How (not) to go to the sauna

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This looks great, doesn’t it?

It is Malmö’s kallbadhuset, a sauna-and-bath complex which is located at the end of a 200m-long pier. I’ve been a die-hard sauna fan ever since I discovered 3 years ago that what they call “sauna” in a 3-star family skiing resort (read: cramp 8 people wearing bathing suits in a 6-person sauna cabin) doesn’t even remotely resemble a true sauna experience : a whole day of naked bathing, sleeping, sauna’ing, relaxing, more sleeping, more sauna, and more relaxing. Yes, my dear blogging-friends, when I go to the sauna, I go to the sauna. And while Kallbadhuset is probably too small to be spending a whole day in, I still felt I needed to try it out. I had suggested it to T when she was here, but she inexplicably didn’t feel like it, but fortunately NR did when she was here last week. Opening hours were 12-22 according to the website, which left us some time for Christmas shopping.

And then we ran into RS. Well, we didn’t so much run into him as arranged to meet him, but anyway. Hey, if a cute Spanish guy texts to ask if you wanna go for lunch, what’s a girl supposed to do? (and yes, I realize I’m in a committed relationship. but I can enjoy what I see, right? but NR isn’t.) So we took him Christmas shopping, and we went for lunch, and for a drink, and by the time he left us where we were it was almost 5 o’clock. Not exactly what we’d anticipated – sure, the sauna was still open, but we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the great view of the sea which was really one of the main reasons why we wanted to go to this particular sauna. But it was bloody cold and since we’d been looking forward to it all day (and the day before), we decided to go anyway. Entrance was 60 SEK (around $8) so it would still be worth it.

Now, I didn’t take a map with me – or rather, I did, but as it turned out, the sauna wasn’t on it. Thank God for my photographic memory so I still remembered what Google Maps had said the night before. So let’s take a look at what trip we were supposed to do from the station:

Now let’s take a look at the tour we actually did:

It was -3ºC (26F) and we were walking on a small peninsula. I swear, if I had had balls, they would’ve been blown off even before they could freeze.

These are the times I’m happy I’m a woman. You don’t have to be embarrassed to ask for directions.

The friendly bartender at the only café we were able to locate suggested he’d call us a cab, but armed with his beautifully drawn map we were pretty sure we could make it. And sure enough, half an hour and a sprained ankle later (did I mention that whole peninsula was a huge, unlit construction site?), we found it. Extending from the snowy coast, over the floe-covered sea (I mean ice. on the sea. Google Translate says it’s floe. Google Images says it’s floe. I always thought /floe/ was an infectious disease, but who am I to argue with Google?), was the pier leading to eternal heat and happiness. Or at least some hours of it.

It was closed.

No joke.

You don’t wanna hear the sauna is closed if you’ve just walked over an hour in the windy cold craving for warmth. But some things are what they are, and the sauna was closed. The fact that I wrote an e-mail of complaint right after we got home illustrates how very pissed I was – I will usually rather eat a cold, dry steak than even think of complaining about it.

And look what I got:

Hello

We apologize for the mistake with poorly update website.

We would like you visit Bjerred Saltsjöbad again but without paying for a sauna and bath.

I would need a postal adress to you and how many people were thought to bath so I can send gift card for bath and sauna.

Thanks for your email.

Free sauna!

Somehow, this made it all worth it.

(turns out… there are 2 websites… we looked at the wrong one…)

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5 responses »

  1. I read this a long time ago but failed to visit and leave a comment. Just want to let you know I enjoyed the story very much even though I cannot imagine the frustration you must have felt that day. And the cold. The cold. Yikes.

    • Haha, nice to still drop by! ;) It was a very frustrating experience indeed – I’m still planning to go back though! As it happens, I’m also going this afternoon, but this is with a friend who has a sauna AT HER DEPARTMENT. It’s next to their gym, apparently :o. Don’t know how good it is, but at least it’ll be open for sure :).

  2. Pingback: How (not) to go to the sauna – revisited | A World of Lies

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