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Meet Santa; Rovaniemi, Finland

How many kids can say they have been to the real Santa’s Village? Not many outside of Finland.

There is no need to wait by the chimney with cookies, hoping to see this elusive character.

These days Santa is much less secretive. If you want to meet him, all you have to do is pack up the kids and make the long voyage to his workshop in the Arctic north.

It will be a once-in-a-lifetime treat that your children will never forget.Continue

Weird World Championships; Finland

What do Swamp Soccer, Cattle Calling, Wife Carrying, Cell Phone Throwing and Ant Hill Sitting have in common?

All are famous competitions in Finland, where people have unique ideas of what to do when the snow melts.

And those are just the tip of the Finnish iceberg. There are more than a dozen weird championships, many more popular than ever. Continue

Finnwacky; Helsinki, Finland

The people and customs of Finland are so eccentric, they have a special term to describe the phenomenon – Finnwacky.

Go ahead, Google it.

The country of Weird World Championships doesn’t stop at being competitively unique; a sightseeing tour in the capital of Helsinki proves to be just as wacky.

Fancy a ride on a karaoke taxi?

How about a night in a luxury prison? Want to have a conversation with a trash can. This is the place to do it.Continue

Ice Swimming in Finland

It’s 25°F (-4°C) degrees outside. You stand half-naked on a frozen lake staring at a big hole cut in the thick ice and wonder how the heck you got into this mess.

You take a deep breath before you plunge into the hole.

The shock is unbelievable.

You feel a surge of adrenaline run through your body accompanied by a sense of fear.

The only thing you hear in your head is ‘GET OUT!’Continue

Ride an Icebreaker; Kemi, Finland

The United States has Alaska and Finland has … well, Finland.

Sparsely populated, the bulk of the country is wild. Being the second-most northern country means it is also frigid, creating a rugged, wintry landscape covered in ice and snow.

The all-encompassing ice is a challenge to the Finns and their vital shipping industry, but the ice is no match for the powerful icebreakers.

Luckily, there is one place where you can see them for yourself. Continue