Kemijärvi is located about 50
kilometers above the Arctic Circle. One can take the night train from Helsinki and awaken
in the Lappish landscape; frozen over lakes and swamps - a true winter wonderland. Rivers
and lakes follow the terrain formed by the Arctic fells. To the south-west lies the Botnic
Gulf, and to the east the Russian border. The train arrives the next morning, after making
one last stop at Rovaniemi, at the end of the line: Kemijärvi.
Santa Claus has his quarters in
Rovaniemi, the largest of northern Finnish towns. Kemijärvi is next in line. It has its
own cultural center with a wonderful new theater.
For the greater part of the year
this part of the world is covered by snow. The sun does not come up in this time of the
year; and still the daytime is quite light. This is mainly because of the reflecting snow.
And of course - one of the most astonishing sights is the aurora borealis - the northern
lights. Revon tuli - the foxes fire - is what the natives call it; referring to
the static electricity produced by the tail of the running fox.
For the more active recreation
there is the skiing - cross country is possible virtually everywhere. For the alpine
skiers there are the nearby fells Pyhä Tunturi and Suomu Tunturi. The slopes are