橫跨極圈的國度芬蘭 _ 搭乘北極特快車與哈士奇雪橇 _ 追尋聖誕老人的故鄉
Finland, the country that across the polar circle, allows people to take the Arctic Express and husky sleds, and it’s the place where we can seek the hometown of Santa Claus
D.G. Wander 這次來到橫跨極圈的北國：芬蘭，漫遊首都赫爾辛基，並一同搭乘北極特快車來到聖誕老人的故鄉羅瓦涅米，體驗冰磚飯店以及玻璃屋旅館，並乘坐哈士奇雪橇，一覽極地風光。
This time, D.G. Wander came to Finland, the northern country across the polar circle, to roam around the capital Helsinki and take the Arctic Express to Rovaniemi, the hometown of Santa Claus, where people can experience the Arctic Snow Hotel and take husky sleds to explore the view in the polar circle.
芬蘭 / Finland
2021 人均 GDP / 2021 GDP per capita：USD$53,770（13th in the world）
總人口數 / Population：550萬 / 5.5 million
官方語言 / Language：芬蘭語、瑞典語 / Finnish, Swedish
首都 / Capital：赫爾辛基 / Helsinki
國土面積 / Area：338,440 km²
Helsinki, the city of Art and Creativity in Baltic Sea
芬蘭蓬勃發展的臨海首都：赫爾辛基，位於波羅的海東北邊，介於瑞典和俄羅斯之間，這座城市遠眺超過 300 座大小島嶼。當地建築傳統上使用淡色大理石，因此又有「北方的白色城市」之稱。赫爾辛基的生活品質相當良好，在世界宜居城市的排行榜中，2011年英國雜誌《Monocle》把赫爾辛基列為第一名，赫爾辛基同時也是2012年的「世界設計之都」。赫爾辛基亦有「波羅的海的女兒」的美譽。
Finland’s thriving waterfront capital, Helsinki, is situated at the northeastern edge of the Baltic Sea. Nestled snugly between Sweden and Russia, the city overlooks more than 300 islands in the waters of the archipelago. Known as The White City of the North for its traditional use of light granite, the city is a seamless blend of traditional and modern design. There is no better way to start delving into the culture of this city, than by starting at a landmark which epitomizes the style and sophistication of Finnish design. The quality of life in Helsinki is pleasant and agreeable. In the list of world's Most Livable Cities Index by the British magazine "Monocle", Helsinki was assessed as the first place in 2011. Moreover, this city is also The World Design Capital in 2012 and owning the name of "Daughter of the Baltic Sea".
赫爾辛基的人十分推崇藝術家和發明家；他們的人像、紀念碑和雕塑與各式建築傑作並列，新舊並存。從市集廣場搭乘渡船，沿著歷史的長河遊歷，一路抵達靜靜守護這座城市的芬蘭城堡。這些碉堡聳立在群島中的 6 座島嶼上，已經捍衛芬蘭海峽將近 300 年的時間。這座城堡以及赫爾辛基都經歷了一段漫長血腥的拉鋸戰，對戰雙方是瑞典和俄羅斯，芬蘭直到 1917 年才成功獨立。赫爾辛基與愛沙尼亞的塔林、瑞典的斯德哥爾摩以及俄羅斯的聖彼得堡，這幾座城市在歷史上有密不可分的關係。
In Helsinki, creative minds and innovators are revered. Their statues, monuments and sculptures stand alongside architectural masterpieces, old and new. Start voyaging through history by taking the ferry from Market Square to the city’s guardian, Suomenlinna Fortress. These battlements were built upon six islands in the archipelago and have protected the Gulf of Finland for almost 300 years.The fortress and Helsinki itself endured a long and bloody tug of war between Neighbouring Sweden and Russia, until the nation won its independence in 1917. Helsinki is historically closely related to Tallinn in Estonia, Stockholm in Sweden and St. Petersburg in Russia.
赫爾辛基拿下2012年的世界設計之都，絕對不是偶然。對於藝術和創意的憧憬與懷抱，是赫爾辛基市民的本質。這座城市上下 有很多博物館和藝廊；設計博物館是這裡的必訪景點，館內常設展專門記錄芬蘭從 1870 年代至今，設計史上的重要時刻。知識是創意之本，赫爾辛基頂尖的教育系統培育出，許多世界上最有創意的人。著名的赫爾辛基大學經營管理 自然歷史博物館，專門研究並邀請大家欣賞 歷史上最偉大的藝術家：大自然。
This definitely was not a random thing that Helsinki won the 2012 World Design Capital. The longing and embrace of art and creativity are the essences of Helsinki citizens. There is an abundance of museums and galleries across the city, including the unmissable Helsinki Design Museum. Explore the permanent exhibition devoted to the great moments of Finnish design from 1870 to the present. Knowledge is the DNA of creativity, and Helsinki’s unmatched education system has nurtured some of the finest creative minds in the world. The renowned University of Helsinki runs the Natural History Museum, which is dedicated to the study and celebration of the greatest designer of all “Mother Nature”.
Continue your journey to a sublime marriage between mankind and nature. Temppeliaukio Church, otherwise known as the Rock Church, is quarried into the city’s natural bedrock. Its copper dome ceiling is surrounded by glass skylights and appears to float above the subterranean hall. The cavernous basin has otherworldly acoustics, and is a favourite for touring musicians. Temppeliaukio Church subverts many people's stereotypes of European churches. There are no gorgeous and exquisite decorations and carvings, but its ingenious architectural form and special atmosphere inside the rock that make it one of the must-visit attractions in Helsinki.
