The nightless nights are sadly coming to an end, as today we crossed the Arctic Circle marker, the southernmost line at which the midnight sun can be viewed. The point, which the sun never sets in midsummer, nor does it ever rise in the pitch black of midwinter.
We are also at the world’s most busiest post office, we are at Santa Land! As a big kid that never grows up, I am so excited to be at Santa Claus Village at the Arctic Circle. The official place of the chap who brought me loads of presents when I was a little girl. The village is open all year round and we skipped around the site with Mac n Tosh trotting along behind. There is no snow but instead a Finnish heatwave! The guide book says this place never goes above 10 in summer but today, we have a whopping 34 on the counter and climbing. It is scorching.
The village has a number of separate wooden building spread over a compact area. Some relate to santa whilst others are more of a commercial set up like Lapland estate agent. Some of the shops might be corny and commercialised but they are well stocked. You can shop in the outlet centre, in a number of elegant shops or in a small mall with individual local trader shops. Overall they seem to offer a good selection of handicraft, trinkets and local savouries and all at reasonable prices. Everything from Christmas baubles, reindeer skins, local Sami goods, engraved knives, unique jewellery and handcrafted pinewood toys. Whether they increase in peak season, we don’t know.
Dotted all over the village are information points where you can buy certificates to prove that you’ve been north of the Arctic Circle or to Lapland. You can also mail postcards from here with a special Santa and Arctic Circle postmark…wonder if the postman makes a visit.
Next to the post office, we joined the line of ‘adults’ queuing to see santa! Maybe we will visit tomorrow when its a little quieter.
After walking around and around or should I say dragging Craig around and around we made our way around the rear of the village to see the reindeer park and the husky centre (closed for repairs). The village is free to park (including overnight) and enter but you pay for each attraction, sadly most of the attractions like reindeer sleigh are only open in winter.
Our wild camping spot tonight is Santa Claus’s back garden besides the worlds most famous post office but with 24 hours of daylight, no twinkly fair lights.
Wild Camping GPS position N066.544353 E025.851465
Route: Vikajarvi to Napaiiri
Weather: Low 14, High 35 hot and humid