Back in the day I was quite fine with only spending a couple hours in a place just to say “I’ve been there”, but how times have changed. I’d almost rather not go to a place at all than have an extremely limited amount of time. Maybe if it were a microstate like San Marino, but even then I’ve already voiced my desire to spend a couple of days to see what really goes down after the day trippers have left.
And so this is my predicament with Finland. Yes, I have been there, but was 4 hours in Helsinki really classifiable as having visited the land of saunas and Santa Claus? Hardly. Which is why I am now adding Finnish Lapland to my European To Do List.
Why do I want to go?
Because it’s where Santa Claus is from, yo. Did you think this wasn’t a strategically planned post? If so then you are severely underestimating my ability to author a timely blog.
Where will I go?
Straight to Rovaniemi. It’s actually the administrative capital of Finnish Lapland and the official hometown of Father Christmas himself. There you can also find the most northern McDonald’s in the world, not that I would even think about stepping foot in the place unless they had McRib on the menu. Highly doubtful.
Hang on, I’m not Finnished with Lapland yet (doo doo chhhh). There are plenty of other options for Arctic Circle activity holidays that I’m interested in checking out while I’m in the neighborhood. First and foremost a visit to a husky farm to play with puppies and perhaps even take a husky to the ice (listen to song below). You can do this in lots of places but I’ve heard Ivalo is good for that.
And finally I know I just have to visit Saariselka. It’s no secret that I’m desperate to see the northern lights and what better way than from inside a heated glass igloo? The igloo village of Kakslauttanen igloo is a one-stop shop for not only aurora borealis gazing, but also reindeer safaris and quality time with the Sami peeps.
How will I go?
There are a lot of direct flights from Helsinki to airports in the north such as Kemi, Rovaniemi, Ivalo, Kittilä and Enontekiö, but I don’t think I would fly. Not after I found out that you can take an overnight train and even bring a car with you. Say what? Seriously, their trains are capable of carrying cars so you can “feel refreshed and ready to drive” after a good night’s sleep. Those Finns sure have it figured out.
Hope you are enjoying the holiday season!
Merry Christmas, Festivus, Kwanzaa, Hannukah and that is all.