WELCOME TO LAPPLAND!



I must know in advance the flight you will arrive with to Ivalo airport. After arrival, you must go to the info desk and tell your name and ask for the keys of car register number TSN-3 (a small black BMW). Together with the keys of the car, you will receive the keys for the ski box which is in the roof. This ski box can take 8 pairs of skis (or other luggage maximum 80 kg) and it can be opened from both sides. The car will be standing outside the airport and it has been warmed up by the personnel of the airport.


The car is a bit tricky to use: you must first put to the small radio type of sender to its place, press the brakes and then press the start/stop device.



The car is equipped with automatic gears and if you shift the gear from position D towards the driver, the sport program is on. The gears can also be used like manual gears. The car is using unleaded 95 and the tank is full.


To drive to the lodge:


First of all, use the trip meter. There is the Finnish road map next to the driver. From the airport you have to drive 2.9 km before coming to the main road. You will turn to the right (south) 35.0 km and you will see these signs:


On the right hand side



On the left hand side


Now turn to the left towards the sign “KIILOPÄÄ 6” and drive carefully 5.7 km. Watch out the reindeers. On this road these stupid animals are a real danger!



After 5.7 km you will see a small road with signs “Rajalatu” and “Luppolatu”. Turn to the right and drive 115 m. Now you will see several houses on your right hand side and you must turn to the right and drive 50 m. The apartment is the last one on your left hand side. Stop the engine by pressing the same switch you used to start the engine and press the big key in witch will release it.


The lodge:


Welcome to holiday apartment “Vimpa”



The keys to the house are together with the car keys (model “Abloy”). The house has been cleaned before your arrival; all the bed clothes are clean like the towels. From the fridge you will find a plate with some cold dishes typical to Lapland and a cold bottle of champagne. Enjoy your arrival and feel like home!


From the kitchen you will find all normal equipment including dish washing machine and in the deep freeze there is snow grouse, fillet of reindeer, inner steak of reindeer, meat for reindeer stew, fillets of wild trout, arctic char and arctic white fish. For the ladies I have left two books with instructions how to prepare the local dishes. The other book is in English and the other in Finnish, Swedish and English.



There are two bedrooms downstairs: the one with the red carpet is for the lady and the one with the blue carpet is for the gentleman. Visits are allowed for married couples.


From the living room you will find plasma TV and the home theatre system. The selection of CD records is very limited consisting mainly local music. Also the selection of DVD movies is very limited but I hope that you will find the time to watch a movie called “Sibelius” (with English and Swedish text) and the only Russian movie there is. That movie will clearly explain why I hunt. The living room is full of trophies but nothing is shot from Sweden. The roe deer antlers are from different countries but a Vice President of a Swedish ship owning company could not organize a roe hunt in Sweden when I last spring asked for the same.




In the dining area there is a mini office. There is the wire phone # 358 16 358058. The fax machine is using the same number. The laptop pc is connected to internet so that in case of need you can send and receive your mails. The third machine is a HP copying machine with a printer and a scanner. The wire of the laptop is long enough so that you can work on the dining table.



Upstairs is for the kids.



There are three beds, two spare beds, TV, DVD player, videos and a stereo system which can play CD records. Ask your kids to take with them their favorite music and movies.



Next to the kitchen there is storage for wines. I have tried to take your tastes into account so that you will find some Chablis as well as Pomerol. There are also other red and white wines. Feel free to utilize the wines in the evenings because the storage will be filled again after your departure.


Before using the fireplace, do not forget to open the pipe by pulling out two plates. The upper one is on the left side of the fireplace in the height of about 180 cm and the lower one is on the right side of the fireplace in the height of about 30 cm. Do not burn too much of wood in the beginning in order to open the pipe. Inside the house there is some dry wood, liquid for making the fire as well as newspaper for the same purpose.


In case you need more wood, step out from the house and the wood storage is just 10 m from you. Open the door, then open the door on the left and you will find 5 cbm of firewood. If the inner door is locked, the keys are together with the other keys.



In the bath room there is the toilet, entrance to the sauna, shower and the washing machine for your own laundry. Use the sauna often as I find it very pleasant.



Next to the dining area there is also the other toilet.



From the entrance you will find a machine where you can dry your clothes if you have been for example skiing.



