Photo. Reindeer transport in Santa Park in Rovaniemi, Finland.
Being a traveller is all about getting off the beaten path and trying something new. Rovaniemi`s surroundings offers great opportunities for enjoying nature and wildlife, for example experiencing peace in a lakeside cottage, canoeing under a midnight sun, observing wild animals in their natural surroundings, cafes warm with baking cinnamon aromas, taking sauna and swim in the many thousands lakes.
Rovaniemi is the capital of Lapland, and its major gateway and service centre. Finnish sisu makes things happen, both in the past and now a days. After the complete destruction of Rovaniemi by the Germans in 1944, it was rebuilt from a plan by Alvar Aalto. The main streets radiating out from Hallituskatu in the shape of reindeer antlers.
The Lapland region stretches hundreds of kilometres above the Arctic Circle. It`s Finland’s true wilderness. It`s a mysterious land of clear Arctic air where the midnight sun brings continuous daylight in the brief summer (June to August) and the long, polar nights offer the chance to view the stunning aurora borealis (October to March).
From September, the period known locally as ruska (autumn) produces exceptional colours of gold, red and brown, and in the far north kaamos, the season of eerie bluish light, begins late in October.
Opportunities to get out and experience this sugar-coated wonderland are endless. In winter you can mush with husky-dogs, ski in downhill resorts, cheer for reindeer races on frozen lakes, drill a hole and go ice-fishing or snowmobile through forests.
In summer, hike through pristine national parks in endless daylight and raft down whitewater rivers.
Finland is in general the country where your travel experiences will make great stories for your friends back home. When people go travelling, the biggest highlights are often based on experiences from the offbeat tracks. That`s what you talk about on dinners. Finland is definitely one of the world`s last wild frontiers. Experiencing something unusual compared with your own culture is something that make your life interesting. So go to Finland, Lapland and Rovaniemi, get out there fior an unique wild adventure.
Stein Morten Lund, 15 January 2011.