The bus stops. And here also is situated Hotelli Inari, centrepoint, greeting and meeting place of people.
For travellers, it contains the bright colours of the four winds, a tourist souvenir shop and rents rooms at 19.50 Euros per night. The bar and restaurant Ranta-Mari, also serves the local village of 700 and surrounding area. In the air-taxi rank situated outside on the lake ( Inarijärvi ) sits a small sea-plane wrapped up for winter. To the side and behind the building - caravans.
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| frozen lake outside || bright colours inside |
Arrival: Signe for the first time; Andrew returns for the second time, 5 years later.
Inari (Anár in indigenous Sámi language) is a cultural and political centre for the Sámi peoples, including their parliament. For others it has a position on the frontier, and a place where people pass through. In the past people came from elsewhere looking for gold, and stayed. Nowadays, some who stay here go looking for jobs and opportunities elsewhere. For example housing and construction across the northern border in Norway, or studies at universities further south in Finland.
On average tourists stay normally for a couple days, and in December there are not many. Regular visitors started to take notice of us after a couple of days.
Over the week sleeping, eating, living in the hotel-restaurant-bar gathers up stories and experiences in the bar. Food and drink consumed, tales swapped, and friends increased.
A video in the hotel's souvenir section promised "Lapland, love and gold. The mystical message of the prospectors pan"..
Meeting and speaking with Pekka opened up interesting encounters to them. A slow start to the week led to a busier weekend with Christmas parties.. Friday night karaoke with singing locals; Black and white photographs dating to the local 1946 gold rush, hang overlooking the pool table.
Signe was invited up for a dance after dinner by the one-eyed prospector. He proudly displayed to her the organically-formed gold nugget attached to a strap of leather round his neck.
Andrew couldn't escape the entertainment either, to dance with a local woman in a slow waltz.