Today we drove to Rovaniemi to visit Santa’s Village! It was about 45 minutes away from Korvala (our camp). I was a cute little tourist village with tons of snow and Christmassy fun!
We went through Santa’s workshop, complete with a cog and wheel system which regulates the earth’s rotation (I guess so he can deliver all the presents on time).
The workshop was different than the North Americanized Santa because it seemed like something out of a folk tale, rather than a coke bottle. We went through a sort of mine (maybe for the coal) with many mystical colours, a winding staircase to his office filled with maps of the world. We saw no assembly lines with animatronic elves.
The helpers and elves all wore these cool pointed hats. I debated buying one.
Santa was also very nice. He had the most glorious 2-foot curly white beard. All 50 people in our tour group pilled in his office for a picture and he chatted with us about this year’s Christmas delivery.
After that we had some spare time to wander around the village, which mostly consisted of Cafés and souvenir shops. There was a rocking chair with a massively long partially-knitted scarf that could be picked up and lengthened any time!
We grabbed a quick snack and a couple decorative elves then mailed some postcards with only-in-Santa’s-Village Santa Stamps before heading to the city of Rovaniemi.
We only had a few hours in the city, otherwise we would have gone to the Artikum Museum (with exhibits on the Finnish people and the Arctic).
Instead we went to a nearby McScurvy’s for lunch then a nearby mall to collect supplies. At the McDonald’s we all bought fries to dip in our McFlurries (which is surprisingly good). They had a random small shelf under the front desk that held several Finnish dolls. We also all got free postcards with the Northern Lights and the McDonald’s logo.
After that we collected s’mores supplies for the evening’s fireplace, though the store didn’t have real graham crackers, but we still introduced many non-North-Americans to the concept of s’mores. Apparently, burned marshmallows are the best kind in Australia, whereas most Canadians will throw them back into the fire (but there may be that one person who likes them).
For dinner we had reindeer (which didn’t smell that great, but tasted like beef) and bilberry pie for dessert.
We saw hints of green in the clouds, but overall it was far too cloudy to get any good views of the Northern Lights, which was very disappointing.
We spent another evening relaxing and playing cards, not worrying about the world outside this camp. That’s what I really love about this place: there’s no internet and poor cell service. I can’t worry about class or anything because I can’t do anything about it. I’m left to enjoy this winter wonderland!