A beautiful Salmon
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Rivers full of Salmons

Some rivers of Lapland are full of salmons. I’m not going to say a lot of things about this fish species, I’ll just tell an interesting little story. As salmon is a popular food and sportfish, many tourists in Lapland and Finnmark (the northernmost region of Norway) are interested in catching salmon from those rivers. Only licensed fishermen can do it, but there is a possibility to hire such a fisherman as an assistant. So, that’s a good business in the lands of Sami.

Reindeers and… salmons.

I don’t even need to repeat that typical local food of Lapland are reindeers and salmons. If you have never imagined to try it, while travelling around here you will.

The local Museum of Sami Culture (SIIDA) has a lot of fun exhibits so you can get a lot idea about local way of life. The whole design is creative and modern, and the Museum is fairly small. You’ll enjoy it, not more than a real life experience with real Sami people, but at least a little bit.

A beautiful Salmon
This salmon has just been captured… 🙂

The picture above looks like a real photo, taken on a traditional river fishing boat, when a giant salmon has just been captured. However, this is in a museum. Here you can figure out how big is a salmon – have you ever seen an entire salmon in a supermarket, or on a fish market? Let me know if you did 🙂

Salmon in a Museum
…nside the Sami Culture Museum 🙂

A full size fishing boat is situated right along the entrance to the exhibition space, and you’ll walk some meters alongside.

The salmon might be artificial, but this snow isn’t. It’s a real snow. These items are not for sale. They are exhibited as little pieces of the Sami folklore.

The real snow

Have you read about the other 5, amongst 6 Amazing Discoveries in Finland?

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Our trip to Finland was fairly musical; in the very first day we visited the National Museum of Finland where a temporary exhibition about a famous composer was on. Music is an important part of every culture and folclore. In Inari, where we visited a Sami family and a reindeer farm, we had quite a complete experience. After a reindeer ride, we went into a typical cabin and listened to the live music, performed by the family members.

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Energy Games

Another story about sustainable museums, and the last we prepared about the Arktikum Museum, on of the 6 Amazing Discoveries in Finland, is in front of you.

I don’t need to repeat that the most efficient way to create a more sustainable future is by teaching children about it, and that it works especially when they can learn when playing games. The Arktikum Museum has a plenty of activities to beat boredom and messages/quotes about environment.

Energy Efficiency Game, Arktikum

How this works? The upper crank is difficult to rotate. However, when you make effort to rotate it, the lightbulb on the right side is turned on immediately, which means that you produced some energy. The downer crank is very easy to rotate very quickly, but as fast as you try to rotate it, the light barely turns on.

A conclusion? I think it’s very easy 🙂

Arktikum Environment Exhibition Design

This is the Museum’s environment section.

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A room for polar winds

Freeeezzzing! Just like Lapland is supposed to be.

This chamber is designed to make visitors understand how the polar stream and winds work. It must be particularly interesting for summer visitors, who will experience fresh but not freezing temperatures. We traveled to Lapland and Rovaniemi in the winter, so the outside temperature was lower that the one we could experience in the simulator. However, once we entered into the Arktikum Museum, we took our jackets off, so we still had this unique opportunity to feel frozen. There is an ice block in the middle (picture below), that changes with winds and streams. It’s frooozen.


Just to compare, this was the moment when my travel team enjoyed the temperatures of -24 degrees celsius, in the heart of Lapland (Inari), at about 12:30 pm. The picture was enhanced in Photoshop to get more exposure, but the times in December were dark.

6 amazing discoveries in finland - travel team

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Arktikum Museum, Rovaniemi, Finland
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Sunrise in a Museum

Sunrise in a Museum, yes. Do you think so?

I’ll be talking about a surreal traveling experience. I have been to a seemingly impossible world, full of exotic experiences that actually exist. The mainstream travel experiences are oriented on places when travelers feel comfortable, but not necessarily happy. What’s the difference between the ideas of spending several days in December on a Mediterranean island and spending them in Lapland? In the first case you feel warm, comfortable, and probably you see interesting cultural attractions and monuments, that is fine. But in the second case, you get a life-changing experience. Museums are here, as valuable agents, to help you understanding some contexts and cultures.

After long hours of traveling to reach the astonishing distance between southern Finland and the hearth of Lapland, Rovaniemi, we arrived in the city center at about 9.30am. On that day, the sunrise occurred at 11am and the sunset at 1pm. So one hour and a half before sunrise we looked at a wonderful snowy landscape, decorated with Christmas trees, and we went downstairs to reach the entrance to the monumental building of Arktikum Museum. (image above)

Christmas-Tree Rovaniemi Lapland
Our first view of Rovaniemi…

The temperature outside was -16 at that moment. We entered quickly into the building, and it wasn’t heated too much – the temperature inside was about 16 above zero. However, it was completely fine to us.

Inside the Arktikum Museum, Rovaniemi

This is the central hall, where the visit begins. We had a quick presentation, given by a person responsible for marketing. That’s the feeling – welcome to the Great Country of Arctic! In reality, in the beginning of your visit, you see a definition of the term  “Arctic”, and you find information you always had some idea about – the lands of Arctic Circle are divided among eight different countries; some other regions in these countries might be slightly different than Arctic regions, while these polar areas of all the eight countries are much more similar to each other.

While this museum is quite large, I made a selection of the most fun moments you can have here.

Moments in the Arktikum

  1. Watching the simulation of polar lights, with explanations why they occur (I don’t have any picture of that, but you can imagine). There is also a long corridor (partially visible on a picture below in this article, built entirely in glass, which enables the polar lights observation, when the sky is clear, and the lights are strong.
  2. Energy efficiency. After an interesting practice found in Helsinki, here I find another example how Finnish museums present environmental issues. There is even a game of figuring out why certain devices are more energy efficient than others.
  3. Explaining polar days and polar nights. Although most of us understand this topic, it’s so fun to watch at the interactive device that shows you the Earth’s position in the summer and in the winter.
  4. Waters, ice, snow and culture. I loved those simple wooden boats and wooden snowshoes. That’s all about the history of living in Lapland and Arctic lands. Yeah, this was just a beginning, because we had a deeper discovery about this topic later during this trip.
  5. Polar cold and wind simulator. It’s freezing inside, and we didn’t have our jacket with us at that moment! In my opinion, this place is great if you come here in the summertime because this way you learn what is the polar winter 🙂
Polar Day and Polar Night, Arktikum Museum
The Sun and the Earth. Months and Seasons. This interactive installation in set to December 16, the day when we were there.

Exhibition design is based on the forms of ice, anyway. Lots of stories are dedicated to taking care of climate. Local people in Lapland showed some optimism regarding the Paris Climate Deal. We felt a lot of positivity during this trip.

Exhibition Design Arktikum Rovaniemi

At the end of our visit it was 12pm, and there was a bit of very shy sun making little traces on the white fields of frozen lakes. This was a real sunrise museum visit, although not in usual sunrise hours. Otherwise it wouldn’t be possible, due to visiting hours practices by most museums 🙂

Landscapes behind the Arktikum Museum, Rovaniemi

The Arktikum Museum, and the entire view about the Arctic lands is one of the 6 Amazing Discoveries in Finland. Follow us and get new, upcoming stories!

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