Fire and Ice

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Tampere, Finland

So the day with Ville and fresh air poisoning was not done. But what was coming was one of the most frightening things I have ever contemplated doing – winter swimming.

Yes I know I said biking down a mountain in Montana was scary but at least I was warm!

Michael had already jumped in a frozen lake and watching the video I was petrified and he wasn’t really helpful or encouraging as he told me he had to get me on video because he thought it would be hilarious.


I am the first to admit that I am a wimp but I am also ridiculously stubborn and I was not going to wuss out especially as I had learned that Ville had never done it either.

He is Finnish! 

This sauna was co-ed and so hot they had these special slats of wood to bring in so you didn’t burn your butt when you sat down (we didn’t know this at first and learned that the hard way).

My strategy was to stay in as long as possible so the water was refreshing.

finnish sauna
The temperature at the top shows 91.5C

Finally it was time, either pass out from the heat or run outside and into the water….

And I did it!

You didn’t have any doubt did you? I have to say it was one million times easier than I thought it would be.  

In my mind going from extreme heat to cold would shock the body in a terrible way but instead it just felt energetic and I can see why people go back and forth, in fact I half contemplated going back in and out 5 times so I would beat Hecktic Travels record of four.

But then it started to get dark and we wouldn’t be on video so I knew they would never believe I beat their record.

Instead we just went back inside and had some beer. 

If you cannot view the video above check out Tampere Ice Swimming.

Disclosure: I was a guest of the Finnish Tourist Board as part of a Navigate Media Group project. They did not request that I write a favourable review or think I needed a shot of vodka before going into the icy water for winter swimming.

Join the Conversation

  1. Full marks for just walking into the water. One “I’m afraid” and then straight in.

    The beer afterwards is always really good!

  2. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    You’re a brave girl!!!!!!

  3. I noticed your speed at the top of the ramp was faster than your speed at the lower part of the ramp!

  4. Michael Hodson says:

    You rock.

  5. Erin at The World Wanderer says:

    So brave! I love this, and if you say it wasn’t so bad, I would have to give it a try.

  6. AMAZING! I’ve jumped in cold plunge pools but never in a frozen lake. Good for you! 🙂

  7. I’m so impressed! I can never get in the plunge pools in places like this. You did it with such ease too!

  8. Casey E. Palmer says:

    This is utterly insane, but I’m glad you came out of it intact 🙂

    I have a couple of friends who want to do monthly polar dips — we climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro together, so I don’t doubt that they could pull it off…

    …still insane, though 😉

  9. Brave girl! Oh my… I think I would have had to try the running jump three or four times before I’d actually make it into the water! I’d be mad at myself if I didn’t do it though so I;d eventually make it in too. I’m glad it wash;t as bad as you thought it would be!

  10. I have to say I’m VERY impressed, you’re a braver girl than me! xx

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It wasn’t so much being brave as I am not sure I have much choice in the matter with Ville and Michael!

  11. Oh my god, that’s crazy. But so entertaining. Well done! I’ve added your experience to my new series of inspirational lifestyle & travel stories.

  12. Hahaha, that’s brilliant. 😀 For a minute there I was exactly like you, thinking surely the two extremes cause bodyshock? But clearly you’re a living example that it’s fine. I don’t know if I could do it though. 😀 Good for you, girl.

  13. Canyoning in Wales says:

    Wow that was mad. You are very brave. I am an absolute baby when it comes to the cold.

    A friend of mine was on a hiking holiday and there was a cold water lake just off their path, and one of the members of the group decided it would be refreshing to jump in, he jumped in and it was such a shock to his system that he had a heart attack and died.

  14. That’s pretty badass. I don’t know what it would take to get me in that water, but it would take a lot more than getting overheated in a sauna!

  15. Wow this looks fabulous! My fiancee and I are planning a visit to Finland in late November for 3 nights. However we are struggling to find many places that we can sauna together – they all seem to be single sex. Did you find any great mixed saunas that you would recommend visiting? I will definitely be giving ice swimming a go to!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      This sauna was unisex in Tampere, a great resource if you want to go to Tampere is Ville at the Dream Hostel as he knows all the best places to go.

  16. Vinícius Mello says:

    You are very brave! If it was I would have given up several times before entering the ice and would be very angry with myself. This adventure was great hope one day to do too

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