like ants hiking up a great frozen layer of icing on the top of a cake
or like a herd of spindly elk wandering across the bering strait during migration…
or like a bunch of eager beaver architecture students on the quest for alvar aalto’s experimental summer house…
we trekked across a frozen lake in central finland last week.
we each soon figured out our individually preferred method of snow travel:
1. the sszwee! of sliding speedily+dangerously across icy patches,
2. the crample crample of crunching/trampling on softer, safer snow pockets, or
3. the chomp…plop, chomp…plop of standing elevated on top of several inches, and then (embarassingly) sinking down, two seconds after each step.
we climbed up to a small promontory where the house was supposedly perched — and at first, we didnt see it. the outside-facing brick walls were painted white, which camouflaged very well with the surrounding winter landscape. standing from inside the courtyard, these massive walls framed a perfect view of the lake.
and behind the house was the sauna*, quite the cornerstone of finnish culture.
hands down, it was the best surprise of the entire week.
- * sauna = sweat out every globule of moisture from your pores while baking the scorching heated room. add more water onto the hot coals, producing copious amounts of steam. when you can breathe no longer, take a deep breath and stampede out of the sauna, into the negative 10 degrees celsius outside air, down the icy neck-breaking flight of stairs, and plummet your battered body into the frigid lake. repeat as many times as needed.
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Tags: aalto, architecture, nature, travel