Friday, 8 of August 2008
Young Journalists’ blog (FCP 2008)
Spyridoula (from Greece)
I am Spyridoula from Greece!
Today we continued our trip to Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland . The schedule was tight like usual. In the morning we had a nice breakfast at the Pohjanhovi hotel where we had spend the previous night. The weather was around 12 degrees and it was raining. After breakfast, Mr. Matti Ansala, deputy mayor of Rovaniemi and Mrs Tuula Rintala-Gardin, head of tourism welcomed us in the city hall. Rovaniemi is considered to be the biggest town in Europe in surface and tourism is one of the main income sources of the city. Every year, around 400,000 tourists visit Rovaniemi and Christmas is the most high season period. As our hostess mentioned, the raindeer are much more than the population of Lapland itself.
Before leaving for the Arktikum museum, we visited the city library, designed by the famous architect Alvar Aalto, where a nice woman was reading us a text from a Saami author called Johan Turi. Then we had a nice walk to the Arktikum. Arktikum is a museum and science center focusing on the Arctic. It usually hosts two exhbitions at once and you can learn a lot if you are interested in the Lappish wilderness and cultural heritage moulded by it. Saami languages and costumes are presented in the sami área department of the exhibition.
A visit to the newspaper Lapin Kansa was next in our programme. Mr. Pentti Korkeakangas, director of development of the newspaper was waiting for us there for a brief pesentation. Lapin Kansa is the biggest newspaper in Lapland and it has many readers.
The highlight of the day was about to come. As everybody knows, Rovaniemi is the town where Santa Claus lives. From there he starts his journey together with the raindeer to give his presents to all the children who had been good during the year. As we arrived over there, the first thing we did was having a photo taken crossing the polar circle. We were very anxious to meet Santa Claus. Yeah, Santa is in his office every day of the year! In Santas office we were warmly welcomed. And then, every childs dream was coming alive for us. We met Santa himself who was greeting everybody in his mother tongue and asking us if we behaved well to deserve our presents. He even made a commitment to us that he would visit us all in Christmas!
The final element of the day was the reception dinner hosted by the city of Rovaniemi. As we were travelling by bus on our way to Saariselka, we were passing through beautiful landscpes, full of the Finnish nature with nice wooden houses in the way painted in the traditional red colour. The sky was nice and we all seemed pleased.
After all, Lapland is the place to be!