Finland for an anniversary
03.12.2016 - 18.12.2016 55 °F
After a long day of flying, flight delays, and more delays, we made it home from NM. We made it home, just in time to get unpacked and re-packed.
Years ago I saw an article and photos of glass igloos in Finland, up in the Arctic Circle. I decided it would be a really great place to celebrate one of our anniversaries and maybe see the northern lights. Up until now, we’ve always been too busy to go, but now the time seemed to be right.
Several months ago we cashed in a bunch of our frequent flier miles for tickets to Finland. That in itself became a challenge when Turkish Air changed our flight from Istanbul to the US to leave before we’d actually arrive in Istanbul from Helsinki.
Turkey was having political issues at the time and we were a little nervous about flying in and out of Turkey anyway so impossible flights were a good excuse for a change. I called United and when they realized that the flights were impossible, changes were made with no charge to us. Now we will fly Helsinki to Munich to the US.
We leave on Monday, you’d think that we’d be ready for this trip, having known and planned it for months. But no, it is being put together even now.
First, we need to go from Helsinki up to the Arctic Circle. We thought it would be fun to work our way up, visiting cities on the way. We’d planned to drive but after reading warnings on Trip Advisor we decided the train was best.
I got online and after looking for things to do, I found a site that will plan trips depending on what one wants to do. I took their ideas and thought it would make a good itinerary for us.
We will stay in Helsinki for 2 days and were lucky to get tickets to a Sibelius concert at the Music Hall. We got the last 2 tickets available.
From Helsinki we will travel by train to Turku- A Christmas City, Tampere- when the lake is frozen people walk out on the ice to a café, Kuopio, Oulu and then Rovaniemi. Rovaniemi is the city for Santa Claus, it also sits on the border of the Arctic Circle, ½ on and ½ off.
I went to buy Eurail passes and found that they must be delivered to our house prior to leaving. As there was no time for delivery I called the toll free #. The lady asked for our itinerary and as I sat there looking at the map of train stops I selected the town of Oulu. Oulu was not on the online guide but it has a train stop which is good enough.
From Rovaniemi, we will take a bus to Kaksluttanen, where the glass igloos are. We have reservations there for 2 days. Hopefully, we will get to go on a Reindeer Safari and a Sleigh Ride. And we are hoping for northern lights.
Most of our hotels are free nights from points which is nice. I still have 3 nights to book and will get that done before we leave.
So much to do and so little time.