Trek to the North Pole...to go shopping!
This may be a wee bit off topic...but it's just sad. Apparently there is a "Santa Clause Village" mall at the North Pole in Lapland. I'm not even close to "Battle of Seattle" anti-consumerism or anything, but when I go to the North Pole I want there to be either nothing there or some sort of magical elf village, not vendors hawking tourist trinkets. Here's how this New Yorker described it:
I climbed off the bus and stepped right into the village, which was not really a village but a mall, complete with a parking lot and a "you are here" map. The "village" consisted of a cluster of log cabins, including the Arctic Circle Cafe, Santa Claus's Post Office and the Santa Claus Beauty Salon.
Luckily there is also an expanse of true North Poleness to be enjoyed...
I could see what we all imagine of the Arctic Circle: shapes and shadow, unending purity and air, to clear away the wooliest New York neurosis.
Can the New York neurosis be cleared away? I'm not so sure, once you're here they've got you. As Michael Corleone would likely say -"just when you think you're out, they pull you back in."
Here's the article: The New York Times - Take a Left at Lapland: A Trek to Santa's Outpost.