Day 1 (March 19, 2015)   Arrival at Santa Claus Village


   Once on board of our flight at 10:15 AM to Helsinki we should end in Rovianemi around 5:40 PM after a quick link in Helsinki.

   After being ready in our apartment we’ll spend the rest of the day exploring the Santa Claus Village around.

Santa Claus Village map

   The spots marked at map are:

 0- Santa Claus Holiday Village
 1- Husky Park
 2- Snowmobile Park
 3- Reindeer Park
 4- Snowman World
 5- Santa Claus Office


  No issues in our flight to Helsinki, which lands 10 minutes in advance of its scheduled time. We’ve learnt in Finnair we only can get water, coffee or blueberry juice for free. At least, I’ve enjoyed the room leg of a seat in emergency exit.

Finnair planeEmergency exit room leg

   With this catering, when we reach Helsinki airport terminal we’re hungry. We’ve found our boarding gate and have less than one hour for lunching.

   We pass by a sandwich place which is automatically discarded because we’ve already had a sandwich for breakfast so nearby we only have a sort of Irish pub which is quite crowded.

Pub at Helsinki airportFinland air view

   It takes a while for getting a place between all these people taking a beer, but we finally manage to get two seats in a table and two portions of what seems to be their only option to eat: a couple of sausages with Dijon mustard and potato salad they offer by 5€. Bread is not an option, though, and this meal doesn’t get our stomachs full. Here we’ve already found the local standard of live: the beer paint is 10€ and the half a paint Eva is taking makes we pay 21€ for this snack.

Lapland air viewRovaniemi airport

   At the moment we land in Rovaniemi we can feel the magic of this place: silver reindeer in the airport but, mainly, the special decoration in the baggage claim hall.

Baggage claim on Rovaniemi airportRovianemi airport

   It’s just in this hall where we’re picked up and taken to the Santa Claus Village. Whether the girl who was waiting for us and then driving the van or the van itself with a trailer load with the baggage are dressing the colors of the main character of this place, the ones used for these pages.

   The trip is short and we’re delivered directly to our apartment before we could barely step on the snow, which covers everything here. When we’re ready we go to the main building for the reception desk to check in. Surprisingly is the same girl who takes us here who is in charge of it.

Santa Claus Holiday Village
Santa Claus Holiday Village's apartmentsSanta Claus Holiday Village's apartments

   We explore the village which looks empty by 8 PM, with the most of business closed. We go to hotel’s restaurant where we will get our breakfast for the next three mornings. Prices in menu are high but, as we keep being hungry, each of us order reindeer, which is one of the cheapest options by 16€. The dish comes with a few pieces of meat and we eat the entire salad and the bread and butter on the table to get a bit full.

Santa Claus VillageSanta Claus Holiday Village's restaurant

   Reception desk is at one side of the big gift shop where we buy some food to complete our meals today and I get all the info we need. Among it, the girl write us a couple of websites where we can check the chances to see the Northern lights as they have webcams to the sky.

   As we eat something more in the room I see how one of the webcams has activity. As the girl explained, this is sited around one hour from here, which means Northern lights can be here in a while if the sky is clear enough. When I go out I can check the sky is showing all the stars, as clear as possible, so I go for a walk looking constantly to the North.

Our apartment in Santa Claus Holiday VillageOur apartment in Santa Claus Holiday Village

   When I’m coming back to my apartment see people all looking to the same side, which is not the North, but is where something is starting to shine in the horizon. I run to my place to tell to my wife and take the tripod. The green light is brighter every time and is like a wide line crossing the entire sky one side to the other. Even for a moment, there is more than one line, always green, beating the night. The bright is not constant and can change quickly in the way that, when I’m ready for a picture with the maximum of glittering, it is now in their lower version. We make a lot of pictures on our first night. We’re very lucky managing our goal this soon.

Northern lights over Santa Claus VillageNorthern lights over Santa Claus Village

   We’ve enjoyed this time outside and cannot tell for how long we’ve been out there at the cold, but now we go to the warm of our room as we’ve got all the possible pictures. This allow us to be at bed before noon.