I sincerely hope that you will find the apartment comfortable taking into account that is a normal family holiday home.


Easy dining:


If you go back to the road you drove 5.7 km and turn to the left, there is “Tunturikeskus Kiilopää” after 300 m walk. They serve very reasonably priced breakfast as well as lunch. By foot it will take 10 minutes and by car 3 minutes. A good portion on the menu is “Lapin pannu”. It is like Swedish hash but sausage is replaced with reindeer meat.


Dining, skiing, drinking, shopping, dancing and all kinds of fun:


Drive like you would go back to the airport. On the main road you will see after 500 meters on the right hand side a sign “Saariselkä 10”.


Saariselkä is the largest holiday centre in the Finnish Lapland. Nearly everything is possible there. Perhaps the best restaurant to have a good dinner in a nice atmosphere is restaurant “Petronella”



In Lapland all the fish dishes are outstanding. However, I would not take salmon unless it is stated “Teno” meaning salmon from Teno River in the north. All other fish is local. In Petronella also the reindeer liver and pepper stake from reindeer are delicious. The wine selection is good. The restaurant is open from 16.00 till midnight.


Restaurant “Pirkon Pirtti” close to shop “Kuukkeli” serves outstanding food. Fish is very good but also the Russian steak or the calf fillet filled with smoked reindeer and blue cheese are very good. From this restaurant you can get also portions for kids and they make pizza, too. The restaurant is open from 15.00 till midnight.



Restaurant “Panimo” (=brewery) is the north most brewery in Finland. The beer is very good and they brew different kinds of beer. In this place coffee is always free of charge and they have only one dish on the menu, “Soup of the Day” which is normally reindeer soup. This restaurant opens early in the morning and they close earliest at 02.00. The local people like go to this restaurant if they feel like boozing like they normally do.



The largest hotel of the region is hotel “Riekonlinna”. If you feel like buffet lunch, this hotel is a good alternative.



Hotel “Tunturihotelli” is the oldest building of Saariselkä. Here the night life is wild. The place is always crowded in the evenings full of people dancing. But no other restaurant can prepare snow grouse like they can in the main restaurant of this hotel. The night club is open till 04.00.



In Holiday Club Saariselkä there is a very nice spa with different kinds of saunas. My kids love this place. They can slide in a pipe to the main pool, the waves are coming once per hour to the main pool and there are areas for the smallest of kids. While the kids are swimming, the parents can have coffee, snacks or drinks in the bar on the upper level and see all the time what their kids are doing. The spa is open daily till 21.00. In the main restaurant of the hotel, there is a nice buffet lunch and buffet dinner. You can also order food from the menu. The food is of good quality but it can not be compared with the food of “Petronella” or “Pirkon Pirtti”. There is also a disco in the hotel called “Guksi”. During the day time the pizzas are very good but during the nights it is really noisy.


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The other night club of this hotel is called”Naima”. The name is Same language and means “fuck”. There are Russian striptease dancers who offer also escort services. I do not recommend this place for your wives! Naima is open from 22.00 till 04.00.



Hotel “Teerenpesä” in the centre of Saariselkä offers good dining.



When you enter Saariselkä, the first bigger building on your left hand side is shop “Kuukkeli”. It is very well equipped and you can find all kinds of raw materials for the kitchen. Furthermore, they sell readily made food from reindeer and salmon and sometimes also other dishes. You can either dine in their bar or take the food with you back to the house. The shop is open daily Sundays included from 09.00 till 21.00. In the same building is “Alko” selling all kinds of alcoholic beverages. Alko is open from Monday till Friday from 09.00 till 20.00 and on Saturdays from 09.00 till 18.00.



The best place to buy high quality souvenirs is “Hippupuoti”. This shop is located in the same building as the spa.



When you pass Hotel Riekonlinna, you will see a wooden church on your right hand side. Take the first road and turn to the right.



You are getting to the ski lifts and from here you can also rent the skiing equipment. Saariselkä is the best place in Finland for cross country skiing but the downhill slopes are relatively easy. There are 6 lifts and the longest slope is only 1500 meters. Next to the rental shop you will find a bar serving also basic type of fast food.



