After you sweat it out in a 120-degree sauna, you are supposed to jump into the icy pond, and with good reason. It is not just some Nordic weirdness, but very practical for your health. By making your blood vessels contract quickly and then relax, you train them and remain healthy and young into old age. Ashwin considered the cold shock to be nothing strange or blood-curdling, but a tradition he could happily get used to.
The video clip Ashwin filmed in Soomaa (marsh land – ed.) brings to mind the grandest nature film scenes on the National Geographic or BBC channels. Soomaa, which has been named the capital of wild Estonian nature, is home to five large marshes. Due to its large untouched areas, this region is now part of the European network of PAN Parks (Protecting European Wilderness).
Thanks to Soomaa, Estonia has a fifth season. This is not a simple phenomenon. The fifth season can occur during summer or autumn with its heavy rains, but mostly it happens after the snow melts during spring. Then the meadows and woods are flooded with river water. The biggest floods in Soomaa occur when the warm weather comes unannounced. The size of the flood does not depend on the amount of snow but rather on how rapidly it melts.
Travellers should take care, just as with ice roads: it can all be over as quickly as it began. You should take the trip the instant nature offers the opportunity.