Published: April 20th 2010April 13th 2010
NORTHERN FINLAND (KEMI/ROVANIEMI) Day 82
So I wake and head out to the bus station to get my bus to Kemi and then catch my train to Rovaniemi so that I can meet Santa Claus. I get to the bus station and arrive in Kemi without issue, maybe it is a better day. I find the train station and walk in at 10am, or what I thought was 10am. I learn quickly that there is an hour’s time difference and it is now really 11am and I missed the 10ish train to Kemi and must not wait until 2:30pm, yay me! It’s ok, no problem, I am almost there.
I wait and get my train to Rovaniemi but now it is too late to see Santa today so I must find a hostel and see Santa tomorrow. I find the ONLY hostel in Rovaniemi and because it is the ONLY hostel in Rovaniemi they can charge extortionist prices, yay me! So I pay the 41Euro for my hostel bed, keep in mind I have been paying between 10-16Euro for 95% of my travels so far.
Even though it is only 5pm all I can now do with
my day is go buy food and retire to the hostel because guess what??? In Rovaniemi everything is closed or closes early on MONDAYS, yay me! So I go to the grocery store and grab the cheapest things I can find to eat. On a funny note, in the grocery store they sell canned reindeer meat. Finding that provided me with a whole 1minute of laughter and enjoyment for the day, which is not so much better from yesterday.
I get back to the hostel and watch Superman Returns on the TV and get some sleep so that I am well rested for Santa and the huskies tomorrow. Hopefully, just hopefully, tomorrow WILL be a better day.
ROVANIEMI Day 83
Hopped on my Santa’s Express bus to Santa’s Village located at the Arctic Circle. I get off the bus and quickly realize that it seems to be 95% souvenir shops and 5% Santa. That’s ok as long as there is a Santa. I head into Santa’s office, which I must say is really neat. The whole setup of the building is really creative, but no cameras allowed. So I get into see Santa and
can’t help but giggle uncontrollably as he calls me over to sit with him. The giggles were a mixture of ‘OMG Santa’ and ‘lol Santa… this is freakn hillarious’. So we chatted for about 10 minutes and then I had my photo taken with him. I am led out of his office to be told that for the wonderfully low price of 69Euros I can have a copy of the video and pictures of me and Santa or if that isn’t cheap enough I can get just the pictures for 30Euros. Are you freaking kidding me!? You want me to pay 30 just for a picture. Ummm… no. I will do my best to keep the experience engraved in my memory: his ginormous beard, his giant wool shoes, his jolly disposition. Nope I think I am good. Even more entertaining is that they hand you over a head set to listen to the video convo of you and Santa. I literally just walked out of the room and they think that I have forgotten what was said and would like to stand around listening to the convo over... The convo JUST ended!!
So now I have seen Santa and
have taken many pictures of the Arctic Circle markers. Next, HUSKY PARK!!!! Well guess what?!? You’ll never guess. Really go on and try. Well it is closed for this week and next while they give the dogs a break. WHAT!!! I don’t get to see any huskies! Are you freaking kidding me?!? Ok fine. I will head back to the main city I did get a whole 30 minutes of enjoyment for the day, which is up from yesterday and on par with the day before so I guess we can call the day a success. I can catch the train back to Kemi and then back to Haparanda so that I don’t have to spend another 40Euros to sleep here.
So I get back to the city centre and find out I must wait until 4:30pm, it is currently noon. OK FINE! JUST FREAKING FINE! THIS ISN’T STARTING TO BOTHER ME IN THE SLIGHTEST… REALLY I AM FINE WITH CONSTANTLY WAITING TO GET NO WHERE!!!!! I DON’T MIND WASTING COUNTLESS DAYS OF MY TRIP WHEN I HAVE JUST A FEW WEEKS LEFT. Oops sorry about the caps lock. Really I am fine. I can get back to Haparanda
and then take the first bus out of there back to Lulea where I can get back on a train and leave leave leave Sweden. I am certain tomorrow will be a better day.
While I waited for the train I stopped by a souvenir shop to kill time. I found the most hilarious thing on the planet. There is an aisle with reindeer horn everything, reindeer horn pen holder, reindeer horn bottle opener, reindeer horn knife. Well I stumble across a weird object that I can not identify. So I pick up the info ticket and learn that it is ‘Fiagra’, well what could ‘Fiagra’ possibly be. Get this, it is a container with reindeer horn dust. And men are supposed to wet their finger and put it in the dust and then rub it under their tongue to improve their sexual power, like Viagra but from Finland hence the ‘Fiagra’. LMAO too funny. I then realized that the picture carved on the front of the container are two reindeer apparently testing out the ability of the powder. There is even a warning that if you take too much it may cause your neck to become stiff. Ok
so we can add another hour, at the very least, of enjoyment from that find. We are now up to 1.5 hours of enjoyment for the day, were moving on up.
There are more photos below