Day 7: Stranded in Saariselkä
Saariselkä Travel Blog› entry 9 of 10 › view all entries
April 10th, 2010 – by: edsander
Alas, some things are just not meant to be. Saariselkä and Inari are just 70 km apart, with the Ivalo airport right in the middle. So, one would think that it would be simple to get from A to B and back. Unfortunately there's no trains this high north, but there's a few busses that travel north every day ... except on Saturday. When we inquired at the hotel's reception yesterday the helpful girl informed us that the first bus to Inari would arrive in Inari at 14:40 hours. Okay, that would only leave us a couple of hours to explore the village, but better than nothing. Well, not quite, she informed us. The last bus from Inari back to Saariselkä left at 14:15 ! Half an hour before the first bus arrived.
Plan B. Let's take a taxi. Well, a one way taxi was 100 Euro. Auch ! On to plan C. Let's rent a car. Renting a car for a day was 120 Euro, still a lot of money. What's worse, we would have to pick it up at the airport and the earliest bus to the airport from Saariselkä would leave at 12:00 hours. To make a long story short, we tried all different options and it was basically impossible to go to Inari and back without being there for a very short moment and spending a ridiculous amount of cash. So, we came to the conclusion that we were stranded in Saariselkä for another day.
Well, we'd seen most of Saariselkä and spending a full day at the Panimo pub seemed like an unhealthy choice, so we decided to take a 'short' walk after breakfast. In the information office they had suggested we'd walk to the small town of Laanila last Monday.
We spend the rest of the afternoon buying some souvenirs (we found the traditional Tarva Schnappi Mikka had recommended) and drinking Talon Tumma at the Panimo pub. There was actually a small band playing this afternoon, and even though I wouldn't claim they were brilliant musicians, they did cheer up the crowd quite a bit.
I was getting hungry, and with real hunger the restaurant at Hotel Kieppi was no real option. So we'd asked some people in Panimo for suggestions for dinner and ended up in a nice restaurant where we were served by a nice girl that had actually lived in Amsterdam for a while. We had the most excellent meal, the best we had in Finland so far. We started with toast with shrimps in dill and smoked salmon. Main dish was grilled reindeer in garlic sauce (we just had to try a bit of Rudolph while we're here) and dessert was a delicious piece of apple pie with ice cream.
After some relaxing and packing at our hotel room we headed back for Panimo. It was a busy night there, seemingly because some skiing event had taken place in Saariselkä today. What's more, I was no longer the youngest person in the bar. There was a DJ playing groovy music and the later it got the more people were dancing, especially the teenagers. We had tried to get some money from the ATM but it did not take foreign cards today. So we had to save some of our cash for tomorrow's bus tickets back to the airport. Around midnight we bought our last beers with our small change. But then we noticed that you could also pay with credit card at Panimo, so we continued with this new method of payment.
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