Friday, 8 July 2016

The circle revisited

Yes,it was, but now it is heading South. And whereas the northward crossing of the Arctic Circle was on a desolate winswept high plateau this southward crossing was right smack bang in the middle of Sant Claus village with all of its supporting cast of ticky  tacky  Santa Claus shops. We had to actually look for the Arctic  circle itself in the commercial clutter. . This  looks like it!


So we cross the line  


But first we had to get there. And to do that first we had to cross into Finland.  Border crossing.  Yawn!  


And then the proceeding in of logging trucks screamed to us that we were in Finland. 


Hey fella, we want to pass you 


There were at least 6 different raindeer on the side of the road. Fortunately they were all placid fellas and not perturbed by traffic. After a while I got a little tired of seeing raindeer on the side of the road, braking fairly heavil,  and then finding the raindeer would suddenly lose their antlers and morph into brown rocks on the side of the road ! 

We are still in the land of trolls and mythical peoples.  


And thus we arrive at Santa Claus village where we meet up with our friend Ekki whom we met on the good ship Stahlratte four years ago as it sailed with us and our bikes from Panama to Cartagena   It was a great reunion. 


We pull into our little Santa Claus themed cabin. Right next door was a car festooned with some odd looking flags (all of  which had too many stars!). "Gidday mate" came the cheery voice from next door.  


Santa Claus is very close now. Who is an excited girl then?  


And just what is happening to the temperature at the Arctic circle?  It is supposed to be very cold right? 


It was too hot to even contemplate having the much vaunted sauna that was built into our cabin. It really needed a foot of snow outside and a pile of birch sticks. 

Having had a great time catching up with Ekki the following morning we bade farewell as he headed North and we headed South. And down to the small city of Oulu we go. Tomorrow is a biggish day of 600km as we ride down to and end up in Helsinki. The message that are nearly at the end of our Scandanvian sojourn came into focus as I booked on the computer  our ferry ride next week from Helsinki to Tallinn in Estonia.

And the final thought for the day - I wonder if it is perhaps compulsory here for all Finnish children to go to a Finnishing School? 

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