March 9-15, 2000 You can click on any picture to see it larger
Helsinki Airport and the Hotel
We had a lay-over in Helsinki, Finland for a bunch of hours (we tried twice to go stand-by on flights before ours, but all were full), so we ate.
We went into Cesar's and this map of the US was on the wall. Mackenzie had no problem finding San Diego.
Later (hours later) we had tea and ice cream. Mackenzie found this Star-Wars figure and when she bit into it, it was red ice cream in the middle (very gross).
We finally made it to Rovaniemi (the Official Airport of Santa Claus) after midnight and took the shuttle into town to the City Hotel.
The airport shuttle drops you off at your hotel and for every flight out of Rovaniemi they make the rounds of the hotels less than 1 hour before the flight to pick up passengers (tiny town, tiny airport).
These were the most comfortable beds we have ever slept on. There was a soft pad and a fluffy comforter, Mackenzie even said what great beds they were.
This is the bathroom with 'real' water pressure in the shower.
The Arctic Circle
After the buffet breakfast in the hotel (scrambled eggs with bacon in them, I love this place) we headed for the Arctic Circle and Santa Park.
In our picture Mackenzie is outside the Arctic Circle and I'm standing just in it.
There's a dotted line on the ground just like on the globes.
We all got an Arctic Circle Crossing Certificate.
Then we headed over to Santa's Office in Santa Village to see if he was in. He was, so Mackenzie talked to him for awhile then they had their picture taken.
We waited for the Santa Train that would take us to Santa Park.
Notice the snow in the last few pictures, it's very deep. They said this winter hasn't been as cold, but they have gotten a lot of snow (not very cold to them means it didn't get to -40° Celcius).
For Rovaniemi the lowest temperature recorded was -45.3 °C. and the highest temperature reading was +30.6 °C (this is year round).
On to Santa Park