The weather is a bit chilly but that won’t interfere with out plans. Today, we’re heading to Turku’s Holiday Club Caribia, along with another attraction under the same roof as the spa, SuperPark. Ahead is a mini-holiday for 5-year-old friends from daycare Emma and Diana. They drop their bags in the hotel room, put on something suitable for moving around and are ready to go!
A child’s enthusiasm for different forms of exercise and activity through the joy of play is evident in the goals of early education. With smaller children this is more obvious but even at school, when you play you move about quickly. According to studies, Finnish children and adolescents at school already spend half their waking time lying or sitting down, with only a third of those studied moving as much as they should.
Exercise disguised as fun
Fortunately, new solutions have been created to counteract the rise in physical lethargy. At SuperPark activity park, exercise happens naturally under the guise of fun – just as it should be. Interesting activities, things to do and sports to try out are available for all ages, without having to worry about the appropriate weather or equipment.
It’s a recipe that seems to work. In addition to the peers of Emma and Diana, a regular morning at the park welcomes children and young people of various ages. Some skate or scoot around, whilst others throw basketballs or hurl themselves about on the volt-track. A few adults happily regress to a childlike state on the trampolines. Bouncing around is effective exercise: 10 minutes on a trampoline is equal to half an hour running round a track! Basic tricks can also raise self-esteem and increase confidence in your own abilities.
After almost two hours of climbing, bouncing, running and swinging, the girls are finally ready. Even though a bit of jumping energy remains, they need to save something for the next stage. Following SuperPark and a spot of lunch, they must set sail for the waves of Caribia Spa.
Tropical heat throughout the year
In Caribia, bad holiday weather cannot spoil the fun times and water games. The pleasant inside temperature of 30°C, the waterslides, whirlpools and green plants, really make you feel relaxed. Today is a day for taking it easy but you can also have a workout if you prefer. Among other activities, the spa organises Army-style water aerobics and Hydrohex aqua training, either guided or independent.
The Captain Hook pirate restaurant draws the girl’s attention. The ship-restaurant serves guests during weekends and on a daily basis during seasonal periods. At other times, you can enjoy trying to salvage plundered treasure from the statue of Captain Hook. Emma and Diana giggle as they imagine heroically filling their laps with diamonds and gold.
After the treasure hunt adventure, we dash through the outside pool to the hut in the inner courtyard, where we are welcomed by a sooty doorframe.
An exotic smoke-sauna experience
“It smells smoky in here! And the walls are all black”, the girls exclaim. Heated up on Wednesday, the smoke sauna is a speciality of Turku’s Caribia. Even though you’ll find about two million saunas across Finland, the smoke sauna is now a less common sight for Finns.
Many advocates and friends of the sauna believe that the smoke sauna is the original and authentic form of Finnish sauna culture. In buildings in Finland at the turn of the century, you are unlikely to find many chimneys at all, so the smoke sauna has been gradually phased out. The smoke first spreads across and warms up the sauna room, after which it’s removed through vents before bathing.
Warming up a smoke sauna and creating the good heat takes time and skill. The smoke sauna is designed to provide a lower, more comfortable heat so the temperature shouldn’t be too high. The single stove is made up of large stones releasing steam and heat throughout the day. In the twilight evening dusk, the smell of smoke is especially soothing.
So nice not to worry about the weather
After the smoke sauna it’s time to try out the Jacuzzis, water slides and outdoor pool. At the end of such an action-packed day, even a five-year-old starts to flag and needs a quiet place to download. And following some hamburgers by the pool, it’s perfect to slip into a soft bathrobe and head for an afternoon rest in the comfy hotel room.
So, girls – what will you most remember? “Well, it was all really nice!”
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In cooperation with Holiday Club Caribia.
Text Annika Kosonen. Photos and video Joonas Tsokkinen.
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