The advanced equipment on the Arctic Express will subvert your imagination
From Helsinki to Rovaniemi, the hometown of Santa Claus, you can take the "Arctic Express" at Helsinki Central Station to travel more than 800 kilometers to arrive. There is also a pattern of Santa Claus on the sheet metal of it, which is also known as the "Train of Santa Claus". There are two types of Arctic Express, the daytime and nighttime shifts. Taking the nighttime shift can allow you to experience the couchette, which not only saves commuting time from the airport to the city but also saves the cost of accommodation. It really kills two birds with one stone!
The cabin space is relatively narrow, so it is not recommended to carry large suitcases. But you shall not imagine this train of Santa Claus as a traditional old train. On the contrary, it is quite modern and small but complete. The carriage has very advanced equipment. Once you open the door in the washroom, it will transfer into a shower room with all the equipment you need! Besides, there is a double bunk bed that is also small but complete with a safety belt at the upper bunk to prevent falling.
The hometown of Santa Claus is located at the Finnish town in the Arctic Circle
與其他北方國家相比，芬蘭的天氣更容易預測，因為風不是很大，這意味著有更多機會看到北極光。羅瓦涅米是聖誕老人的故鄉。聖誕老人村每天都開放，從夏天到冬天，您都可以見到聖誕老人和他的小精靈，但是在雪中這個村子看起來更加神奇，該村距離市中心約 8 公里，您可以搭乘公車、汽車甚至騎自行車來到這裡。參觀聖誕老人是免費的，唯一的禁忌是：你不能自己拍照。
Compared to other northern countries, Finland has a more predictable weather, because it's not so windy that means more chance to see the northern lights. Rovaniemi is the hometown of Santa Claus. The Santa Claus village is open every, day of the year you can meet Santa and his elves from summer to winter, but the village looks much more magical when discovered in snow the village is around 8 kilometers from the city center and you can reach it by bus, car or even biking. The entry to visit Santa is free of charge but remember you can't take pictures by yourself.
Rovaniemi began to be rebuilt in 1946 after World War II, therefore, it contains various modern buildings. Tourism has naturally become the focus of the local economy, and hotel and restaurant-related industries are particularly developed. There is also a "Polar Museum", which is suggested to be listed as one of the must-visit lists for visitors who are interested in knowing more about the Aurora Borealis.
Sleeping on ice! The Arctic Snow Hotel that melts and rebuilds every year may allow you to do that
來到羅瓦涅米一定要體驗一下冰磚飯店 Arctic Snow Hotel ，這座飯店最酷的地方是完全用冰雪打造出來，所以每到夏天就會融化，冬天就要重新建造起來。來這裡喝調酒，不但酒吧的吧檯和桌子都是大冰磚，連杯子也都是用冰塊打造的，喝完了就直接往牆上砸破，夠酷吧！
When traveling to Rovaniemi, you must experience the Arctic Snow Hotel. The coolest part of this hotel is that it is completely made of ice and snow, so it melts every summer and has to be rebuilt in winter. If you visit there for drinking alcohol, you may see that not only the bar and tables are made of big ice bricks but even the cups are made of ice cubes. Once you finish drinking, the only thing you have to do is to smash the cup on the wall. Isn't that cool?
But it's not easy to get a good night's sleep here because even the beds are set on large ice blocks and covered only by a thin blanket. The indoor temperature is minus 10 degrees, and it is said that those who have slept there are so cold that they cannot sleep all night. There is also the Ice Brick Church, and the Ice Brick Restaurant, where you must gobble it up or the food will get cold in no time.
Aurora borealis that accompany you to sleep in the hotel of a dream glass house
Minus 10 degrees is probably not something that ordinary people can endure for a whole night. Those who dare not challenge themselves can choose the more dreamy Glass House Hotel. You may get a completely different feeling here. You can enjoy the polar forest scenery with the heater. If you are lucky at night, you can see the aurora through the glass. In addition to being dreamy, it really fulfills the dream of most people to travel to the North Pole.
Most of Finland's glass house hotels are concentrated in Lapland, especially the Santa Claus Village Rovaniemi. It is suggested to visit from November to February, which is the highest chance of a period for seeing the aurora. Besides, since the glass house hotels are very popular, it is best to book in advance half a year ago to ensure that this Nordic trip can be accompanied by the aurora while sleeping in a glass house.
If you are looking for the thrill of excitement, come to have some fun of riding a husky sled
There are many reindeer farms around Rovaniemi, where you can meet local herders that will explain everything about those amazing animals. For example, reindeer actually like to drink urine! It turns out that reindeer usually do not have enough salt and must consume extra. Reindeer in coastal areas need not worry, but reindeer in inland areas are easily attracted by the salt in human urine. The Inupiat know how to use human urine with traps to hunt reindeer, and the owners of reindeer ranches use urine to control their wildness. What a lot of knowledge!
You can also have a sleigh ride just outside of Santa Claus office at Santa village. You can also meet reindeer in the wild if you're driving through Lapland. Rovaniemi also is the husky farms where you can have your genuine Husky sledge driving license. Husky sledge riding is by far one of the coolest experience you can have in arctic, because unlike with the reindeer you can actually control the sledge yourself.