This was originally a reblog from a site that appears to have disappeared: http://markovicharts.com
It now remaps to http://crazyarts.co , apparently by the same owner, Alex Markovich, but with none of the same content. (????)
Below was my re-blog intro …
My first banya visit was in 1989, the final year of the old Soviet Union. I was in my late 30s working for an American oil company wanting to do business in Western Siberia. I knew a little bit about banya from reading and documentaries and was eager to sample all things Russian.
My experience was identical, except that we were men in our 30s to 60s (Russians and Americans), there was much vodka, it was subzero outside and we would run outside butt naked (in the dark) to cool off in between sessions. Ice froze to my beard, but it would be a minute or two before I felt cold.
Some of my most memorable times were in Siberia.
Read about my first trip to Russia: