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Reindeer Steaks for Thanksgiving Dinner

Image Title: Thanksgiving Day 2015 Selfie in the Arctic Circle, Finland [Photo: Open Door Travelers]
Thanksgiving Day 2015 Selfie in the Arctic Circle, Finland [Photo: Open Door Travelers]
Image Title: Reindeer steaks for Thanksgiving Dinner [Photo: Open Door Travelers]
Reindeer steaks for Thanksgiving Dinner [Photo: Open Door Travelers]
Image Title: Glass Igloos in the Arctic Circle, Finland [Photo: www.kakslauttanen.fi]
Glass Igloos in the Arctic Circle, Finland [Photo: www.kakslauttanen.fi]

Really?  Reindeer Steaks for Thanksgiving dinner?  Well, thats what you get when you take a trip to the Arctic Circle over the US Thanksgiving holiday.  While we were living in Manchester in the UK, we decided to take a trip to the Arctic Circle in Finland to see the Northern Lights and sleep in a glass igloo.  The Arctic Circle is not a trivial place to get to.  Once you arrive at Helsinki International Airport, you still have a two hour flight North to get to Ivalo Airport (IVL) before you can get to one of Finland's Arctic Circle resorts.  

Once there, you are rewarded with a holiday that few people get to experience. The remoteness is both beautiful and daunting at the same time. The resorts offer modern and "rustic" accomodations and have many day and night excursion activities to choose from including dog sledding on the tundra, reindeer sleigh rides, snow mobiling, cross-country skiing, down-hill skiing and snowboarding, snowtank safari, a trip to the Russian border, and even a full day excursion to the Arctic Ocean on an ice breaker. Most of these activities offer arctic gear (snow suit, gloves, boots) for you to rent or may be included in the price of the outing. The daylight hours when we visited in November were morning twighlight around 9:00am and evening twighlight around 3:00pm. This means about 6 hours of real daylight, so you need to make the most of it.

At the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort where we stayed, you can also visit Santa's North Pole Village.  Being the end of November, there were several families with small children wide-eyed and amazed to be visiting Santa and Mrs. Claus at their home.

Of course the most spectacular thing to do, is to enjoy the amazing Auroa Borealis - but don't be dissapointed if you get shutout by overcast skies. There are many smartphone apps and websites for identifying the optimum times and current weather patterns for when to expect to see these beautiful light shows. Unfortunately, during our trip we had spectacularly sunny days, but completely overcast nights. We'll just have to go back!

So this is how we came to have Reindeer steaks for Thanksgiving dinner - by the way, they were delicious!

 

You can read more about the full details of our trip in the Destinations section of our website under the Finland tab.

 

Phil & Diane