Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ranua Zoo, an Arctic Zoo of the Lapland (Part 1)

I have to break this into 3 parts due to the silly things happened that I want to share and pen down. Hehehhehee... History in the making gitew...

What made me want to visit Arctic Circle? It was never about the aurora which I believe I've mentioned in earlier entries. The first time I heard about this word - Arctic Circle; was from RaW in his tweet. I was wondering where in the world is this place, and when I am curious, I google. I soon learnt about the Arctic Circle; which countries sits on it or rather how many countries and cities the circle pass by. All these info I kept for the past year or two, just in case I ever travel to those countries, I will know where to head to *wink*.

You know how nature sometimes conspire with technology right? Well, the logic is the same as when you bought a new car, let say a Honda HRV and then suddenly you begin to see HRVs everywhere of  which previously you never noticed. Experienced that before? Yup! The same goes for us travelers, suddenly I kept seeing tweets upon tweets, Instagram upon Instagram post on Arctic Circle and its activities, and I usually “define” this as the ‘travelers calling’ (Over giler dak? But I bet you guys do too kan? Sila ngaku!!!).

So, in this case, I saw a tweet with picture of Santa Claus Village at Rovaniemi on Arctic Circle. Hemmm… *quickly taking down notes*. Then I start to what us Malay call ‘gatal tangan’ and google, and found out that Rovaniemi have a few activities for  travelers to participate – into the bucket list it goes (Oh boy! My bucket list is growing and yet Aurora is still not included [I am weird like that]. Ahaks) I only realized about Arctic Zoo few weeks before departure while searching for husky sled ride, I convinced Wahidah that we should cover the zoo in our trip as it is one of the most unique zoo in the world; being on arctic circle and all, and not to forget it is fully covered with thick snow! Plus the fact that I absolutely LOVE zoos and parks (Tak caya? Check trip I yang lain, if tak de park; ade zoo, if tak de zoo; ada parks or ada both). I was so thrilled that the zoo trip attire was the first one I pick and decide, wanting to look my best for the huskies, polar bears, lynx, wolverine, arctic fox and all (flip hair). Senangkan nak travel ngan I, bawak jer gi zoo and belikan eskrem. Hhahahahhahahah…

I am excited even before stepping on the 1.5hrs bus ride, if we were to cancel the trip I swear I would mangok 3 tahun (gitew) but everything went smoothly of course, we were early despite the hiccups on where to board the bus but we managed to walk to the bus station nevertheless which looks like ‘not a bus station’, we giggled as we purchase the bus tickets.

Have you been to a zoo all covered with snow? The scene and experience is priceless… all the animals are total different from those we seen in tropical zoo or even those we see in any 4 seasons zoo. Even reading the animals name excite me!

#TravelTips 1 : Buy upfront return tickets from the Bus Station (note : not bus stop tau, but at the bus station!).

#TravelTips 2 : Be earlier at the Bus Station and also when heading back from the zoo. The queue for the bus is long!!! And very limited bus to get to the zoo and back.

#TravelTips 3 : Unfortunately you have to be kiasu when queuing, as there is only that 1 bus for that hour. Give way to the elderly and kids but make sure you are the first to queue, else tertinggal bus.

My first encounter at the zoo was snowy owl, and I was practically jumping up and down padahal burung hantu warna putih jer tapi sebab kat snow hence feel dia lain. I told Wahidah, the snowy owl belongs to Harry Porter. Hahhahahahha…

#TravelTips 4 : Want to impress me? Take me to San Diego Zoo (wish list since 10 years ago). #Eh cam mana ni pun masuk travel tips? Hahhahahhahahha…. Abaikan.

#TravelTips 5 : Tickets to be purchased at the souvenir shop counter, the area is very small so do be civilize and courteous.

 #TravelTips 6 : There are cafĂ©/cafeteria at this small building, you can have lunch here (non-halal).

#Traveltips 7 : As we traveled during winter, we can’t smell anything bad (Tak da bau binatang/hancing etc. Yeay!)

