The magical, marvellous Arctic Circle

Posted: June 1, 2013 in Photography
Tags: , ,

The Arctic Circle runs just above the town of Rovaniemi. That’s where Santa Claus Village is. It’s full of souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants, programme service companies that offer all sorts of exciting things for tourists to do (snowmobile safaris, husky rides, reindeer sleigh rides, gold panning…), Santa’s main post office and of course Santa himself. Naturally here you can get an official certificate for crossing the Arctic Circle, too. Winter, and especially Christmas, is, of course, the busiest time here and planes keep bringing tourists from all over the world.

Tourists do come at other times of the year, too, but the Santa Claus Village has a whole different look in the summer. It’s quieter, too.

Santa's House

I can’t help it but North Korea springs to mind except that no one ordered happy looking local people to walk around here. I like it here at this time of year and not only because I’m a bit of a hermit and don’t like crowds but because I find all this so amusing. Because this is the home of Santa Claus, even in this stifling heat we are having right now (this is one of the hottest places in Europe right now!!) Christmas songs are being blasted out of the load speakers. Did I mention it’s like North Korea?

Jingle bells, jingle bells….

The Arctic Circle

In winter when everything is covered in white snow and ice, the sky is bright and full of stars and, if you’re lucky, northern lights too and the Christmas lights in all colours glisten on snow, it doesn’t only look amazing, it looks magical! Santa and +30C with 24h sunlight somehow seems like a wrong combination.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…

Santa

In the summer when there are no people and no snow, one can spot things that are easy to miss other times. I’ve never seen this huge globe in the middle of some trees before.

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone…

Globe in the Arctic Circle

I’ve christened this ‘the Leaning Santa of Rovaniemi’. Good, eh? I’m not sure if he’s only got one eye or is he winking.

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer…

The leaning Santa of Rovaniemi

I like the cafes here. A big cup of coffee with a ridiculously sweet chocolate muffin is almost good enough to die for. Or you could go for coffee and salmon.

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright…

Coffee and Salmon??

According to the tale a person who crosses the Arctic Circle during midsummer and full moon with a rabbit’s foot in the pocket and clover in the hand, and says the right spell, will for a short time be given the strength of a wolverine, the eyes of a snowy owl and the speed of a reindeer. Now that’s a power not to be missed!

This sign is a classic one from the 70’s. I remember it from my childhood.

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me: A partridge in a pear tree…

Original sign from the 70's

Anyway, somobody, bring me my rabbit’s foot!!

Oh, one more thing. Just take the bus number 8!

Take a bus to the Arctic Circle

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