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  • Day816


    February 21, 2018 in Finland ⋅ ⛅ -11 °C

    I wake early because I’m excited as a kid at Xmas. Today is the day I’m going to meet The real Santa Claus.
    We are visiting a few places today and shortly after 9 we’re on the road. Our first stop is in a place called Kemi where we visited the snow castle. I have never experienced anything like it before it’s a full sized castle made of ice with carvings all the way through it. We buy a cup of fruit wine 🍷which is very similar to mulled wine and then make our way through to the chapel. You can marry here and even stay in one of the fifteen hotel rooms which are themed by phenomenal ice sculptures, each one a different theme. Outside is a big ice slide which I go down on a rubber ring. It really is something else. The crazy part is that in the summer it melts and each year they build a new one, and the work that must go into it is amazing. Back on the road again and our next stop is lunch in Rovaniemi in a great little restaurant called Koti which means home in Finnish where we enjoy chicken and black bean soup salad and freshly baked sourdough bread just what we need to warm the barnacles. It’s only a short drive to Santas village and because it’s this time of year the majority of people are Chinese as its Chinese New Year they have holidays and what better way to spend it. We make our way through the building showing various aspects of different countries versions of Santa and also how the original Santa used to be. I’m shocked as we round the corner and there are only a few people in front of us. This is definitely the time to come as the queues would me massive during the Christmas period. Then it’s my turn to make an appearance. I must say I feel slightly nervous 😬 On the door is a sign saying no photos but to buy one is quite expensive so I take a few shots discreetly hoping he won’t notice . Who do I think I am trying to kid Santa 😂??
    I sit next to him and he asks where I’m from and when I say liverpool he says “do you know Sammi Hypia ?” I joke that I knew he was a Liverpool supporter because he’s got a red suit on. He asks if I’ve been good and I tell him “most of the time” and he says 6 days out of seven isn’t bad. We chat a little more and I’m shocked at how much time he spends with me because I know what a busy man he is. As we smile for the camera I have an overwhelming sense of happiness this really has been a dream come true even if it’s 40 yrs late😂. As I’m saying goodbye I look at the photos and it’s so good it would be rude not to and reluctantly pass over the tourist trap euros but think this will look good in the centre of my photo collage.
    The Santa village is based on the artic circle so after getting the obligatory photo we spend another hour roaming the various gift shops filled with lots of various items from reindeer droppings to Christmas decorations and even though they are very similar each shop seems to have different things. Our next stop is Santa’s post Office where every single letter from around the world is kept and stored and you can also send postcards which will get stamped at the sorting office here with an option of it leaving today or another post box for Xmas. Our time here is up and once again we’re back on the road (with a little detour to Sweden- see next footprint) before arriving back home a few hours later. I take the opportunity of having another sauna and get into bed relaxed and blissfully happy.
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