I awoke to the sunrise, and dozed, and woke, and dozed again. I probably read on my phone, curled under the soft blanket in that dreamy window. When we all got up, we went through our last morning routine. I put the bacon on and beat the eggs, Marijke seasons the eggs with herbs, saying her version of whatever Finnish word is on the herb packet and sounding as much like a muppet as I look in my puffy. (This is arguably the most important and indisputably the most gleeful part of the day. I really wish I had a recording.) We heat water, make tea and/or coffee. If it’s a special day, which it was, we also have pastries. Mmmmm, pastries. (Just not the ones with rice in them. Whose idea was that? Finland, there are so many things you do right, but pastries with rice… maybe rethink that one.) There’s plenty of honey for the tea, and cream too.
We drag this out.
And then we clean or move to the window, maybe put a record on (Ella Fitzgerald, Air, The Beatles, David Bowie, or Sade) or Eric hooks his phone up to play. We read or write, with lots of interruptions. We get dehydrated and drink a beer or wine or cava anyway, and start a fire (only for ambience, because this cabin is heated). I’m trying to figure out logistics for the rest of my trip, which is not a very relaxing thing to do but has to be done so I work on it while Marijke and Eric go out for a snowshoe, which I won’t do given yesterday’s experience anyway. Then they come back and go on a short driving adventure because Eric wants to make sure the car won’t get stuck again. I continue on with logistics, albeit a little bummed when they come back saying they’ve gone to a town and gotten pretty things. The truth is, of course, I don’t need pretty things. But still.
It’s hard to complain though when Marijke goes on to make an amazing trout and Eric sautées up some leeks and green onion and we make a salad and eat it with a rosé. We eat earlier so we’re ready by dark, or readyish, but don’t hurry when the forecast isn’t panning out. The skies have cleared, but the aurora just doesn’t really show up. Not like last night, or our first one.
Eric gets the fire going in the sauna hut. I feel like Marijke and I were doing something, too, although I might be making that up. We were probably spending too long checking in for our flight the following day, looking at likely flight paths to try to figure out what side of the plane we wanted to be on. By the time we’d made up our minds, the seats we’d decided on were taken anyway, and we ended up with our original selection, (and most of the flight ended up being cloudy,) but we did succeed in annoying Eric, who got a fair bit of reading done between tending the fire.
When the sauna is hot, and our tolerance is much lower than what’s recommended by the Finns, mind you, we make the short trek down the snowy path and take our last Finnish sauna. We may not be up to temperature, but the steam still burns when we pour two ladles of cold water on, requiring us to cover our faces to be able to breath. Eric goes outside and lies into the snow bank. Marijke steps out with thoughts of trying the snowbank and instead comes immediately back in. Against my better judgment, I do not go outside. By the time we are done, I am a complete noodle.
Goodbye, wood-fired saunas. The saunas in the sports gyms just can’t compete.
The aurora remains weak while we lounge hopefully in the window, doze, and then wake up to pack. Two nights out of three is much better than zero.