THE SANTA CLAUS EXPRESS
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Get out the rum and the reinbeers! It’s another Christmas blog. Trains are unquestionably the most whimsical method to see a country’s scenery. I’ve ridden trains all over, to include the U.S., Europe, and South America. A particularly fantastic train is the Santa Claus Express. The Santa Claus Express is a double decker train that runs to Lapland, Finland. It departs from Helsinki in the south and arrives in Rovaniemi, Santa’s Christmas village in the north. The train actually continues on to Kemijärvi, but Rovaniemi is all we are concerned with. There is a single night train route, which takes roughly 12 hours to arrive. The train offers cars with economy seats, single and double sleepers, and deluxe single and double sleepers with bathrooms. The train includes AC (not sure that is a necessity in Finland in winter), luggage racks, and showers. There is also a restaurant car and WIFI. Even though the cost rises substantially at Christmas, the train books up early. You must make a reservation far in advance. Santa Claus’s Village is open every day of the year, and consists of Santa’s Office, Santa’s Main Post Office, Santa’s Christmas House, and the House of Mrs. Claus and Santa’s Reindeer. Santa’s Office is open daily from 10:00am until 16:00pm and if you’re lucky, Santa will show you his Earth’s Rotational Speed Regulator. It is the secret to his travels around the world in one night and it is free to visit the office. You will have to pay Santa’s elves for videos and photos of the visit though (stingy little bastards). There is a multitude of restaurants in Santa’s village, including the Arctic SnowHotel and Glass Igloo, Santa’s Pizza and Burger, Restaurant Aitta, and others. The Restaurant Aitta has a massive stone fireplace which doubles as a stove for bread and stews, a perfect place to deck the bar with beer and cider. You can get a room in the Christmas village or in the surrounding town of Rovaniemi. Again, there is a plethora of accommodation, varying in cost. Some are really cool. Check out the Arctic SnowHotel and Glass Igloo where you can sleep under a glass roof. There are also igloos located at Santa’s Glass Igloos Arctic Circle and outside the village at Glass Resort. There is also more typical hotels like Nova Skyland Hotel. You don’t need many days here, two or three is probably sufficient, to visit all of Santa’s village and take part in activities like snowmobiling and looking for the northern lights. If you’re lucky this Christmas, Santa will grace you with his presents! Visit https://www.eurail.com/en/book-reservations to book the Santa Claus Express. You can also visit https://santaclausvillage.info/ for all the information about visiting Santa Claus Village.