Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna,Rovaniemi
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... for quite a while before going our separate ways. While at the bar I also met an ex-pat Canadian who worked for Helsinki University, polishing the English for Finnish scholars publishing in the English language. His name is John and he grew up in Montreal. He has been working for the university for 20 years.
Ready for my first meal of the day despite the fact that it was almost 8 p.m., I walked to a restaurant near my hotel called Manala ...
... just for their delicious apple and oat yoghurt. Almost. Our taxi driver was waiting for us in the foyer when we checked out. He guided us outside, but we couldn't see a taxi. Then he opened the back of a big, black luxury mini-bus and loaded our bags. The inside was decorated with gold and wood panelling. I thought it must've been an airport service which picks up from hotels, but no, it was just us. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time, dropped off our bags ...
... Walked down the road to visit Elina, (her children have been Moms friends since they were little kids) she is 93. Kristina, Sanna, Sirka, Yka and Heiki were there also. Just came back from picking 4 litres of raspberries. Definitely needed Fay and Tammy here to help. Mom is preparing fresh salmon and hot veges for dinner. I am eating very well. We will have a sauna after ...
... on' the river. It's not just walkers on the river, it turns in to a bit of a highway...well, actually, it really does become a highway because a 'road' is marked out for the cars to drive on. Snow mobiles and cross country skiers add to the traffic but there was still enough room for Nena to get off the lead and chase a few snowballs.
... village. There is a myth that Santa lives at the North Pole. The Finnish argue that the North Pole is uninhabitable so naturally Santa's real home is at Lapland, Finland. The conversation with Santa was not too riveting, we just made sure that he was aware that we would not be at our normal addresses this Christmas but we will be in Africa. Now that Santa has received our change of address, there is no excuse not to deliver that Ferrari ...