Finland Travelogue 3: Santa Claus Village, Snowman World & Arktikum

Untitled2

A break from all the food posts! Here is a continuation of my holiday at Finland.

On our final day in Rovaniemi, we made our way to Santa Claus Village and Snowman World. The village was not what I expected. I thought that the staff would be wearing elf costumes and there would be festive colours every where. It was mainly log cabins housing many souvenirs shops.

The only thing worth going was Santa Claus’ Main Post Office, where you can send a postcard with a Santa Claus Village postmark. Unless you have little children, I would not recommend queuing to see Santa Claus.

IMG_2691

The blue line indicates the boundary of the Arctic Circle. These two pictures were taken before and after my visit to Santa Claus.

IMG_2703

Thankfully, there was Arctice aka Snowman World within the same compound!  For 18 Euro, you get unlimited access to Snowman World activities, Igloo Hotel, Ice Gallery, Ice Restaurant and Ice Bar, and the ticket is good for all whole day! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Very cool experience. Literally.

IMG_2709

IMG_2746

IMG_2748

IMG_2753

IMG_2755

We enjoyed a bottle of Coca Cola at the Ice Bar in glasses made from ice for only 4 Euro!

IMG_2756

IMG_2760

We ventured around Snowman World and you can find pictures of the Ice Restaurant and Igloo Hotel below.

IMG_2765

IMG_2767

IMG_2768

IMG_2717

IMG_2744

IMG_2769

IMG_2772

IMG_2764

IMG_2740

The structure was newly constructed when we got there, so certain areas were still in the midst of developing.

IMG_2720

IMG_2723

IMG_2734

We found snow tubes and a gentle slope which we were lamenting about how pathetic it was. Until we found out that the actual slope was behind us! And it was a steep one!

IMG_2774

IMG_2776

Boy was it thrilling!

Having played enough in the cold, we went to the cafe for some hot drinks and macarons!

IMG_2786

IMG_2784

They had some really delightful flavours like blackcurrant, cinnamon-gingerbread and cloudberry. Cloudberry is amber-coloured berry found in the alpine tundra and is quite similar to raspberry.

IMG_2788

I found Singapore on the pole outside the Main Post Office!

Our last stop in Rovaniemi before flying back to Helsinki was the Arktikum. The Arktikum is the provincial museum and science centre of Lapland. The museum is just a 15 minute walk from the city centre.

In the museum, you can find all you need to know about Lappish life and history, changes in the Arctic as well as a Northern Lights Theatre. They were also having a fair showcasing local arts and craft at the entrance.

IMG_2792

IMG_2796

IMG_2800

IMG_2804

The exhibits can be found on both sides of the corridor. If you want to view a simulated aurora borealis, you can head to the second floor of the museum. There, you lie on your back and look at the northern lights through a screen on the ceiling.

IMG_2807

Not a very realistic experience as you get to see a fox prancing across the screen. This is to illustrate the popular Finnish folklore of an arctic fox running far in the north and touching the mountains with its fur, so that sparks fly off into the sky as the aurora borealis. Hence, the aurora borealis is also known as ‘fox fire’.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s