As past experience has taught us to expect, the November ride to Stenbacka was cold, dark and the drizzle turned slowly to sleet and then to snow. It was therefore a delight to see Stenbacka made welcoming by lit candles in the yard. We were quick to feel comfortable in this beautiful house full of the memories of several generations.
Soon the fire was roaring mightily in the sauna stove, water was heating and our bodies and souls started to relax and opened gradually after the ride. We threw merrily löyly and let the steam fill up the sauna. As one can expect from cyclist buddies, the discussion revolved about the substance of love and happiness, about social equality and the possibility to enjoy vanilla ice cream and crisps. The latter matter found us deeply divided and no one moved from their initial position. I guess I will have to try one of these nights. The stream was waiting for our overheated bodies and played its role beyond expectations: we came out of it fresh to the bone marrow.
We moved on to celebrate pikkujoulu in front of the fire, cooking couscous, pasta, tortellini and roasting sausages. All was enjoyed with beer, glögi and tea. Many dessert courses were served such as sheep cheese with Colombian goyava jam, chocolate and pipparkakku. You can easily imagine the blissful state of mind of the tired riders with full belly.
I woke up surrounded by deep quietness. The regular breathing of the sleeping cyclists, light filling up the room and snow all around the house. The first snow of the year for me, which gave me the energy to start the day.
We started to ride back in the enchanting forest loaded with snow. I dare to say that never the world was this beautiful. Apparently, Helsinki city dwellers have missed the snow completely since there was no trace of it out of the forest.