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November 21st 2018
Published: November 22nd 2018
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On Tuesday night, we stayed overnight at the Novotel at Heathrow airport so that we would be close to the terminal for our early morning flight.

We were up just after 4am and the hotel taxi took us to terminal 3 at 5am for our first flight to Helsinki. We went into the Cathay Pacific lounge for some breakfast prior to our 7:30 flight. This first took almost 3 hours and we had some lovely views of southern Finland towards the end of the flight. There are a surprisingly large number of lakes and waterways in Finland.

We had a transit of around 4 hours so we holed up in the Finnair lounge prior to our flight to Rovaniemi, which took 1 hr 20 mins. It gets dark in Finland around 3:30pm so we had a beautiful red sunset out of our plane window.

Our flight was about half an hour late leaving Helsinki as the wings needed to be de-iced. At Rovaniemi, we boarded a bus for our transfer to our Hotel, Santa’s Hotel Aurora in Luosto. It was below zero degrees and a chilly wind was blowing. The roads were very good and almost empty so we arrived around 8pm. Stepping out of the warm minibus was a bit of a shock. After checking in and exploring our glass igloo for a little while, we headed down to Reception for a pre-dinner drink.

The dinner menu consists of several versions of Rudolph and other different things. Root vegetables and different berry sauces are a feature. There are few green vegetables and we discovered it is best to avoid the garnish that looks like alfalfa as it actually tastes like camphor.

In the end, Shelley ordered a steak cooked on a lavastone grill with roast potatoes and a smoke sauce. I ordered a long cooked beef brisket with sautéed beetroot and a rowanberry-red pepper sauce.

After dinner, we headed back to our igloo as we were both exhausted from not sleeping well the night before and all the travelling.

During the night we woke up several times and were able to look up and see the stars as it was a clear night. The glass ceilings also have a heating feature so you can push a button and the snow melts to preserve the views. The igloos are well heated so it was a really comfortable night.

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