I shot this photo in a park near the Arktikum Museum in Rovaniemi, Finland. The Arktikum devotes its exhibits to the Lapland area, its culture, and its history. Rovaniemi is the town where two rivers come together which helped make it the fifth largest city in Finland. At the Arktikum, we learned how much history the area has. Also, they have a great gift shop!
After getting our learning on at the Arktikum, we ran around for hours outside looking at the flora of the area and snapping pictures. This adorable bridge crossed one section of the river while leading to the other part of the river. In much of Scandinavian culture, there's a wide belief in trolls, gnomes, and fairies. Can't you imagine some non-scary trolls hanging out under this quaint bridge? There are so many places around The Arktikum that are picturesque. This, combine with the peaceful, easy going vibe in Rovaniemi, makes this a great, yet hard to get to, vacation destination.
We learned how truly important the reindeer is to the culture of Lapland and got some great handmade Suomi gifts. The Laplanders have herded reindeer for generations and the culture doesn't know borders. The people stretch from Western Russia all the way through Finland, Sweden, and eastern Norway. Because the reindeer is so vitally important, they use all parts of the reindeer in the area. From reindeer hide blankets and rugs to tools and jewelry made of reindeer bone, nothing is wasted. We got some awesome reindeer bone earrings with Suomi runes engraved on them. Later in our trip, we got to feed and pet some reindeer in Santa Claus village and they are adorable creatures.