There's nothing on Earth like Sweden at midsummer — we're going to call it the Swedish equivalent of the Fourth of July, though it involves maypoles and herring rather than barbecues and for the most part good-hearted nationalism. One way to celebrate the coming summer solstice: by taking notes on this gorgeous Swedish bathhouse, in Karlshamn — far down the country's coastline, this seaside community is closer to Copenhagen than to Stockholm.
sauna (5 images)
Of note: This is a public building, built by the town with the help of local sponsors and a pro-bathhouse organization, Kallbadhusets Vänner (Friends of the Bath House). Every small American town needs one of these, stat: As the photos show, the bathhouse is actually sited above water, with a slender bridge connecting it to the mainland; just a few steps away is the public pool. (Only the bathhouse is open all year round.) The bridge leads to a terrace for sun-bathing — and from there, men and women go in literally opposite directions, to their gender-specific saunas. (No clothes allowed in most Scandinavian saunas.)
Surely there's a California beach town that could get this done? Or better yet: Maine, which more closely resembles Sweden, and which could certainly benefit from a 365-days-a-year sauna.