I am continuing my Lapland story. Before you read “Rovaniemi II: nature and its magic” and now – let’s jump into something more social. Everything’s there – from my personal experience. I will not give a guide what and where to eat and what and when to visit. I just want to write down things, which without any deeper thinking I remember the best.
Water. “Tap water is absolutely safe to drink and very tasty” – it was one of the first things I was being told. And really it is so. Forget all the bottles of water in the supermarkets. The best one is running right there out of the tap!
Nordic walking. This type of exercising is super popular in there. And local elderly with Nordic Walking sticks and going into the hill were really nuts with their strength!
Eating and drinking. Cloudberries are the best thing what I remember from my time there. And let’s add Finnish squeaky cheese Leipäjuusto, which is a perfect pairing with a jam made from previously mentioned Northern berries. I am not speaking about reindeer, deer, moose, horse or other similar beauties used there for meat. That is called traditional food, but I never tried anything like that as such traditions are going against my beliefs. If you are there – don’t forget to taste traditional Lapin Kulta beer. But if you would be thinking about trying Finnish vodka with mint – think twice. Sorry, but it is really bad.
Sauna. This is something, what you can find in absolutely every Finnish house. It’s like religion. Even students’ dormitories were having them. Are you there in winter? It is a must after hot sauna to jump into the snowdrift or a lake!
Moving in a place. Bicycle is a must have thing and doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter season. On a previous one is even more fun. Yes, there’s a lot of snow, yes, it is slippery. And believe me, everything becomes like a comedy when so many people are falling down from them, and I’m not an exception. It’s like a bit painful part of winter season. But really bicycle is the best mean of transport as central Rovaniemi is not big and public transport – not always connected in the most comfortable ways. If you have some time – visit Santa Claus Village by bike, which is only 8 km away from center.
Going out. There are not so many places in Rovaniemi where you can go for a party but at the same time those few – is quite enough. And all of them are quite near each other. After a party you should go to a few spots in the center where all the people are waiting in line for a taxi as call on service at night during my staying in Rovaniemi was not provided. Be prepared for starting fare of dozen euros. Very common thing – to share taxi with others from the line who are going to the same direction as you. Inside – credit cards are acceptable.
Christmas time in Santa’s city. I was expecting that during Christmas period this city of Santa Claus is becoming one big twinkling cheesy Christmas tree. But it was absolutely not like that. Everything stayed subtle, almost the same like during all the year. Just in Lordi’s square Christmas tree and huge Snowman arrived.
Crime. Rovaniemi – is absolutely safe city. I have never felt unsafe even going back home absolutely alone through a dark forest. But like everywhere in the world – stuff can happen. Like once for us when in front of the popular club, where we were having a party that night, one young man was shot by death and other seriously wounded by a former peacekeeper back from Kosovo, who after turned the gun on himself. It is so strange in officially such a calm place to become almost a witness of one of the rarest and bloodiest accidents of the place ever.
Read more: Rovaniemi IV: something about Lordi and Mr. Santa’s name usage