Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Days 10 and 11

Day 10: July 21st

We went to a museum today. I love museums! but they are not always kid-friendly. The Artikum was great, though. They had such a good display of things that Geister and Boo liked. We also saw a film on the wildlife in the Arctic, and that mesmerized them. I learned that 3.5 million people live in the Arctic. I find this incomprehensible: Where exactly are these people? They aren’t in the Canadian Arctic, or Greenland, and Scandanavia is not that thickly populated at this latitude. Is this all the large Russian towns accounting for this number?

After seeing the museum, we pushed on. We drove for quite a few hours north, on roads like this:

Move along reindeer.

to a town called Inari. This is the farthest north we plan to go, though if my husband had his way we would drive the additional 98km into Norway, just to grab another country.

We picked a (the only) campground in town and found a spot with electricity, and near the extra cabin we are renting (yay!). This campground is right on Lake Inari. I’d describe our site as picturesque with a side of depressing. The facilities are not that new, and we have to pay to use the shower. Of course, there is a sauna and (of course) it’s already booked up.

After finding a spot, we drove away to get supper. LP recommended the restaurant at Hotel Inari so that’s where we went. It said there is a great view of the lake, and you can watch the float planes come and go. Perfect for our little Geister.

The hotel was everything I imagined it to be:

The menu was even better. Our choice of: reindeer, reindeer steak, reindeer soup, reindeer kabobs, pizza (with reindeer), and it case we didn’t want reindeer, there was an option to have pork tenderloin (with reindeer sauce). Of course, there was also a lot of fish available. Geister, Boo, and I had french fries. M. had the reindeer; apparently, it’s really delicious.

After dinner we poked around some stores and Boo picked a lot of flowers.

When it was time to settle down for the night, we learned that the extra cabin is extra work. Just separating the luggage was too much effort. What do we need? What stays here? Who’s getting up first in the morning? Where do we put the playpen? Will Geister still settle in the camper? How can we cover these windows better, seeing as these curtains afford no privacy and let in all the light?

I had the pleasure of getting Boo to bed. I knew she would be apprehensive in the strange and new environment of Cabin 8, so I stayed with her. I lied on the bed, and she stood up in the playpen screaming at me for half an hour, desperately wanting me to pick her up. At the thirty minute point, I declared her the winner and took her shaking and exhausted into bed with me.
I was not ready for bed, nor did I want to be down for the night. I wanted to stay up late and enjoy the last official night of midnight sun. This was the only latitude at which we could experience the constant sunlight, and the last official day for it. However, I fell asleep with Boo in my arms, as worn out as she was. However, some internal personal clock woke me up at 12:30 am, so I snuck out of the cabin and ran around the campground snapping pictures.

Lake Inari, 12:45 am

Day 11: July 22

We wandered around Inari again this morning. I think we’ve seen the town. After lunch, we did the boat cruise recommended by LP.

The boat cruise was good—we went to an island that used to be a place of worship for the Sami people (Grandpa was hoping to meet some Sami people, but most of them don’t live this far south (??) anymore). It was very pretty, and Geister and Boo loved running around. But the return trip was too long for the cruise to earn a three-diamond rating; I don’t know why we had to meander back.

Anyway, on south. We got as far as a town called Sodankyla and found a nice campground there. I really liked it. There was a beach bar and a nice river, and there are fewer mosquitos than in Inari.

The view from the beach volleyball court.

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