Karl and I spent a night in Rovaniemi and had a nice little visit with Santa.
Rovaniemi is the official hometown of Santa Claus. It is a huge tourist destination in Finland. Here is a link to the Rovaniemi tourist page --> link. The town is also located on/near the Arctic Circle, and acts as a capital to Finland's northernmost providence, Lapland.
In Rovaniemi there are many hotels and restaurants from which to choose and the city itself seems quite normal. I was reading in one of my travel books that once the city was destroyed and had to be rebuilt. When rebuilding it someone decided to lay out the streets in the city to resemble reindeer antlers. I kept looking at the city map and just couldn't see the antlers... but I do not doubt that they are there. Just a quick drive outside of town and you will get to 'Santa Claus Village', basically one big tourist shop &&& SANTA!
We drove around the 'Village' a couple times, just trying to find 'it'. There was no way that people made such a big deal about a couple of gift shops, vacant cabins, reindeer pulling a sled propped up on wheels, and a post office. Sadly that was it, so we got out our wallets and went shopping. Then we found Santa! We sat next to him and then some man took two pictures with little to no warning. We came all this way to go to Rovaniemi, so we needed the evidence so we bought the less bad picture for a ridiculous price and went on our way, to the post office.
The post office was actually quite a lot more interesting. I found it interesting because it has received 16.5 million letters from 198 different countries. Around Christmas time Santa gets about 32,000 letters a day!! Can you imagine Santa getting that many letters and still being ready for Christmas on time? If you or someone you know wants to send him a letter, below is his address.
Santa Claus Main Post Office
FI-96930 Arctic Circle
We didn't spend much more time in 'the village' we came, we saw, we got bored and headed home (11 hours). Not before taking this fabulous picture with Raylan.
|In Love in Finland, same as our Sweden mugs my mom accidentally bought us. I wrote a blog post about that funny story last year --> link to post.|
|The post office!|
|Standing on the Arctic Circle!|
Irregardless of how disappointing 'Santa Claus Village' was, I am so happy we went! After we got back to Lappeenranta I told Karl how I actually spent quite a lot of time farther north than he had ever been during the trip. You see when we were driving there we were driving west, and Karl was driving. This is especially funny to me, because he was begging the whole time to drive all the way to Hammerfest, Norway.
56 days until Christmas!