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Monday, 25 April 2016

Finland Part 12: Artic Circle Reindeer Farm @ Konttaniemi


The Artic Circle Reindeer Farm at Konttaniemi is located along the picturesque Ounasjoki River, about 7km from Rovaniemi. Just like Santa Claus Village, this farm is cut through by the Artic Circle of latitude. We were going to take lunch at the farm restaurant and thereafter experience a reindeer sleigh ride. The farm however offered much more. There was untold tranquility and an indescribable charm about the place making this visit a really unforgettable one for me.
Created in the midst of a forest of pine trees, the farm blends perfectly with nature. The serenity is calming both to the mind and the soul.
There are not that many buildings within the farm but the few that we saw though simple, exude allure and a charm that captivates.
I was yet to eat lunch and to see the reindeer, but the beauty of the surrounds have quenched and satisfied a great part of me.

LUNCH AT THE FARM RESTAURANT
It was finally time for lunch. We'd be served a traditional Lappish meal at the farm restaurant.
Bread and butter were almost always served as starters but I was eating a flat bread that looks like the Indian chapati for the first time since coming to the Artic.
And then came our main meal. Sauteed reindeer on mashed potatoes eaten with pickled lingon berry is the best known traditional meal for Lapland. And.... that meal didn't disappoint!

THE REINDEER RIDE
The highlight of our visit was the reindeer ride. Among the four reindeer lined up to take us on a ride, only one has the antler. That must have been the only female reindeer as male reindeer would have dropped their antlers at the beginning of winter (Nov or Dec).


The reindeer are a precious commodity in the Artic as they not only provide meat and diary, they also provide transport!
We rode along a short stretch of the snowy forest path. It was a nice ride on the wooden sleigh and how I wish the ride was a little longer.
Gosh, that was fun!
To make its customers happy, the farm issued a Reindeer Driving Licence for every visitor irregardless of whether he/she is the rider or the pillion passenger. Stated at the back, "Valid For 5 Years".

REINDEER FEEDING
After sledding, we went to feed the reindeer. The reindeer were adorable and friendly and seemed to love the lichen fed to them.
The lifestyle in the farm is simple but there's beauty in this simplicity.


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