Day 2 (March 20, 2015)   Rovaniemi


Map of Rovianemi outbounds

   The first day we’ll go to Rovaniemi. We plan to go to the city first to buy anything we could need for the rest of days.

   We’ve booked a tour for this evening to go to the top of a hill and try to watch Northern lights because this is the new moon night.

    The spots marked at map are:

 0- Santa Claus Village
 1- Rovaniemi Airport
 2- Arktikum
 3- Koskitaku Street


  Time for breakfast is 7:30 to 10 AM, but we’re advised to be there before 9 AM to avoid the rush hour. We wake up with the thought of going at 8 AM, but we arrive at 8:30 AM.

Santa Claus Holiday Village Main building

   Our plan for this morning is taking a bus to Rovaniemi and the one at 9:40 AM seems the right one (timetable here). We pay 14.40€ in the bus for two return tickets and get out in the first stop within the city, which driver points us as the one to go to Arktikum.

Bus to RovaniemiBus stop at Rovaniemi

   Arktikum is a museum about the history of the live on this area around the North Pole and it is the main touristic attraction in Rovaniemi. There are just a few of them, though. Admission ticket is 12€ and we purchase two. It is like an all-inclusive bracelet.

Arktikum entranceArktikum's dome

   The exhibition is in the way of the Natural History Museum of New York: with sort of dioramas showing animals or persons on their daily lives of yore.


   When we leave the permanent exhibition to go to the temporary one we can see the solar eclipse announced for today has already started. We can see it through the long glass dome particular of this place and thought to watch the Northern lights when it is dark outside.

   The exhibition has a show displaying a video to the ceiling simulating real Northern lights. We can get a better knowledge of the nature of this region here.


   We go out to walk to the main street for shopping with the thought of watching the moment of the total eclipse from there. The walk is short and the street itself too.

Streets of RovaniemiKostikatu Street

   We get into a small shopping mall looking more for warm than for goodies as the temperature outside if going down as the sun is getting lower. When the sun is just a thin smile in the sky it is snowing hard here.

Shopping Mall in RovaniemiSolar eclipse

   We go to the supermarket to get all the food we’re going to need, following what we planned yesterday. We’ve checked the bus timetable and, as the one at 1 PM is too just, where doing our things thinking on taking the next one at 2:15 PM.Ramps for ski jumping in Rovaniemi

    When we are in the bus stop with our bags we still must wait for 15 minutes, which are very long stopped out here with the freezing wind.

   We have our lunch and rest for the rest of the afternoon in our room until the moment we’re going to be picked up for the Northern lights tour.

   We were told we’re going to be picked up at 8:25 PM and, when we appear at reception desk, just one minute before, they’re already there. We leave Santa Claus Holiday Village with a couple from Singapore to Rovaniemi and there four more guys are joining the group. When it is completed we’re addressed to their store where we can get the cloths we need. Then it is time to leave to the Finnish woods and we can already see some activity in the sky, which is clear one more time.

   Once in their hut in the middle of the darkness of the woods we only have to walk around 600 meters on the snow up to the top of the hill. It is completely dark here and we can see a beautiful sky full of stars and a low green line like the one from last night. It is beautiful and the line is brighter some time. When we’ve spent a while watching and taking pictures of the sky we’re called to the tipi where a fire is ready and we can be warm and cook our own sausage. When we are going to take our drinks, shouts are coming from outside to make us go out.

Northern lightsSami rites demostration

   If we thought we’ve already seen the Northern lights we were wrong. What we have in the sky is so bright that in some parts it is looking white. Then we can see how new lines are being drawing leaving green and red tails. This is a wonderful spectacle and we have time enough for taking pictures and lay on the snow looking the dance of lights taking place above us. This is a fantastic end for a day we get the bed later than 2 AM.

Northern lightsNorthern lights