All Downhill From Here

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Back across the Arctic Circle
With our excursion to Nordkapp successfully completed, we were due south. Especially given that there are very few other directions we could travel from up there. So, in order to obey the laws of physics, we did just that. We took off in the morning to Rovaniemi, perched on the Arctic Circle in Finland. You may have heard of it... Santa has his village here. It´s a lot more convenient than the north pole and the reindeer are plentiful, after all.

Sooo tired
The trip was long and sleep was taken by many on the bus. As usual, I had to stay away, frozen in terror (see photo). Today was my day as cookie (cook), and we did up a nice chicken curry that was both tantalizing and tempting. As always, the credit goes to Sean for his wonderful cookery skills. Aside for non-Aussies: Cookery n - Food obtained after a night on the town. The 'r' should be rolled as though you're a pirate. Anyway, we ate some food and then Darren and I got to work on the pool table. Now here's the part nobody will believe, but it's true. After a little warming up had taken place, I proceeded to do the following two feats in one evening:

1) Clear the table on my first shot.
2) Sink the 8 ball off the break.

Needless to say, the crew was fooled into thinking me some sort of Pool God, and who could blame them? Perhaps someday, I shall reign again. I should mention that when we first showed up, I took a walk along the water with the twins, the Spaniard, the Rob, and the nemesis (aka Lee). I also took another walk a little later with Catherine, though the mosquitos proved to be a little vicious.

Hopping in the Sleigh at Santa's Village
We stopped the next morning at Santa's Village, where I treated myself to a new wallet given that my old one was unfit to hold even Canadian money ever again. It's nice and made of Reindeer leather, which also qualifies it as my first souvenier. We actually ran into the man himself at the village, Mr. Klaus, who was gracious enough to stop for a photo with Catherine, Emma, Belinda, Dave, and I, and then we headed off to Keuru. En route, we all wrote down and Chad read our trip highlights, which was at times hilarious and also very nice. Melissa had a certain indiscretion of mine as her highlight, which definitely makes a person feel good (thanks, Mel!). Mine was about the horrific movie in Nordkapp, which, really, was the hardest I'd laughed in some time.

Los Tres Amigos
That night, we celebrated Christmas a little early, and had a Secret Santa gift exchange which was a lot of fun. Would you believe that Jess & I bought the exact same thing!? I thought I would be the only one with a Scandinavia Disc, and certainly the only one with a Scandinavia 5 disc. Crazy! Plus we had a nice Christmas dinner courtesy of Sean. The night also marked the creation of Los Tres Amigos, and some horrifically amusing Mexican accents and ancestry. It's funny because something similar happened on our last trip, and neither time was it my idea. We all sported cheesy mustaches for the occasion. Finally, as with any Christmas celebration, there was drinking, and lots of it. Everyone had a good time, I think, whether it was plummeting through a veritable canyon between two boulders, shotgunning beer (and then reverse shotgunning them back again), or something else entirely, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

<Rovaniemi/Keuru Photos>

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