Santa's Village in Roveniemi, Finland was our big attraction for the day. Apparently, it rests right on the line where the Arctic circle begins.
At first we were pretty disappointed, it was mostly shops selling cheap souvenirs and jewelery. It being July probably didn't help things much; maybe with a little snow the place would've felt more magical.
We were going to write the experience off as a total loss, but we decided to pay Santa's Office a visit first. We're glad we did. It was super kitschy (of course) but they did a really great job with it! As usual, we (and everyone else, it seemed) thoroughly ignored the signs saying photos were not allowed.
On our way up to say hello, we saw how Santa slows down the Earth's rotation so he's able to visit every home around the world in just one night.
He had all kinds of machinery to help him do this:
…including several surveillance cameras:
We've yet to see a sign saying no audio recording is allowed anywhere, so we did that too!
Pointless overpriced trinket shops aside, Santa's Village was pretty fun. In the winter, with some kids, it would be even better!
After this, it was a pretty uneventful day. I had an unusually large amount of work emails to deal with and so spent most of the day behind my laptop screen while Tara drove. Not far outside of Roveniemi, Tara found one last fantastic Finnish free-camp by a lake. While I worked, she set everything up and cooked us some spicy eggplant and broccoli with noodles in a Terikayki plum sauce. YUM!