The last season of Vikings on History channel got started just at the time when I landed back to Germany, after spending two weeks with nowadays Vikings, those people who live in Scandinavia.
They seem to be really open-minded, as I also spend my time meeting foreigners, from France, Canada, Australia, Latvia and so more.
To make sure everybody knows what Scandinavia is: it is Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. They don’t have Euro as a currency and their language are pretty similar to each other, pretty close to English.
Winter wasn’t as rude as it is in the tv serie, and people don’t tend to fight anymore. Their government is one of the best of Europe (beside for Norway which is not part of the EU).
Of course, those countries are really expensive. For a beer, you can count between 5 and 10 euros, for public transportation, something like 3€50, and food around 20 euros for lunch.
Though, this should not avoid you from traveling there. There are still a lot to do for tight budgets. I use to travel with CouchSurfing, share meals and go sightseeing by walk. During the summer time, it is easier, so you can go hitchhiking and camping.
Scandinavia is not only hard to figure out how to travel there with little money, it is also tough to find hosts, especially in Norway and Copenhagen. Always take an address of a hostel in the pocket just in case…Watch in Norway though; there are only couple of them, expensive ones, of course, and the references say they don’t feel like youth hostels.
When you use to travel, it is always possible to find somebody to host you and to put yourself in any kind of situations. That is how I ended in 3 parties during my 2 weeks trip. It is great way to meet more locals and get to know how they would behave and enjoy life.
On that point, Scandinavians are pretty similar according to their countries. Alcohol is really restricted. You can buy bottles only from beer stores that close mid-afternoon. Countries put a lot of taxes on it. Locals use to drink a lot as soon as possible so they’re drunk quickly to enjoy a party. Also, clubs tend to close around 3 am.
That has disadvantages for people who like to party as we use to in Belgium. But that has also good sides: the few homeless people that I have seen are not drunk and more respectful.
Yes, Scandinavia has one of the best system of Europe, or even the world, with a lot of taxes but for the good health of each citizen, free education, free medical support, free access to culture…and yet, they have homeless issues, especially during the wintertime when it is tougher to survive. On the other hand, Scandinavian people will always help you out when you ask for information. That doesn’t mean that you could get to know them. They like to keep their personal space too. You just have to take them as they are.