Friday 18th August.
Todays the day, waking up like a child on Christmas morning, NOT, blackout blinds work a little to well and it is mid- morning before we have breakfasted and appeared outside.
Now to explore true commercialism Santa style, we use the official Santa Claus Post Office to send some stuff back to the girls ( don’t be too excited about this Brittany and Ellie the house numbers are ours, you can have the chocolate).
From here a wander around numerous tourist shops, with the Santa Claus take on xmas decorations, ( very disappointing, need to take a leaf out of Germany’s book on this one), huge selection of “traditional” Lapland and Sami handmade wares and cold weather clothes.
Somehow we managed to get into a building and then past the point of no return to meet with Santa, I have to say really well done though, the elves ask where you are from as you are waiting and thanks to some mighty fine technology, Santa has a good ole chat about your home town etc.
We paid the money and got the photo and video of this. Got to support the local economy.
We could have spent a lot more time and money here visiting Santa’s Reindeer etc but decided surely our luck must be better with seeing Reindeer on our travels than it has been with Moose.
Head north has been our motto so onwards we go to Visit the Amethyst mine near Luosoto about 110 km north.
Heading on past the Village of Luosoto, basically a small ski town, we run into our first actual herd of Reindeer, so the necessary stop and photoshoot has to take place. Hopefully you have all seen the shakey video posted on Facebook.
Miss Stella finds the carpark easily today and we decide to walk to the mine, a bit of domestic “deafness/confusion” happened here as I distinctly remember saying at the barrier after reading the sign saying “30 -40 minute walk” “SHOULD WE TAKE THE TRUSTY STEEDS”. The reply which is being hotly debated along with firm denial of ever taking place was “NO WE HAVNT HAD MUCH EXERCISE SO WALKING GOOD”.
About 15 minutes in, the question statement arises, how far and Why did you not suggest we take the bikes !!.
Yeah Nah, never going to win this one, I now have a piece of paper in Miss Stella that says.
“SORRY I’m WRONG” mostly gets used for navigational errors.
Anyway, enough of that you are surely more interested in whether we have found our fortune in Amethyst stones. Sadly not but was a really interesting visit after a 3.5 km walk.
This mine the only one in Sweden is owned and run by a Sami based company who have decided not to mechanically mine it, instead they use tourists to pay for the privilege of mining these stones on the promise that each person can take home 1 stone that will fit in your hand. We keep the rest.
It is a good model and will keep the mine going a lot longer than it would last with machines, and a longer production of the stones. Both Susie and I came away with nice stones and the best info of the day that the berries that are everywhere in the trees here are all edible, in fact are good for you just don’t eat the mushrooms.
The 3.5km walk back was a lot more interesting picking Bilberries.
An easy park up in the village of Luosoto, heaps of places and nobody about.