically hostile neighbours.