But, on his first visit, Muir certainly found himself a stranger to some of its customs, as Peter Peacock may well do on his trip next week. He recalls: "Just before I was due to leave, my colleague arranged for a farewell meeting with the inspectors, headteachers, teachers and education officers I had met.
"Before a lavish meal I was invited to join them in the ultimate luxury for a Finn, a smoke sauna, in an idyllic setting among birch trees on the edge of a beautiful lake, into which we would later plunge. As I sat there naked with colleagues who had become my friends for a season, I tried to imagine myself in a similar situation in Scotland.
"Could I ever find myself relaxing in the altogether, surrounded by smoke and steam from stones on a log fire, discussing education with my district inspector, local headteachers and the area education manager at a secluded spot by the edge of a loch in Sutherland?
"As I shared my musings with my Finnish colleague, he just laughed and said: 'In Finland, the sauna is the great equaliser. No one can tell your rank when you have no clothes on which to pin the stripes'."
The Education Minister has been warned.