Warm Sauna and Icy Swim: the Scandinavian Way


If you ever find yourself in Malmö, Sweden in the midst of winter, don’t be disheartened, the burning sauna and a refreshing ice swim can instantly bring any hibernating state to a closure. In times like these, the cold Swedish winter seems never ending. There is a perfect way to fool yourself that you are sunbathing in a hot summer day, just to jolt your body right back, by taking a dip in the freezing ocean.

Let’s face it, visiting Malmö in the “wrong” season is not pleasurable for anyone. I once had a friend visiting from Manchester, when I asked him what he thought about my lovely city, British and polite as he is, the only word he could come up with was that it is very grey. And he lives in Manchester under a concrete sky, a city born by the industrial revolution. Nevertheless, it was a terribly grey day and I´m not trying to fool anyone, the summers can be great, warm and beautiful, but the rest is just a necessary evil one needs to survive. From now on, I tend to only want visitors from abroad during the summertime.

A way for me to survive this haul to the summer is the ocean, or rather, very warm and cozy saunas on a pier in the ocean. Built in 1898, it stands out as one of the few buildings surviving the will of the Swedish welfare state will to demolish old beautiful buildings, to make room for affordable housing for everyone. There is a decent café/restaurant and all you need to bring is a towel and a brave heart. Inside the sauna are large windows, where you can watch the cold freezing sea. If it is sunny outside you might even manage to dream yourself away to warmer paradise-like places far, far away. And you don’t have to be too frightened, we are Swedish, but the dressing rooms, saunas, and swim areas are separated by gender. And even if you might have heard differently, even Swedish people wear clothes sometimes. Actually the saunas in The Netherlands are mixed, including dressing rooms, showers and pools.

So if you ever find yourself in Malmö you should try it out. You will certainly feel very alive. It is open all year ‘round, although I can’t really see the point in spending time in the sauna on a summer day, but it is also a relaxing place to swim and sunbathe.

(Offical Website: http://en.ribersborgskallbadhus.se/)

written by worried_shoes on 2011-03-15 #places #location #travel-tips #ice-swim-pier-ocean-sauna-sweden

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  1. kylewis
    kylewis ·

    Gorgeous images and the colours!, what film? we are so uptight in the U.K.

  2. worried_shoes
    worried_shoes ·

    Thanks a million! The Diana shots were taking with a Fuji Provia 400. I wasn´t sure how it would come out, since the film was from a big pile of mixed expired film i got cheaply from a Swedish Ebay-site. I think it expired in 1996 or something.

  3. lereile
    lereile ·

    Nice! i don't know if you wanted to, but your pesimistic-sarcastic description of your own city made me laugh.. i happen to do he same a lot with my own!! now, i want to go to malmö in winter just to stay grey and laugh out of boredom in the sauna!!

  4. lereile
    lereile ·

    by the way, really nice pictures!! ;) i already liked them and commented them in your gallery!!!

  5. neja
    neja ·

    although I am from Baltic country, I was never able to do that:)

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