When you leave for a trip you try to bring home a memory that is representative of the places visited, sometimes to make happy friends and relatives, sometimes as a personal caprice. There are persons who love to bring objects from their travels to relive the experiences enjoyed as soon as they cross them with the eyes. Others do it for pure collecting. Others want to decorate the house creating a “melting pot” effect. Whatever your intent is, the most important thing is not to be trivial. Once in place you can fall into the temptation to buy standard gadgets, ie those objects that once changed the name or print could be found again anywhere in the world. In order to bring home a noteworthy souvenir, first of all it is necessary that you avoid to make last-minute-purchases at the airport before getting on the plane: you have to spend some time to visit the gift shops you meet in the various stops of your trip, but most of all, try to find the most exclusive and characteristic objects. The souvenir is not limited to being necessarily an object for the home or everyday use, it can also be something to eat and it could be definitely more pleasing than an ornament: your interlocutors will feel more involved in your experience if you give them the opportunity to experience what you are telling about. In this article we have decided to show you some of the objects that have impressed us and which we consider to be particular and representative of Lapland.
Wooden cup – The kuksa (as it is called in Finnish) is the most characteristic thing you can bring back from these lands, as expression of the Sami culture. These cups are unique in their kind, they are handmade and each one is different from the other. They have holes in the handle to allow a comfortable grip and are very capacious. The peculiarity of these cups lies in the fact that they are obtained from the nodes of the trees, that is from those hemisphere ends that are formed with the passing of the years on the branches. This justifies their high cost, which is around 50 euros a piece. Versatile and practical to use, they can also be stored in the showcase as furnishings.
Wooden and reindeer horns tools – Wood is what is most popular in this land of woods and unspoiled nature. Any handmade wooden utensil can therefore be a nice piece to take home and you will have plenty to choose from. What we liked a lot and so we propose you is the handmade light wooden trivet, made with many small wooden chunks of various diameters arranged on a circular surface. It is useful as well as fine, suitable to be exhibited during dinners with friends: you can boast of having a piece of Lapland on your table. Prices vary according to size and range from 5 to 15 euros. In addition to wooden tools you can find the ornamental ones made with reindeer horns, certainly more amazing but less practical to use in everyday life.
Santa’s Gadget – From the town of Santa Claus you cannot leave without having taken something typical of Christmas time, even if your journey is out of the holiday season. At the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi you will be spoiled for choice, due to the large quantity of souvenir shops. We have not identified anything specific to suggest you, so you could take dolls, figurines, magnets, key rings, decorations, clothing, bags and any other gadget that has Santa Claus as subject.
Reindeer salami – If you wish to bring home the Finnish flavor par excellence, you must definitely opt for reindeer meat. The most easy way to transport it, for example during a plane trip, can be in the form of salami. In this way it will be preserved for the whole duration of the trip and once at home it will be immediately ready to taste. This is the form in which it can be most appreciated because its delicious taste looks very similar to roe or wild boar meat. Reindeer salami can be bought at the supermarket at a price of about 10 euros for a 200 grams piece. You can recognize it by the word “poro“, which in Finnish means reindeer.
Cloudberries jam – The cloudberry (or lakka in Finnish) is a very popular berry in Finland. It is characterized by a bright orange color and is rich in vitamin C; its taste resembles a little bit the prickly pears. The cloudberries can be eaten fresh or in other manners such as jams, juices and liqueurs. Have fun to search in supermarkets the type that best suits your tastes. The Finns love to relish cloudberries, fresh or in jam, in a very common preparation, the leipäjuusto, that is a type of cheese that is baked in the oven with the cream and that looks like a bun (in fact the name literally means “cheese bread“).
Where can souvenirs be bought? In Ivalo you can find a very large and well-stocked gift shop in the inhabited center (Lahjatalo Ivalo, Yhdystie 4, 99800 Inari, Finland). In Rovaniemi, if you go to the Santa Claus Village you will have available as many gift shops as you want. Other souvenir shops are located inside the airports.
After this brief overview we would like to emphasize that these listed objects are not the only representative souvenirs of Lapland. You will find many more, but you can decide according to your personal taste what to bring back home. Since the baggage was limited we could not carry everything we wanted to buy, so we focused on this selection of souvenirs, which we decided to suggest you.
See you soon