Friday, October 19, 2007

Santa's Big Let Down

From Hammerfest it was literally a downhill run through Sweden, into Finland and down into Helsinki. Lots of driving again but some interesting stops along the way. Like Santa’s Kingdom in Lappland. Did you know that Santa doesn’t wear shoes when he is at home? He wears really long stripy woollen socks to keep his tootsies warm! I searched that kingdom high and low and couldn’t find one Christmas tree decoration. What is world coming to if you can’t buy a Christmas tree decoration in the only place on earth where is it Christmas for 365 days of the year? Sure, I could have bought Swarovski crystal, flashing reindeer ears or a very crude troll t-shirt but there were no tree decorations to be had! In all honesty (and don’t tell the kiddies) Santa’s Kingdom was a bit of a disappointment. More so because it is one of the main places I was keen to visit in Finland. I had even contemplated making the journey to Lappland for the sole purpose of visiting Santa at his house. Am very glad I didn’t now. It left me with the same feeling that you get when you go and see an eagerly anticipated movie at the cinema only to decide that you should probably have just rented it on DVD. Maybe if there was snow it would have been better? Photo - Matt, Sarah and Michael.

We got to see Santa’s office where all the letters that children address to “Santa - North Pole” go to. Australia’s inbox was a little empty but I suppose it would overflow closer to Christmas though.

Thinking positively, the best part of visiting Lappland was the Contiki Christmas party that we had. Wellsey cooked up a brilliant roast chicken dinner (not as good as Mum’s though) and we had a secret Santa present swap. I managed to pull out a Viking puzzle and some clever detective work led me to my secret Santa - Dirk from Holland.

One poor girl from the Asian group that was travelling with us pulled out her gift only to discover that her secret Santa (Nigel from New Zealand) had thoughtfully provided her with a porn magazine.

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