Santa Claus Homeland- Lapland
The Christmas has to be snowy, full of various miracles and of course- the Santa Claus. The only way to visit Santa earlier than Christmas or New Year is to go and visit him right in his homeland- Lapland.
This wonderland is not only popular for Santa but also with a with range of activities offered to the visitors and guests, which are always welcome. It is the place where you will be hosted warmly as everyone is rather friendly regardless of the cold weather typical of the place.
The population of this vast region is about 40 thousand people. And the driver, carrying your hosting place, after a pair of colliding cars will start joking about the dense traffic. However, in winter visitors are multiplied here by several times as Lapland has everything for an imaginable and unimaginable winter recreation. The best things to start with are ice fishing, and carting on ice, and rafting on the river ice in the suit. And you can just live a different life, completely different from life in the city.
If the question “Do you know how to drive a snowmobile” you answer “no” – you are mistaken. Don’t worry it is not as difficult as driving a car. Snowmobiles can be driven easily. Management of this powerful but unpretentious vehicle is elementary – a steering wheel and handle gas, easier than computer games. So for driving a snowmobile allowed virtually for the all comers. Children may well be put in the snowmobile on front part, and they will get the speed of no less pleasure than the driver. You might rent a snowmobile and go exploring the Finnish hinterland itself. Just do not forget GPS-navigator – guiding “by an eye” is very difficult.
A more traditional mode of travel – dog sledding. Here management is not so elementary, because dogs often have their own ideas about the itinerary and you do not have a lot of ways to persuade them to move in the right direction. So it will take all possible strength and agility, but it only makes the trip more interesting. In fact, the speed is not too great, to be dispersed more than 25-30 km / h does not work, but the sensation compared to driving is powerful – the dogs enthusiastically pulled forward, sled torn from their hands, while standing on the sidelines escorted envious glances.
Finally, the most authentic way to get around – deer, which, as you know, are better than aircraft and ships. Reindeer team can be rode without fear, and even by young passengers, especially in the deer park in the town of Salla, near the Arctic Circle.
Finish Time spent on a snow day must be in the sauna, without this immersion in the Finnish culture would be incomplete. Of course, a sauna seems to yo to be a room. For Finland, this is just as essential attribute, like a shower, but the Finns themselves prefer the sauna with the scent of smoke and an essential dip in the hole on the lake. Do not fear to jump into the icy water, if you do not have health problems, the hole in the icy pool after a sauna will seem warmer than the water of a sea. Soon after bathing masters will teach you some traditional Finnish sauna songs and gladly sing with you “Oh, frost, frost. Then you can go to celebrate the successful try of the sauna experience.
Built of huge logs local restaurant can easily accommodate hundreds of guests, but they are so harmonizing with the surrounding landscape on the outside, that at the first glance it seems only a small hut. But inside you may be surprised – the owners does not recognize the electric light, which destroys the romance of the polar night and the atmosphere of mutual trust, so that the meal will be covered only by hundreds of different-sized candles, and all the food, respectively, and are prepared solely on an open fire. Ideal place to celebrate the New Year.
For dessert, the main local character – Santa Claus (in the local tradition – Yolupukki). Here is his homeland, and leaving without visiting him would be very impolite. The official rate Joulupukki, as the Finns call Santa Claus, is located within the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, but it is too crowded and in order to tell Santa your delighted wishes you will have to spend much time in a long line.
Fortunately, Joulupukki there is a small residence near the town of Kuusamo. It is not as ambitious as the official headquarters, but gray-haired, bearded old man will be able to give your child much more attention. Teaching him to sing the Finnish Christmas songs, cook traditional ginger biscuits and help to glue a Christmas card, which can be sent home by mail.
In addition to the patriarchal-Christmas entertainment, Kuusamo region is famous for downhill skiing. Although local arctic hills mountains can only be described formally, their height and not call up to 500 meters, the ski resorts here are 50 of the last century. Even eminent sportsmen and fans of extreme skiing often stare at the local tracks, is not so much in Europe, well-equipped ski resorts, where the season lasts 200 days a year.
The variety of tracks of different types of complexity can enjoy skiing as advanced skiers and beginners. And the presence of specially equipped children’s slopes with ski lifts makes it easy to put on skis, even for the smallest. The most famous resorts in the region Kuusamo Ruka, Salla and Suomu. But first and foremost it is worth to draw attention to a place called Ruka, there are many reasons to prefer him to rest.
Ruka – most equipped, and most visited tourist Finnish ski resort, has 29 slopes, contained in perfect condition, and 19 lifts, encircling the entire mountain. First of all tracks suitable not only for beginners, just to master their skills, but also for fans of extreme- there are enough of tricky slopes. Well, for snowboarders it is simply a paradise: two tracks with Half-pipe, a variety of jumps, rails and the pride of the park- famous Battery Park, where you can meet a European idols snowboard.
Although, fairly to say, it is worth noting that the best ski resort in Lapland in 2008 was recognized by all as Salla. And although there are less runs and lifts, but also- less tourists on the slopes, and cottage villages, although situated close to the mountain, which offer more privacy compared to the noisy and full of tourists and athletes resort of Ruka.
Finally Suomu – this is actually a Finnish wilderness, mostly this is a vacation place for locals, enjoying the closeness to nature. But here, of course, in addition to a main course – skiing, present, and all other traditional Finnish entertainment, including snowmobiling, reindeer and dog sledding, swimming in ice holes and all sorts of saunas. However, this privacy is deceptive, and often there are contests of professional athletes, that only confirms the high quality of the slopes.