Party like a crazy reindeer!
Hullu poro means "crazy reindeer" and Hullu Poro Areena is the #1 after-ski spot in Lappi! It's in the center of the Levi ski resort and can host 1500 people. During the holidays in February and Easter this is THE place to party!!! There are also many Finnish bands performing here. Less than 100 meters from the Areena is the original Hullu Poro restaurant where you can sing karaoke in a cozy atmosphere. (The Finns won't do it before having a few beers thou!) None
A Night out in Levi
We started with a bottle of Lappin Kulta, the local beer, at the sports bar just opposite the main piste (Kulta is a very fine beer indeed) but our main objective was the Hullo Poro, the famous crazy Reindeer bar, as it was Karaoke night.
The bar is a good size, it wasn't full by any means but the place has a definate atmos. We rolled up next to the group of people gathering around the song lists while the massive main screen on the far wall lit up, ready to dispense the lyrics over what appeared to be video of dark Finish forests and icy rivers.
The first few songs were Finish, sung by local finns I'm guessing and the standard was pretty high. These people could actually sing. Where I come from, it's normally some drunk girls on a hen night, bawling - out of tune - Gloria Gaynor's 'I will survive' with all the man-hate they can muster. The finish ballads impressed me. However, I have noticed that most of the actual songs sounded pretty depressing. I didn't understand the lyrics, but it sounded like they were all sad songs. Probably a song about the day their favourite moose died and they couldn't bury it because the ground was frozen.
My plan to follow it with 'barby girl' to liven things up a bit was rejected by my missus. It doesn't go down well anywhere to be honest, but here I was sure that people would start crying. Fortunately, a couple of russian guys stepped up and sung a stirring song called 'Volga' which had a few 'ha ha ha's' in it and a couple of 'Hey's'. I like russian songs. The sort of music you can imagine putting on the cd player in a tank. Anyway, as everyone else could sing very well and I couldn't at all, we eventually slunk away from the Karaoke bar and went off to the Irish pub in town. It's a very lively place and the do sell Leffe beer which is a plus. We met up with a couple of people from the same tour bus. Got drunk, had a snowball fight. Nice. Thermal
Poro, the reindeer, das Rentier (rangifer tarandus
If you encounter reindeer in Lapland, you will have good chances in doing so, be aware that they are always owned.
All the reindeer are domestic and very well looked after. There are no wild ones in Lapland although they are free to move almost as they wish to.
Poro (Smoked reindeer)
Is some pubs, but very rare you can order such smoked reindeer snack, those are dry smoked reindeer or also salty dry moos is available if you would like to taste it. It will go very well with the dark smoked beer of course.
Food and restaurants in Finland
I indicate restaurants in cities pages. In most places there is menu in English, outside the big cities and in small places they don?t. Ask the waitresses for details. You might order something that in the end you wouldn?t touch. But anyhow, Finnish food is simple and tasteless, so there are not many risks.
How ever, there are still few dishes that are very much recommended.
1. Salmon/Rainbow trout (Lohi/Kirjolohi). Best to have it fried or in the oven, but there is also Salmon soup, Salmon sandwich, Salmon salad, Salmon Pie and smoked salmon. To my taste, Salmon is a sure success; it is always fresh and unique for visitors.
2. Reindeer (Poro). Usually as steak or grilled. Must try it, never mind the cost, once in a lifetime. There is also smoked reindeer that you can buy in the market or stores.
3. Pike perch (Kuha) or perch (Ahven). these are relatively expensive fishes in restaurants, but, I tried it few times and never got disappointed.
4. In August, and only in August, buy blueberry in the market and mixed it with whipped cream, ice cream or both. I never forget my first blueberry with whipped cream, on the top of the hill, forest around and between 2 lakes. (see image)
*Try also the blueberry pie.
5. Rye bread, it?s very unique and very healthy. I eat it more then the normal white bread, less fat and much more rich in vitamins and fibber.
Levi - Excursions
We've gone and done it and booked 4 days at the Crazy Reindeer Hotel in Levi! Slightly worried that it maybe too commercial for us but it's gonna be a once in a lifetime experience for the kids even though they're too old to believe in Santa but will just love the snow (and so will we!).
My question is really about the excursions. We've only got taster sessions included in our package and therefore have quite a bit of spare time. I've heard conflicted opinions on where to book extra excursions and when to book. Should we book via our travel rep when we get there or would it be best to book in advance via the tourist info. there? Also, I thought I'd read that we were close to a tobaggon slope but can't find any evidence of that now....was I imagining it?
Lastly (although be prepared for more questions!), any idea what the temperature is there at the moment and please tell me there will be plenty of snow?!
RE: Levi - Excursions
i'm in a group going there also, in january :]
if u go to www.levi.fi and look in the skiing/snowboarding equiptment rental, there is also a "kick-sledge" for 9e/day plus 4e for a helmet
something else ur kids may love is a "snow scoot" which i think is like those metal scooters that briefly took over England a year or 2 ago, only designed for the snow
although it doesnt specify slopes that are specifically for these activities, i assume u can use the normal/beginner slopes, not sure tho ;/
RE: RE: Levi - Excursions
Sorry, I did forget to say when we are going! We're flying out on the 11th December and hoping for more snow than just a covering....please!!
Thanks for the links, I will go and check them out. Any idea what sort of prices we will expect to pay for excursions. Sorry in advance if that question is answered in the links I've yet to look at!