Memories of my visit to Santa
Memories of my visit to Santa..an unforgettable trip to Lapland
by Travel Connections Manager, Kristie Hale
Every child imagines what Santa’s home looks like. Two years ago, I was blessed to live the dream for myself in a tour of Lapland, the northern region of Finland and one of the most amazing lands I have been to.
Our adventure started out in Helsinki, a city with a modern and cosmopolitan feel, yet its majestic maritime setting makes it feel warm, homely and inviting. I was mesmerized walking through the market hall, Eteläranta, dating back to 1889, it is a striking byzantine revival building housing a fascinating array of fresh produce and fish. One of the most popular tourist attractions and a favourite of mine was Sibelius Monument, an abstract sculpture to commemorate Finland’s greatest composer, Jean Sibelius.
Heading north the next stop was Rovaniemi, which marks the southern boundary of the artic region. After exploring our way around the Arktikum museum and science centre I was ready for the best known of the fun adventures this captivating town offers. Realising my childhood dream by meeting the big man himself was a magical moment. Santa Claus was, of course, everything I expected, kind, gentle and giving and he certainly made the magic of Christmas feel complete for me.
After an enchanting two days in Rovaniemi we headed north deeper into the Artic Circle to Saariselka. Here we had the unique experience of staying in a glass igloo, at the famous Kakslauttanen Resort. In the evening, from the comfort of my igloo bed, I had the chance to witness one of nature’s phenomenon, the Aurora Borealis otherwise known as The Northern Lights. The better times to witness one of these spectacular natural light shows is November – March in the colder months. As in anything to do with nature, it is never a guarantee. I feel extremely blessed to have been able to capture a glimpse of this amazing sight.
This remote, snowy forest land has so many activities on offer. We were lucky enough to experience a four-hour husky safari and hunted the ‘Aurora’ by snow mobile. Other activities on offer in the winter at the Kakslauttanen resort are reindeer safaris, horse safaris, ice fishing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding and ice swimming. The summer months in Lapland when the sun does not set between May and August, offers the perfect time of the year to enjoy all the fantastic summer activities of this beautiful region.
Finland and its remarkable northern region of Lapland has something special for all to find and discover. This incredible journey, with its many magical moments, was a truly remarkable bucket list adventure, not to be forgotten!