Dashing through the snow

Trip Start Dec 10, 2012
Trip End Jan 12, 2012

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Flag of Finland  , Lapland,
Thursday, December 20, 2012

It was a lovely day today. Minus 17 degrees, cold enough to put icicles on your eyelashes, and we spent most of the day just enjoying our snow village.

We spent time in the ice park, which we entered through a giant igloo with ice sculptures and a bar inside and a big bed with reindeer hides for covers. It looked like it could be a very hot after hours destination but obviously we were there with children so we skipped the vodka shots. Mind you, some Aussies were ordering vodka with their breakfast this morning. The lady behind the bar looked a little shocked when asked for two vodka shots so the woman added that in Australia it was evening, which presumably made it OK.

The ice park had rubber tube rides down 25 metre or so icy runs. (Think a very steep and curved louvre run but built for blown up soft rubber tyres). Alexandra and Saskia both went down without hesitation. I had a go and found it a little 'hair raising' so I am very surprised that Alexandra and Saskia had three or four goes each and would have kept going except I felt it was necessary to quit while we were ahead. It was probably very reckless of me to let them go down without a helmet. I'll probably have a nightmare about that one. As the French lady next to me explained, 'they are designed so that they will not fall'. Tell that one to the Judge.

Alexandra wanted to send Christmas postcards to her classmates and her grandparents so we spent a good hour or so in the Santa post office whilst she wrote her cards and then posted them. Apparently the post office receives 15.5 million letters to Santa a year, in December receiving about 32,000 a day. The letters are mostly received from children in the UK, US, Poland, Finland, Japan and China (in that order). There were piles of such letters lying in bags around the post office. I'm not sure how Santa gets time to read them all!

After lunch we girls went on a reindeer ride whilst Daniel had some time checking out the cross country ski runs. We were tucked into a sleigh under a thick and warm reindeer hide and taken through some beautiful snow covered forest full of birch and pine trees. At the end of the ride we sat inside a teepee and warmed our toes.

It was quite a light day today, as the sun tried to peak through the clouds. It is just such beautiful countryside. Alexandra tells me that this has been her favourite part of the trip so far, and I think a large part of it is the fact that she is getting to meet lots of different children, and they make friends so readily. She said something today to the effect that 'isn't it great seeing all these different parts of the world'. This really delighted me as we are hoping, through our travels, to not only give them fun and happiness, but a sense of how wide and wonderful the world can be, from all of its different angles.

Post script: We saw very faint northern lights tonight. Very, very pretty. Daniel thinks they were just flashlights aimed at the sky. I think they trained lights on to them. God know's why because that only made them harder to see. Maybe they were trying to show people where to look?. I definitely saw them though, an orange one about 90 degrees from the moon, and some green and white ones at about 180 degrees.
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Leonie on

Magnificent photographs - unforgettable for sure!

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