Finland Travelogue – (Part 3): Reindeer and Husky Sleigh Ride in Lapland

Our next itinerary is going to enjoy the company of arctic animals where we will visit local reindeer farms and husky kennels and take on a fascinating ride on a sleigh.

We had no idea where we were after snowmobiling for one hour. But one thing we knew, we were really deep into the forest.

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The coldness was unbearable and we were really glad to take a rest inside the log cottage.

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Our guide prepared an open fire for us to warm up, and our group got to enjoy warm refreshments and pastries before meeting the reindeer and husky dogs. Our guide also shared about Lapland with us, describing what we should know about arctic animals and their behaviour.

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Fire, the precious commodity during winter season.

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Reindeer Farm

Okay, we have read about reindeer in storybooks and seen them on TVs. Our impression of reindeer is that they are very much a part of Santa Claus’ life, transporting him from one place to another.

Reindeer don’t fly, but they do sometimes have red noses. These animals are part of the deer family, which includes deer, elk, moose and wapiti. Like others in their family, reindeers have long legs, hooves and antlers. An interesting fact to know is that male reindeer lose their antlers in November, but females keep theirs much longer. This means that Santa Claus’ reindeer must have all been female, since they are depicted as having horns on December 24.

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Reindeer tied to the trees. Watch out for the dungs on the ground when approaching them!

Reindeer are built for the cold. Their noses warm up air before it gets to their lungs and their entire bodies, including their hooves, are covered with fur. These animals can run very fast and some of them up to 80km/h!

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Let us pose for a picture before the ride.

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How far was the reindeer sleigh ride? Just a mere 500m. Our reindeer was pretty lazy as he stopped halfway and sauntered back to the starting point. However the best part was getting to ‘drive’ the reindeer by ourselves!

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The reindeer ride was not impressive. However, the memorable part was getting up close and personal to meet the reindeer, finally.

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Husky Safari

We visited the husky safari which was one of our anticipated itinerary. We loved dogs! The energy and joy of the husky dogs, who are born to run, is difficult to describe and petting the animals is also possible.

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At the husky safari, we learnt about how the huskies were trained from a young age and the role each of them played in pulling the sleigh.

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As you can see, husky bears a close resemblance to the wolf but they are pretty friendly and playful.

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After touring the husky farm, we were led to the husky sleigh ride. The huskies were raring to go and greeted us with enthusiatic chorus of barking when we approached them.

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The 500m husky ride was delightful as they leapt up and down the air in extreme excitement, pulling us across the snow. While some may see this as animal slavery, we tend to differ. The huskies really looked happy and excited in carrying out their duties.

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Posing for a family photo before we bid these friendly animals goodbye!

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Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park Oy is located in Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle in Finland.

Address:
Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park
Santa Claus Village
Joulumaantie 5
96930 Arctic Circle
Finland

Email:
Bookings and safari information
: info@snowmobilepark.com

Instagram: Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park
Facebook page: Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park
TripAdvisor: Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park

Interested to visit Finland? Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.
All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.
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Finland Travelogue – (Part 2): Airbnb Stay and Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park in Lapland

Travel like a tourist and live like a local. They need not be mutually exclusive and Airbnb has made it possible for us to enjoy a meaningful holiday with authentic, local experiences.

We were really blessed to meet a wonderful host who readily fetched us from Santa Claus Village to his Airbnb abode at no extra cost.

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Our host stayed near to Rovaniemi city. Along the way, he gave us a mini-tour of the city and stopped by a supermarket for us to do some grocery shopping.

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Our Airbnb Stay

Here we are, at our Airbnb and it was freezing cold. An interesting sight was the entrance to the house; in fact, there were 2 doors to access. We were curious why it was so but guess probably could be due to the freezing weather that it needed 2 doors to insulate the house from coldness.

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Some might thought the lighting looked spooky but we felt it was a nice touch.

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It was snowing all day and the cars were covered with snow!

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The size of the house was typical of a 3 room HDB flat and more than sufficient for us.

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The living room with sofa bed.

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Our host prepared coffee powder and cookies for us.

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Mini-kitchen.

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The bedroom with connecting bathroom.

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We were blessed to have a wonderful host. Not forgetting to pen down our appreciation for his great hosting!

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 Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park

Pure snow white provides for many opportunities to have fun. The Arctic Circle has no lack of snow activities to engage in. For the very first time, we got the opportunity to explore snowmobile ride in the snowy forest.

We booked the day activity program from the Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park.

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The group sizes are small and the speed and the length of the safari depend on each group. This is why this safari suits for families as well as for those who are looking for a real adrenaline boost.

Our guide first gave us a brief introduction to snowmobiling after which he lead us to the wilderness.

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Getting ready to move out…

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And off we go! The kids really enjoyed the ride which lasted about 15 mins.

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The Lapland is an amazing place to take on a fascinating ride through the winter forest.

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That was not the end. Come second part, we joined a bigger group and snowmobiled for about an hour into the wilderness. This excursion is available for everybody, but a driving license is required to ride a snowmobile for longer distances.

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This time round, Big and Small M had to sit under the blankets on a sledge behind the snowmobile.

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For a moment, we almost couldn’t recognise who she is! That was how freezing cold the Lapland is. Small M’s hair froze and became spider web. Snowmobiling in the wilderness and playing with the snow were already an experience in itself, but this safari would be taking us to meet reindeer and husky dogs in our next blog. Stay tune for more 🙂

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Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park Oy is located in Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle in Finland.

