Not all of us thrive in mainstream schools. Even Albert Einstein clashed with the authorities at his, deeply resenting the regimented learning which they imposed and which he thought went against the spirit of learning and creative thought.
The jolly old man with a red coat and a long white beard has conquered countless hearts around the world. But where does Père Noël also known as Father Christmas or Santa Claus actually live? Different people believe different things, but the Finns know for a fact that “Joulupukki” lives in Finnish Lapland. When national TV stations show him take off for his world tour on the 23rd of December, children start to count down the hours.
Santa has an official home and workshop at the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, Finland, and this is where Luna and Achilleas met him on a hot and sunny day during the hottest summer in Scandinavia since records began. A very special start to their adventure across countries of the Baltic Sea.
But our travellers also brought a (very useful) gift for Santa, rather than expecting a gift from him. In return, they asked him for some advice for their road trip. Could there be anyone better for handing out travel advice?
In case you haven’t scheduled an appointment with Santa any time soon, you can always write him a letter. If you include your address in it, he will send you a reply, although 500 000 letters are addressed to him each year by small (and bigger) kids around the world!
And what can international visitors do in Lapland during the summer? This is the question the region is now trying to answer, having spent decades building itself up as a favourite Arctic winter holiday spot, helped along by a constant EU support. Tourism in the sparsely populated region has definitely been enjoying a boom lately, with Rovaniemi the third busiest airport in the country. If only winters were a bit longer still!