It was our first day in Rovaniemi, we landed the night before at -36 degrees and we immediately went into the taxi, which took us to the door of our house. The next morning, while we had breakfast in the kitchen, we saw the dim sunlight on the horizon almost like a mirage. Even though it was nine o’clock in the morning, there were still three hours until dawn and the darkness predominated in the sky.
The polar night in Finland extends almost until middle of January, leaving only three or four hours of whitish light that is confused with the blanket of snow on the houses, the cars, the mountains, as if the sky had come down to clothe the earth.
At last we were at Rovaniemi and a whole day was waited for us with Lapland Safari’s guys living Lapland at a full activity that filled us with illusion as we would never have imagined. We were going to ride snowmobiles, to live the Sami experience, to ride reindeer sleigh, to meet Santa Claus and to visit the Santa Claus Village.
We crossed the door of Lapland Safaris as if we entered into another world, there began our immersion day in Finnish Lapland.
Soon we put on the snow suits, two pairs of socks, snow boots, two scarves, two ski-masks, the gloves, the mittens and the helmet. Temperatures were almost as low as the previous night and we had to be well equipped to spend the whole day out and not freeze.
We had been waiting to drive snowmobiles for a long time and until today we had not had the chance, so we took care of the explanations of our guide with special greed, and literally jumped on the snowmobiles to get going.
We were advancing in a straight line across the frozen Kemi River, leaving plenty of distance between the snowmobiles. The white mantle stretched in front of us until invade all our vision, the immensity of the polar white causes an attraction similar to the vastness of the sea and you can stay absorbed watching it for a long time.
Samis at Lapland
Finally, after about twenty minutes, we arrived at our destination, a place next to the lake, surrounded by trees, with two wooden houses and a small fence where the reindeers were.
At the door, our hostess Sami was waiting for us, with a quiet smile, she was greeting to everyone as we entered the house. We sat around the fire and as we warmed up, she sang a traditional chant while joking with us.
With a great sense of humor he managed to convey that relaxed air, in harmony with the nature that is breathed in the attitude of the Finns of Lapland.
Now that we were relaxing, we went out to see the reindeers and Santa Claus!
The reindeer sleigh was waiting for us. We went into the sled and immediately they began to walk guided by their shepherd. It is amazing the link that develops shepherds and reindeer, Sami people have always been closely linked to nature and for them, reindeer is a way of life and a pillar of their culture.
After a brief run around the enclosure, we got off the sled and our guide took us to a house in the back, where Santa Claus was waiting for us.
Knowing Santa Claus
We impressed to go into the room and see him there sitting in the background, in his shirt sleeves and his red vest, a beard of snow-white curls hanging below his knees and an expression of full happiness.
While it’s true that there are many Santa Claus, but that moment when you sit next to him and talk to you, it’s an only moment.
After that, we left the cabin, it was time to eat and so many emotions open the appetite, luckily we were expecting a delicious traditional food. It was our Christmas lunch in Lapland.
Visit to Santa Claus Village
We returned to the Lapland Safaris office by snowmobiles. It had been a full morning of experiences and had flown by, but we still had one more thing. I had almost forgotten that we were taken to Santa Claus Village by bus! As a colophon, we visit this complex where you can find millions of items of Santa Claus, besides getting your certificate for crossing the Arctic Circle.
When we arrived it was already dark and it was all lit up with Christmas decorations. Santa Claus Village seemed us a magical place where we also visited Santa Claus and bought some souvenirs, it is worthwhile that you enter Santa’s house and cross again the Arctic Polar Circle.
We returned to Lapland Safaris a little later than four o’clock in the afternoon, and we were staring into each other’s faces, unable to believe everything we had seen. It had been one day immersed in Finnish Lapland.