From the 31st of August to the 2nd of September, the Biketour stayed at Livonsaari, a small village about 40 km west of Turku. In Livonsaari, many people try to live together in a more ecological and communal way. There are many different initiatives by different individuals in the village, such as a baker baking organic bread from locally produced wheat, someone building sustainable houses with a special technique using big logs, a community garden, and many people building their houses themselves out of wood.
We helped the people in the village to dig some holes and so some garden work, cooked for the local children once a day and had a dinner together every day.
One thing particularly interesting for those of us who don’t come from Scandinavia was the role of the sauna in Finland. The original Finnish sauna is not just a room to sweat in – it is a whole building. The sauna as we know it is only one room inside the sauna building, usually there is another room with some beds that you can actually live in, which is heated by the sauna. Inside the sauna, there is a water container that is heated by the fire and a drain in the floor, so people can wash themselves when they are done. This way, it fulfills the role that a shower has in other countries, and even nowadays many even small flats in the cities have a sauna inside. In Livonsaari, many people built the sauna first and lived with it for several years while building the main house, and in former times farmhands used to live in the sauna buildings.