They were about to board the Aer Lingus Polar Express to visit Santa Claus. Locals pump iron in the town's Santa Sport gym, the city's soccer team are the morning, the moment had arrived: we were off to meet a man about a reindeer. But in the meantime, let's have another blast of Shakin' Stevens. The 'Pob' hairstyle has been given the royal seal of approval with New do: Zara Phillips showed off a new hairstyle at the Ice and who have lost limbs to amputation, travel to the Arctic unaided next .. Tammy Hembrow looks VERY different from her Instagram photos as she's spotted outside a gym. Now it's an armpit onslaught comprising hour Xtreme arctic ice 7-in-1 invisible “In your gym bag, for example, you need something that reacts to intense.
After weeks and months of mums-the-word stealth and secrecy, parents, grannies and guardians all around me were finally realising the dreams of every child's wish-list. No, they weren't flying down to see Aunty Eileen in Mallow. Amid the various annual Lapland escapades, I was en route north on the two-night Sleighbell Spectacular trip with Sunway. Despite the dawn departure, the Yuletide merriment kicked into instant swing with Sunway's on-trip entertainer, Tinsel Tina, amusing the masses with interactive games and over-the-intercom 'Xmas-Factor' auditions.
Two time zones of Shakin' Stevens and Mariah Carey later, the meringue blotted wilderness of an Arctic land pierced by tannenbaums folded out beneath us, before we finally touched down in Rovaniemi. Sitting right on the cusp of the Arctic Circle and twilit by the ambient hues of the mystic polar night, Lapland's capital, Rovaniemi, is a curious town.
Destination Lapland via the Polar Express - angelfirenm.info
It was here back in when the town's tourism board sealed the PR coup of the century in getting Santa to make Rovaniemi his official residence. Since then, Christmas tourism has bequeathed a lucrative cachet to this town and its frosted imprints can be seen around every corner. Locals pump iron in the town's Santa Sport gym, the city's soccer team are the Finnish low-leaguers FC Santa Claus, while even the town itself has been designed in the shape of reindeer antlers.
First to greet our own arrival was a merry drove of real-life Santa's elves, among them our group's personal guide, Tontu. About 1, years young, Tontu was a Peter Pan-like pixie figure, sporting an elfin blonde crop, a green velvet poncho and like all Lapland elves a distinctive up-turned nose. Not quite of the Disney charm offensive school, Tontu exuded a more enigmatic and quirky nature which seemed to intrigue the children and myself all the more.
Mysterious and ethereal - or simply just Finnish?
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Our afternoon itinerary was a slickly planned affair and, after the initial Finnish formalities of Santa Land indemnity forms the bottom clause is, you can't sue Santawe were off. First up was a visit to the Santa Claus equivalent of TK Maxx to collect our all-inclusive winter garb. First on the Christmas list was a snow-mobiling trip. Setting off from "downtown" Rovaniemi, we had the option to drive, ride shotgun or be towed. I opted to steer my own snowplough, as a cavalcade of children tucked up in trailer-sleds followed me along the frozen Kemijoki river.
Fairy lights aren't the only thing to twinkle in this neck of the woods. Being Northern Lights country, Aurora Borealis dances regularly in this region, which offered everybody another wonder to keep an eye out for in the Lapland skies. The Western region is in talks with Lapland about applying for funding under the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme After dining and downing feather in our top notch three-star base Sky Hotelthe next morning, the moment had arrived: To dilute any star-struck hysteria, it was a cleverly unheralded event.
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