Address:
Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park
Santa Claus Village
Joulumaantie 5
96930 Arctic Circle
Finland

Email:
Bookings and safari information
: info@snowmobilepark.com

Interested to visit Finland? Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.
All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Finland Travelogue – (Part 1): Rovaniemi, Santa Claus Village, Santa Claus Office and Snowman World

The unique charm of Lapland spills over to us. We spoke and dreamt that one day, we would have the chance to step our feet into Finland and explore Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus, to experience how the locals celebrate Christmas. We arrived at Helsinki airport early in the morning and switched into another domestic flight to Rovaniemi.

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Stockholm and Iceland were really cold but they paled in comparison to Finland, where the weather was expected to be as low as under 30 degrees celsius!

Well, this travelogue on Scandinavia took longer than usual to publish as we had a hard time sorting out the pictures we took. All but thanks to the harsh weather conditions, we returned to Singapore only to realize that one of the SD cards was spoilt which resulted in almost 30% of the precious pictures we took, literally gone.

Here we were, at Rovaniemi airport. The entire town was coated with snow.

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Santa Claus Village

Rovaniemi is a true land of Christmas, as the town has a fine white Christmas and a magnificent wilderness which is home to Santa’s velvet-nosed, antler-headed reindeer. The main theme of visiting the Lapland is to meet Santa Claus. There is only one Santa Claus, but he can be met in 3 different places in the town, namely the Santa Claus Office, Christmas House and SantaPark.

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Santa Claus’ Main Post Office

The Santa Claus Village was pretty touristy. One of the attractions was Santa Claus’ Main Post Office where you could write postcards and send it to your loved ones.

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Pick a postcard of your choice, head over to pay at the counter and start penning down your Christmas greetings.

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The collections of greeting cards awaiting to be mailed throughout the world.

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We thought this is an inexpensive and must-try experience. Imagine the excitement on our girls when they returned to school after the holidays to hear from their friends about receiving the greeting cards, all the way from Finland.

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Santa Claus Main Post Office

Tähtikuja 1, FI-96930 Napapiiri
Tel. 020 4523 120
Fax. 016 3481 418
joulupukinpaaposti(at)posti.fi
http://kampanja.posti.fi/joulupukinpaaposti

The Santa Claus Village is an amusement park that was opened in 1985. There are accommodations available and open playgrounds for children to indulge in. It did look fun playing in freezing weather but the grounds were pretty slippery due to lack of friction underneath the boots.

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They had fun sliding down the slope.

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We didn’t dwell too long outside as it was freezing cold.

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Santa Claus’ Office

Next, we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with Mr Santa. Each day Santa Claus arrives at his office at the Santa Claus Village on the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi. Here he greets visitors from all over the world, replies to letters and listens to the Christmas wishes of the children he meets.

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It was a surreal experience in Santa Claus’ Office. Visitors were reminded to wait quietly before stepping into Santa Claus’ room. It heightened our awe and excitement of meeting that “special” someone.

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Mr Santa was friendly and warm when we entered the room. He greeted us and carried himself well, sending lovely Christmas greetings and blessings to us. It was a short encounter with Santa but this experience would surely etch in our memories. We guess our only gripe was not able to use our camera to take photos with Santa Claus. As expected, visitors have to pay to get a copy of the photograph.

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 Snowman World

Welcome to the Snowman World! This snow and ice world is situated right next door to Santa Claus in Santa Claus Village. We highly recommend exploring this attraction as you get a once in a lifetime experience to see Ice Restaurant, Ice Bar & Gallery, Igloo Hotel and Snow Fun activities such as ice skating, ice sliding and extreme bag jumping.

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This is the Ice Bar where we can admire the animals and fairy-tale characters in an ice galley atmosphere. Surprisingly it was not as cold inside here as compared to outside.

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Try sipping over a cup of hot chocolate. You can also try their special beverages served from ice glasses!

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Visitors can enjoy the ice restaurant dining experience here. The dinner service includes entrée, main course and dessert.

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It is not a good idea to try this with kids around. For the adventurous, it would be very special to spend a night at the Snowman World Igloo Hotel where  you get to sleep in a room built entirely of snow and ice. You will be given a sleeping bag, designed for extreme conditions to keep your mind and body warm throughout the night.

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Every room has a different theme.

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A constant temperature of just below zero degree Celsius will remain inside the igloo, while outside temperatures may be extreme.

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All igloos are individually themed with ice and snow sculptures, and include a thermal sleeping bag. Shared bathroom facilities and a breakfast room are found in the main building.

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Would you like to try out this unforgettable experience at the Artic Circle?

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Step out of Snowman World and kids get to try out extreme bag jump tubing.

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It was really fun sliding down the hills but the challenging part was pulling the tube back to the hilltop. The kids were exhausted after 3 rounds and we decided to call it a day.

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Snowman World
Joulumaantie 5, 96930 Rovaniemi, Finland

The Santa Claus fairytale is alive everyday at the village on Arctic Circle. It has been a trip of rich learning experiences where we will get to discover more of the spirit of Christmas in Lapland.

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Interested to visit Finland? Click here to follow Katong Kids Inc Facebook Page to stay tune on the next travel post.
All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.