Scandinavian Wish List
This would naturally make its way to the top of my own personal list, not only because I have some Norwegian blood in me (not much admittedly, but still, there’s some in there somewhere) but also because it was the first place I ever visited outside of England. Therefore, the resounding urge to return has never left me along with a niggling curiosity to see if everything is as expensive as I remember. Of course back when I was younger I was gauging the price difference in sweets but the shock was all the same.
There is also the gargantuan natural beauty to be thought about, including far-reaching yet tranquil fjords, never-ending mountain landscapes and, even further north, the unparalleled natural phenomena of the Northern Lights. Oh yes, there is a lot left here for me to see with my adult eyes.
Denmark has always ranked very highly on my travel wish list but after reading Michael Booth’s slightly irreverent yet heart-warming and insightful description of the Danish people in his hilarious book The Almost Nearly Perfect People, I have definitely been left chomping at the bit to see if they are as nice (and apparently trustworthy) as everyone says. When looking at Copenhagen in particular there is also a lot to get excited about in terms of the food, the history and an artistic culture that has gradually cemented the city as one of the most sought after places to live in Europe.
When you think of Sweden it’s easy to picture the city of Gothenburg with loads of beautiful blonde people strolling around, happily going about their days. This would obviously be true in some circumstances but there is far more to this country – as Michael Booth so effectively describes – especially in terms of their temperament, surprisingly varied landscapes and a culture that has quite lot more going on than meets the eye.
From what I have researched, it definitely seems like Finland is a place to be visited in the winter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily suggesting a visit to see Father Christmas in Lapland (which I’ve heard mixed reviews about) but it shouldn’t be forgotten that this is a country boasting some of the best Christmas markets in the world and also a solidified sauna culture for when it gets too unbearably cold to be outside. That’s kind of a win-win if you ask me.
Having already visited Iceland I feel qualified to say that it is one of the most stunningly unspoilt places I have ever laid eyes on, albeit one of the coldest and most expensive. Our trip was solely focussed on the capital city Reykjavik and the area surrounding (including the world famous town of Geysir and Gullfoss Falls), where we were lucky enough to see the Northern Lights three nights in a row (jammy, I know). However, after reading The Almost Nearly Perfect People its safe to say I missed out on a great deal, not only in terms of the landscape across the rest of the country, but also the fact that a recent survey showed that 54% of the 330,000 natives believe in elves... I don’t know about you but this is definitely something I want to hear more about.