Visiting Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi by train was, as I presumed, again an interesting day with many thoughts in the dark capital of the Magical Lapland. You know the sun does shine only a few hours there.
Lapland is state of mind.
It was the 5th year in a row I paid a visit to the land of Christmas that means to Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, Lapland. With a camera and a phone. And a curious mind. Only this time I would also go and check how the elves are working in the Cavern of Santa, Santa Park.
The Finnish train is reliable, so are the buses and taxis
The Finnish train is nearly always reliable, it is a safe way of traveling. Reindeer fly but I do not! My red car would also be a good choice, but the roads might be slippery even salted (reindeer lick it from the roads!).
This time I saw reindeer in Muurola from the train window. Magical!
The bus driver told that it has come more possibilities for some other bus companies to drive tourists from the railway station to Santa Park and Santa Claus Village.
Some taxi drivers from Oulu come also to Rovaniemi on the high Christmas season.
Some icons of Rovaniemi
There are icons of Rovaniemi like the bus station, post office, the candle bridge, hotel Pohjanhovi, architecture of famous Alvar Aalto (the reindeer city plan and Lappia house), Santa Park, Santa Claus Village, the darkness of the city.
What has changed most is the business around Christmas in Rovaniemi?
You see more Christmas trees with bright lights and snow on them and some new buildings. Muumin statue of snow is not very original Lappish style, but very Finnish. The Moomin characters represent a Finnish philosophy of fairytales and freedom of acting.
A lot of young tourists from China hang around the city looking for photoshooting nice places. Young and smart people coloring the landscape in their Canadian Goose jackets, Burberry scarfs of other exclusive outfits.
Forwardness in the Lappish lifestyle
The feeling you are nearing to Santa Claus Village is again very exciting and I see right away some changes which have happened in Rovaniemi since the last year. More red buildings, more colorful lights, more magic!
The lightning on the trees are just so beautiful! They might be more environmental-friendly lights! Hope it.
What if there would be some guiding for a visitor just in the front of the bus stops! Maybe it is too expensive!
The whole Santa Claus Village has become a more and more business like area of Lapland which is a good thing since it gives the local people more possibilities to live.
The locals also have to get to know the tourism which brings some issues people do not recognize easily. It seem the university of Lapland is bringing the scientific view to the ecological tourism in Rovaniemi.
Feelings of a Finn
Even we Finns feel a confused in our own country especially in Rovaniemi where there are so many languages spoken.
Mrs. Santa Claus has a warm heart and she welcomes all nice people to Finland. Also the naughty lists are empty as far I have seen the collections of the elves which are brought to Santa.
There seems to be also companies of foreign origin in Rovaniemi
There seems to be also businesses of foreign origin which makes the atmosphere very interesting, forward looking, and helps Rovaniemi to develop their international services.
Finland encourages all the companies of tourism a lot with official financial resources.
I long a bit for the tiny start of Joulumaa, the Christmas Country but I congratulate Rovaniemi for long-lasting efforts in the tourism business.
There were some foreseeing people who believed in Santa Claus from the start like Niilo Tarvajärvi. I have seen how long a journey the locals have done!
About the amusement side!
Children from different countries play in red and black overalls.
The children are so happy when gliding down the hills, playing with the snow and playground made for them!
The parents or guides take such a good care of the children. I happened to listen to a Brittish lady telling a little boy of nine how to behave nicely. It was such a wise talk!
Reindeer are amazing and lovable wild animals
Then to reindeer! They are just amazing animals of the North. I love them. I love them when I get good photos and video of the reindeer trip of 400 meters. There are so interesting and beautifully lighted steps with nice lamps to shoot photos from the high bridge.
What a secret to be revealed!
There you see an interesting log building of Mrs. Santa Claus which is supposed to be opened in February as it was said in a nice, new map of the area.
I love that house already, since some of the builders used to work in Lappajärvi. That is a very dear place!
Actually this piece of news should have been a secret, but since it now has been printed on the map, it no longer is a secret. Also the elves told about that for some time ago!
Mrs. Santa Claus will have a log cottage of her own in Santa Claus Village,
Mrs. Santa Claus teaches handicrafts and hornwork in a village called Saarenkylä. That is amazing! You may even count how many we really are!
Mrs. Santa Claus has also a house of her own in the Bothnian Sea!
Finally Mrs. Santa Claus Finland has a real but secret, old, red house on the Island of Stories, Hailuoto. In a very icy and cold landscape in the Bothnian Sea. That old house is open only for special visitors.
A visit to Hailuoto, to Mrs. Santa Claus, is also very exotic since you take a ferry or ice road there from the fish harbor in March. Just thirty kilometers from the airport of Oulu. For sure you hardly see any tourists there!
You really can enjoy the quietness of the nature in Hailuoto.
Notices in Rovaniemi
Back to Rovaniemi in my thoughts and the visit to the famous city of Christmas!
The bus drives in a special way first from the railway station to Santa Park, then to Santa Claus Village, but there is no bus straight from Santa Park to the city. It does not matter so much but it is good to know that.
People, tourists or service personal in Santa Claus Village are very international and you can see how they have been brought-up and what kind of manners they have.
Nice behavior makes everybody happier
As a professional teaching Mrs. Santa Claus it always makes me happy to meet well-behaving children and elves, reindeer, snowmen!
One credit I have to give to a young, probably Spanish, man in the Info at Santa Claus, where I asked how long it is to Santa Park. He told me that it is only 1,5 kilometrs there.
Rye-bread in the bag on the way to Santa Park
Luckily I had some rye bread in my bag (as the Finns often do), so I ate it while walking really two kilometers´ way to Santa Park in a nice, wintry and beautiful landscape among the snowy trees and the Finnish forest. Not very far! Credits to a Spanish student worker who encouraged me to walk on the beautiful forest road.
Walking with "sisu" like the Finns do regardless of the temperature or snow situation.