Saturday, January 16, 2010

Russian Banya

from Ralf Heckel,

It is a honor to be invited into an original russian banya (very hot sauna). But it is a special honor to make this visit together with the leading professor of russians life support systems in space. I am his guest today.

It is my 3rd visit (2003, 2005, 2010). And these are the hotest experiences in my live. I made photos today, but the most of them are bad. So hot was it today. The lens got wet after seconds.

The guests are seperate in man and woman. After the entree are separés with soft chairs and tables. There you can sit, drink tea and relax. Behind this areal is a room for the preperation. Here the guests are prepearing their oak, towels and their fedora (chapka).

Some iron mans are going into the hot room. There is an oven with 15 tons glowing steel. It is 600°C (1112°F) hot inside! The room has ca. 130°C (266°F). They make 4 dishes fuel with water (each ca. 10l / 2,6 gal). With a large dipper one put the water into the oven. It makes noises as a the steam train "Big Boy". The steam went out of this oven like an explosion and makes the air wet. After each dipper the man is covering hisself.

"1, 2, 3, GO!" The door opens and all people runs into this room. Now you will learn that this fedora (chapka) is very good. If you dont have one, your head will burn. All are lieing on the floor. It is a little bit higher and made from rustical wood. At this moment you will realize that nomally this is unpossible. You lie with your nacked skin there as a grilled chicken. But this is not all. Now one from the iron man comes, take a big blower (it looks as a shovel) and blowes the hot air over your skin. It is as a fire-roll comes over you! After 2 minutes all people turns their bodys and you get the shower over your best parts.

Now all stands up and runs to the pool. There is cold water in (2°C / 35°F). They jump into this water. The first two seconds are good after this hot experience. But after this time you feel yourself as a victim of the Titanic-desaster. You only want to go out of this icecold pool.

Normally you need time to relax now. Your heart is beating fast. But you are in a russian banya. All people make the whole procedur three times again, without a break. Then you have a break of 10-15 min, drink a cup of tea, eat cakes and start from the beginning. This routine also all make for three times. After this nine hot-cold-experiencenes you are a ready-to-serve meal. My skin gets red-white dotted.

At the short breaks the professor put some cosmonaut food on the table and said: "This is best. Eat this". It is increddible too - real cosmonaut food have a prize of 1000 $ each day. So we eat ca 200 $ cakes! These are some gramms.

Yes, all this is hard - but at the next morning you will feel as a new born people. And this is a most better experience. For this you can clench one´s teeth this nine times inside of a steam engine!

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