In Saariselkä there are many companies offering reindeer safaris, husky safaris and snow mobile safaris. However, I recommend that if you want that kind of services you will call to Jukka Palonoja (telephone 040 5468716) or Armi Palonoja (telephone 0400 138911). The Palonoja family owns one of the oldest and biggest companies in northern Lapland and their services are “original” because they are local Same people. You will get an outstanding service if you tell my regards. Both Jukka and Armi can manage well in English.


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The biggest shopping complex in Saariselkä is called “Siula”. From here you can find a cheap food store (Siwa), exclusive souvenirs and a nice shop from the ground floor called “Siulan Riista ja Kala). From this shop you can find reindeer in all forms even to take it back home as well as local fish mainly smoked and in vacuum pack. I warmly recommend this shop because they sell some fine and delicious specialties from Lapland. Again, tell my regards.


When you go to the main road and drive towards the airport, there is after 500 meters a sign “KAUNISPÄÄ 2”. Turn there and the road will take you to the top of the hill from where some of the slopes are starting. There is a very good restaurant and they are famous for their outstanding salmon soup. Also the other dishes are very nice. From the restaurant you can walk to the souvenir shop where they sell also nice jewelry.


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Ivalo:


The main village of the northern Lapland is Ivalo. It is located 40 km north from where you come to the main road or it can be described that it is located 5 km north of the airport if you would turn to the left when reaching the main road.


In Ivalo there is a small hospital, dentist, pharmacy and a big variety of shops. Also there are 3 petrol stations while there is only one in Saariselkä. The best place to dine in Ivalo is located in the northern part of the village and it is called “Kultahippu”. After the second roundabout you will see it on your right side.


The next village towards the north is Inari. The distance from Ivalo is about 35 km and the road is very beautiful. In the northern part of Inari village there is a very interesting museum called “Siida”. The museum is telling about the nature in Lapland as well as the life of the native Same people. A daytrip on a non-skiing day to Ivalo and Inari is highly recommended. If you want to dine in Inari, go to “Inarin Kultahovi”. Their food has been good enough many times to our former president Kekkonen.


Finally:


Be careful with the reindeers! You can meet them even on the main road.


If the apartment is not warm enough, please check outside the door to the living room that the switch is in the position “KOTONA” If the water is not running, turn the switch “VESI” in the same location to the other position. There is also a thermostat


In Finland you can enjoy only one glass of wine if you drive. In case you will have a long evening, just call the taxi from # 0400 731973. It is enough to say “Vimpa Kiilopää” and the taxi will arrive in 15 minutes. The taxi is costing roughly € 20 to Saariselkä.


From the house you will also find all the needed maps including the map of the skiing routes. The house is bordering the huge national park of Urho Kekkonen and the marked skiing tracks are starting practically behind the house. It is good fun to ski to Saariselkä and in the middle of the route there is a place called “Laanila”. They serve drinks, snacks and they have every day daytime dances.


The pictures were taken 6th and 7th of February this year. Now there is about 1 meter of snow but we expect to get much more. The whole winter has been very mild and when I just came from Lapland the temperature was only -7 degrees Centigrade. But please remember, February can be bitterly cold.


In March and April there is a lot of snow, the weather is mild and the days are long. In the summer time the place is a fisherman’s paradise. In the autumn we have the autumn colors and the hunting season is from 20th August till 31st March. In the house there is a safe and qualified persons will get the keys in order to get the shotgun and the rifle for hunting purposes from the safe.


During the summer time there is a canoe type of rowing boat which can be transported on the roof of the house to the nearby rivers and lakes. There is also an engine for the boat as well as a BMW cross country motorbike.


Normally all the land is owned by the Finnish Board of Forestry in the Saariselkä region. However, in my old rental contract there was a purchase option which the authorities have not given anymore. I utilized the purchase option in the end of last year because there was still unutilized building rights and during the coming summer a Same type of hut will be built to the back of the house and there will be space for 6 people to stay overnight. There will be also a big place for the open fire and the hut will serve as an additional dining and wining area. Also a big storage building will be build during the summer and from next winter there will be a snow mobile and a sledge for the transportation of the children.


When leaving the apartment and just take your belongings. The local service company will take care of the cleaning; change the bed clothes and towels. The keys you can leave to the information desk of the airport and they will take the car to the protected area for the next guests. I sincerely hope that you will have a good time and want to return any time of the year to our beautiful Lapland.


Kari