Roving around Rovaniemi

The Arktikum museum in Rovaniemi, Finland, deserves more time than I could give it. Being on a time limit I felt like I had to rush through the exhibits. The different sections of the museum showed a lot about living in the arctic. There was a replica of an old Sami village, the original inhabitants of this area. There are lots of photos and tools and objects used by the Sami.

View from the windows of the Arktikum

Of course there were reindeer, but there was also his bigger brother. It scared the shit out of me! Suddenly I saw it from the corner of my eye. The beast was bigger than any horse I’d ever seen and had humongous antlers. So this is a moose! I hoped we wouldn’t come across any of them on our trip. This is the cause of many a car accident. Every year about 2000 moose are hit! So big and yet so difficult to spot.

Winter street art in Rovaniemi

If you’re travelling with kids there is a big kids world that explains several things, including the northern lights. In this museum there was a lot to do, on top of a lot to see. The inner kid in us also liked the visit to Santa Claus Village. The area towards it is surrounded by massive billboards advertising the village, so it is easy to find.

In Santa’s village

The highlight of Santa’s village is of course seeing Santa. We entered a big space with a big clock. I didn’t really see the connection between Santa and the clock though. This space was meant to be a waiting area. It was like entering an amusement park, with a maze of paths slowly leading towards the entrance. Lucky for us that we could skip all that waiting. It was deserted.

At the end of the line stood a man asking the guests if they wanted a group photo or individual photos. However, he did not want to say how much the photos would costs. Very commercial. Santa was very much into the ladies, who got to stand very close to him or sit on his lap. I guess this is one of the perks of the job for this dirty old man. Santa lost all its credibility in completely ignoring the boys. After a quick photo we were directed out of Santa’s room. It wasn’t even busy and it already felt like we were in a factory.

Santa’s elves?

In the end it turns out you can get a pretty cheap USB stick for 7,20 euro. The catch was that all ten of us had to purchase it. 72 euro for a USB stick. I don’t think so! Some people bought a printed photo and we scanned it for the rest of us. The commercialism didn’t end there, because the rest of the village was more of a shopping mall. The one thing that I liked was the post office. You could send a postcard from Santa’s village in the arctic circle. That makes for a good stamp.

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