September 8, 2011 Santa Claus Village in FinlandiRovaniemij
Korvalan Kestikievari morning opened in the thick cloud. The autumnal color seemed to turn brighter than yesterday.
The last breakfast menu was rye bread,tea,reindeer ham,pork salami we bought at the direct German sale shop in Lapland,yogurt with cranberry,and grape fruit.
On the last day of the Arctic Circle drive, I felt somewhat lonely and looked back the lodge. We started at 8 a.m in the temperature of 13.5 C.
The public bus network provides frequent service around the area. Every village has at least one bus stop. The lovely bus stop is decorated by pretty flowers and some people waited for the bus. 
We arrived at Sami capital Rovaniemi. We first visited Santa Claus village in the suburbs of the city. The village spreads wide surrounded by the thick forest,park, and shops.
The park was very calm before the opening time.
In the center of the Village is the Arctic Line.
Eight different languages illustrate the Line. I read the Japanese explanation.  
Only one shop was open early in the morning. Many Santa Claus dolls welcomed me.
Christmas goods with Christmas color filled the shop densely.  
Lovely Santa Claus dolls lured me to buy some of them.  
Soft and thick stuffed Polar dogs were really lovely.
I bought a pair of woolen mufflers for my son and his wife.  
Now, I am going to see Santa Claus passing through the dark tunnel and then...

Mr. Santa Claus waited for us with pure white dense beard. He asked me not in Finnish but in English where I was from. He mentioned without a break many Japanese city names such as Tokyo,Osaka,and Kamakura.
I answered from Oita, probably not be included in his dictionary.
I shook hands with his large warm hands. We became a Sami and a reindeer to take a shot.
I soon bought Santa Claus post cards and asked the commemorative stamp on them and visited the Santa Claus post office.  
On the wall were so many post cards from the kids all through the world.  
Central Rovaniemi is located about 7 kilometers to the south of Santa Claus Village. The whole city had been destroyed completely by German troops to prevent the occupation by USSR. All the building were perfectly restored after the World War2.
  Behind the lovely show windows decorated with colorful kids dresses lies a history of the War. I was overcome by deep emotion.  
A beautiful arch spans the river. We crossed it and drove up to the forest behind the bridge.   
Whole the hill looked like a beautiful park including ski slopes,hockey fields,camping sites,and other recreational facilities. 
As we had no other good idea to kill time, we came back to Santa Claus Village.
Many noisy Chinese tourists filled the Village.
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Today's mileage:426 km(Total 4153Km)  Picture by:K.P.Nickel Ken & Mie