Some of the tracks require us to walk in this condition, being a Malaysian where snow is uncommon (obviously) we gladly walk while busy taking pictures upon pictures, upon more pictures. I was more excited here than I was in Skansen, Sweden. Despite that everything was white, it never deter me to takes hundreds of photos to a point I start asking myself “why?” and wondering whether am I really that weird (Note that the word ‘weird’ appeared more than 3x, now I am beginning to doubt my sanity).

Our second encounter was kinda funny for it was a wild boar which I honestly thought it was strange for it to be showcased here. Then I noticed something different, the wild boar here is more fluffy and since the habitat it was in; thick white snow kinda makes it look cute. Hahhahahahhahahaa…

We then proceed to Lynx, something I look forward to aside from Wolverine. 

When I arrived at the Lync habitat, to my surprise this little creature actually looks so cute with a slight air of diva cum macho-ness. The problem with this macho-diva-lynx is that it simply refuses to look up, annoying much and trust me, I wasn’t alone on this. A bunch of us were trying to get its attention, we snap our fingers, making noises and some even talk to this Scandic lynx but to no avail. Not wanting to waste that much time at this habitat… not knowing what else to do and how best to get its attention hence I did what I thought was best if not better. I gather my courage, prepared my camera and iPhone, hand and leg on standby mode, steadily aimed at the lynx and I said out loud (feeling proud of my idea of course)…


Then I call it again “MEOW… MEOW”

As I did that, my brain begin to process fast, faster than the speed of light, faster that Superman catching a bullet shooting at his forehead, just then it hit me and Wahidah echoed my thoughts.

“MEOW?” Wahidah said.

“Hilang terus ke-macho-an lynx ni, buat malu jer…” Wahidah walked away laughing.

And I stunned. Kannnnnnn….. I said to myself. Yang pegi meow meow tuh apahal, ni bukan kucing kat umah. Imaginary hard and fast facepalm. Malu okay!

It was quite an embarrassment as the crowd behind me was ticklish over my action (and at the 'sound' I made) and I was darn lucky Wahidah was telling me off in Malay instead of English (hahahhahahah…), what else better to do but to move away from the habitat in stealth mode. Did I say malu? Yes. Besar giler kemaluan ini takkala itu. Bluek.

Do you know what happened next?

As I was walking towards the next habitat area, I heard the mat sallehs all was saying...

“MEOW… MEOW… MEOW” to the lynx!!! The same folks that was laughing at me just now!?!

Ek ellaaa…. Korang pun sama lah yek. Copycat sangat! HAHAHHAHAHHAHHAA…

(Next entry sambung cite habitat lain lak, sama gak kemarupannya)


Unknown said...

Kena tunjuk kat Aqilah entry ni hehehe..mesti dia teruja, ada senow dan zoooooo said...

nice sharing

Nanatron said...

i love this !!
who would have thought to go to zoo of snowland ! more pictures lily...haha rasa geram kat pepokok bersalut snow tu rasa nak goyang-goyangkan ajeee

Hanis Amanina said...

wohooo, I guess i have the so-called-traveler-calling too. :D I did a quiz on where should I go next, and the result mentioned Arctic circle. In which I have no idea about it until I saw Svalbard as the place for total solar eclipse few days ago.

And I think, I should put Arctic Circle in my next trip soon after I read your post. wohoooo. As I'm now in Czech, not really far away from that area. So, I guess, the flight will be not really expensive too, right? (haven't check though. ;))

Glad to be in this blog! Will read more soon.

Lily Riani said...


Nanti I jumpa Aqilah I borak zoo ngan dia. ehheheh


Thanks :)

Lily Riani said...


Next entry.... too many stories to share :D


GO GO GO!!! I love Scandic countries. Absolutely love it and I dont mind teh cold weather. Are you base in Czech?

Hanis Amanina said...

Well, kind of, maybe :) I'm here for nearly 3 and a half years already, and going back for good in 2017, insyAllah.

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