When thinking about climate paradoxes, Scandinavia, regarded as one of the coldest regions of the planet, is definitely a place that comes to mind. To live in a cold place like that, is not an easy job for Brazilians to accomplish. Perhaps due to our cultural differences, we do not even consider this region as a travelling option for a honeymoon or a backpacking trip. Big mistake!!! Its singular beauty comes from a different sort of nature which we are not used to, and that is exactly why it overcomes our expectations. Unless there is the desire to have a glacial experience, it is worthwhile to consider the possibility of visiting northern Europe when Summer takes place,during the months of July and September.
Scandinavia is officially formed by three countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. In a more general view, we can also include Finland in the so-called Fino- Scandinavia. A trip to this Nordic region should definitely include the capital cities of these three countries: Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm. In case there is time, the trip could also include Helsinki, the Finland capital, and even Moscow, the russian capital.
During the winter, the temperatures are extremely low reaching an average of – 15°C. and snow is everywhere, so in case you like ice cream, this will be like heaven for you. But if we have an average of – 15°C let’s not even think about how low can the temperature get. No wonder these countries are specialists when it comes to winter sports. Norway, for instance, is the world recordist of golden medals in the Winter Olympics games. But do not panic, during the Summer the temperatures can get to 25°C allowing you to have a pleasant trip. Anyway, do not forget to listen to your mother when she says you better take a coat with you, just in case.
Leaving the cold front aside, let’s talk about what really matters and get a better grasp of what is waiting for us, starting by the land whose history was written by the Viking sailor’s: Denmark, or more accurately, the Kingdom of Denmark. Denmark is a relatively small country, composed by an archipelago of dozens of small islands slightly smaller than the Rio de Janeiro state. Denmark’s population is, in average, equal to half of the population of São Paulo’s capital. That’s exactly what you are thinking, besides being a small country and almost uninhabited, Denmark is still a monarchy, the oldest of Europe, by the way. Its vegetation is largely composed by low relief fields, but not less beautiful because of it. The country’s beauty relies mainly in the countryside where we will find valleys, lakes, mills and castles, filling the region with unique attractions.
Nowadays, the greater resource of the country’s income is concentrated on the exportation industry of the design, architecture and of the Danish lifestyle that balances its Viking past with modernity. However, the agriculture has always been a strong point, having its lands cultivated since the ancient times of 3000 a.C. Moreover, Denmark’s products are known worldwide and recognized for its excellent quality. There won’t be a lack of jelly in our breakfast! The country is also known for being considered ahead of its own time because it was one of the pioneers in the legalization of gay marriage, abortion, besides having a hippie community living in the Christiania neighborhood, founded in 1971 in the capital city, where they live in harmony with the police and government authorities.
The capital, Copenhagen is a very compact city. While there, one can get around on foot, by free public transportation or by bike in several points of the city. In fact, that’s a good call because in addition to having an extremely organized car traffic, the city is full of exclusively bicycle paths. The capital also has a lot of museums, many of them with free admissions during the week, usually on Wednesdays; apart from the oldest amusement park of the world, the fantastic Tivoli from 1843. The country’s countryside is very calm and bucolic, except during July when the city hosts one of the biggest rock festivals of Europe, the famous Roskilde Festival. Differently from the other Nordic countries Copenhagen has a very energetic and varied nightlife.
Moving forward to the next country whose history was also written by the Viking sailor’s, the Kingdom of Norway, offers a great quality of life and like Denmark, is also a monarchy. During almost five centuries, these two countries (Denmark and Norway) were only one, until the dissolution of the union at the beginning of the XIX century, resulting in many similarities among them.
The Latonya region, whose territory lies across the Polar Arctic Circle, is regarded as one of the most beautiful places among Europe. This region is surrounded by mountains, lakes and one of a kind cities. In addition, its large coast provides us breathtaking inlets. It is also worth mentioning that Latonya is the place where we are able to admire a very common event during the winter: the aurora borealis, a colorful show with no need to schedule for a specific place or time. Moreover, you can indulge yourself during the summer when the days last longer and the sun never sets. That’s exactly what you are thinking: the solstice!
The Norwegians know exactly how to take advantage of their large coast by investing in naval mercantile activities like fishery (the biggest production of Western Europe) and naval fleets. As Denmark, Norway is also a pioneer country on the legalization of gay marriage. In fact, the government has recently approved a governmental sort of assistance for lesbian couples who decide to have a child by artificial insemination. Beyond the sociopolitical issues, Norway has a rich art and silver handicraft tradition and an exotic jewelry, part of their traditional costumes. Norway’s modern standards of knitting productions simply astonish lovers of such art.
While in Oslo, you have to meet the Vigeland park where people greet the summer like babies who have just born: naked. The navy museums are also a highlight, with vessel ships extremely well preserved as well as the Kon-Tiki ferry used by the Norwegian sailors to cross the Atlantic as to get to South America. Although the capital is nice and pleasant , Bergen is, definitely, Norway’s highlight. The most second populated city of Norway, Bergen offers a beautiful view to be admired while walking, driving a car, riding bicycle or taking the bus or the train. Actually, this is the place where we can find the entry for the magnificent and must see inlets.
To sum up this wonderful experience the Kingdoms of Sweden must be included . Yes, that’s right! Sweden is formed by three kingdoms: the danish, the Norwegian and the Swedish one. All of them with their own Germanic native languages and other dialects that although not very similar, live in harmony with each other.That is, they are able to communicate until a certain point, but you will certainly not understand a thing. But don’t worry, everybody speaks English there. Swedish, in particular, gives me the feeling of hearing a smooth melody while it’s being spoken.
However its linguistic exuberance, Sweden, hasn’t such spectacular views as Norway nor a varied nightlife like Denmark, Its capital beauty is nothing compared to the previous ones. Stockholm is not only the most charming city of Scandinavia, but also one of the most beautiful European capitals. Spring and autumn assures a single beauty and during the winter the solstice is also experienced. Stockholm historic downtown with its medieval style streets already offers a free and delightful touristic attraction. Due to the climate condition of the region, almost the majority of the population (90%) live in the south of the country. Three of the most relevant harbors that help the country in its mercantile activities, are in the south. Apart from the mercantile activities, Sweden whose half of territory is formed by forests, also rely on logging and agriculture as an economic resource.
With a view that offers lakes, rivers and mountains where trekking is a must do activity, there won’t be a lack of calmness in Sweden. As a counterpoint of such atmosphere, many young people adopt the punk rock style of piercing and red dyed hairs. By the way, speaking of the Swedish, the beauty seems to have come out of one of Ingmar Bergman movies or distant Greta Garbo’s relatives.
There are a lot of things to be said about Scandinavia, but no verbal description can be compared with a personal experience, as shorter as it might be. In case you are short of money, perhaps you should wait a while because this is one of the most expensive regions of Europe. High taxes and a social welfare are massive present. Travelling with less of 50 euros is quite hard if you don’t want to have a limited trip. Still, is case there is the opportunity of meeting the Nordic people, to postpone the trip would not be so benefic. Nothing better to refresh your mind than going on a trip by the Nordic winds!
Photos by foter.com