Spark It Like Scandinavia
19th January 2019 | India
Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe and is a composition of 3 countries namely Denmark, Norway and Sweden and every now and then, Nordic countries Iceland and Finland are also included in its broader definition
Scandinavia is the birthplace of Vikings, German mythical gods such as Thor ”The God of thunder” and Ready to assemble furniture company Ikea, alike.
Scandinavian countries are a fusion of untouched nature, fast-paced economy, and central European culture. Scandinavian countries put a lot of emphasis on saving the planet and have come up with a ton of ways for curbing pollution, combating, climate change and minimizing their carbon footprint. More cycles, fewer cars, and phenomenal public transportation are how these countries are doing it.
Oslo which is known as the Tesla capital of the world and is the epicenter of electric cars, in general, comprises 37% of the total cars on the road to be electric. 99% of Norway’s electricity comes from hydropower which is like dams, lakes and other water bodies. So they have really clean and cheap electricity which is used to power these electric cars.
The reason why there are so many Electric cars in Norway comes down to government policy, government incentivizes people in buying electric cars by offering them services like Free parking, access to HOV lanes which have close to no traffic, nil registration fees, deduction on your income tax and the possibly the biggest incentive is to the companies. For instance, Tesla doesn’t have to pay sales tax for selling in Norway. All these subsidies that we are talking about are funded by the Sovereign wealth fund, it amounts to trillions of dollars, it’s basically their rainy day fund and this is what the government uses to fund the namely subsidies.
Copenhagen prefers bikes over cars and now has more number of cycles than people. Most parts of the Danish metropolis have been closed off to vehicles for decades now and the city plots to become carbon neutral by 2025.
The capital state of Finland aims to exceedingly diminish the number of cars on its streets by devoting massively in better public transportation, enforcing higher parking fees, boosting walking and cycling and transforming the inner city ring roads into parks and residential areas.
Still not convinced why you should visit scandinavia ? Here are some unique reasons as to why you should
Reasons to visit Scandinavia
There are some of the unique reason as to why everyone should visit Scandinavia at least once in their lifetime.
1.Norway's Polar Nights
It’s a phenomenon where the sun is up for only 3 hours a day in some parts (and not at all in others).
2. Elves and trolls
80% of the Icelandic population won't ward off the presence of elves and trolls (hidden folk). Roads are even deviated to go around the areas hidden folk are believed to exist.
The most beloved souvenir in Sweden is the commonly viewed "moose-crossing" warning sign. Many get stolen from the roadside each year. Don’t forget to grab yours while you’re there.
Finland is preoccupied with saunas. The Finns believe to have invented it (but so do the Swedes!) and there are about 2.2 million Sauna in Finland – a sauna for every 2.5 people.
Got immense amount of love for beaches? Visit Denmark where no place is more than 30 miles (50 km) from the sea.
Since we’ve successfully sold you on the idea of the expedition around Scandinavia, here are some things to do while you’re down there
1. Black Sand Beach
Iceland is known as the island of ice and fire, now we know where George RR Martin got his inspiration from. During the winter months, Iceland is barren of all colors but black and white. Located just a short drive outside of the little charming town of Veeck is the lava beach which is jet black, where a cliff descends down 500 vertical feet to the sea. It looks like something straight out of a Tim Burton dreamland film if you particularly come visit it in the winters the contrast from the snow and the black lava is something you’ve to see from your own eyes to believe.
2. Snowshoeing and Snow Jet-skiing
If you’re someone who doesn’t mind getting down and dirty and frankly don’t mind feeling a lot of discomfort, Snowshoeing is going to be right up your alley. Lapland, Finland on average gets 60-90 centimeters of snow and it is usually the deepest in mid-march. It is one of the perfect ways to fully immerse yourself in the wilderland of Lapland and get in a satisfactory workout, along with taking in the area. But if you’re someone who is kinda lazy and looking for a tad bit more of a thrill go for snow jet-skiing it’s the best way to get around up there but before going on it you’re put on a full-blown survival suit so if you god-forbid get lost, that is what’s going to keep you warm and cozy.
3. Northern Lights
The best time to see the northern lights is, December. The evenings are long and dark, so the chances of seeing the lights are very high. Spending the nights beneath the Northern Lights is the ideal retreat for a romantic getaway. In Kiruna, Sweden, you can fall asleep watching the Aurora or dance the night away under a completely translucent glass roof—a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
4. Midnight Sun
The midnight sun is a phenomenon when the sun never set in the summer. The Midnight Sun is a 24-hour period of sunlight inside the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland. It might mess with your head for the first few days of your arrival, so grab a sleeping mask if you want to get some sleep. We’d advise to simply surrender to the light and be excited for staying awake for as long as possible in order to take in this unique experience. You can always sleep when you get home.
5. Glacier Climbing
19 mile north of the village Guap the knee guards Green glacier is Nigardsbreen Glacier. It’s an arm of the largest glacier in Europe. To make it to this glacier, modest boats will transport you to the base, you’ll cross the most turquoise blue glacier water you’ve ever seen in your whole existence. Once you’ve turned up at the base of the glacier you’re equipped with crampons, ice picks and a harness, as it’s impossible to climb the ice without them, once you’ve started climbing it’s about 8 hours in absolute from the top to the bottom. If you’re up for the challenge you’ve to act fast, as in a matter of a few short years this glacier won’t even be here.
6. Tivoli Gardens
This place is an adrenaline junkie’s paradise. It’s one of the oldest amusement parks in all of Europe and has been believed to inspire Walt Disney to create Disneyland. Tivoli lights up the skies of Copenhagen with a monumental fireworks display on a regular basis, it’s so good, not that it’s a competition(kidding) but it makes Disneyland, Paris cover its face in shame.
Now that you’re on a trip around Scandinavia, you might need a place to stay, right? Don’t worry we got you covered.
1. Upper House hotel, Sweden
Upper House is a 5 star, cozy and contemporary hotel in the topmost international class. The location is impeccable, in the heart of Gothenburg with a great view of the town. On the 20th floor of the hotel, there’s a swimming pool, which happens to be bottomed glass. You won’t realize you’re in a see-through pool until you look down and see the traffic in the streets below, and breathtaking views of the city.
2. Ice Hotel, Finland
It’s constructed every year from scratch in October or early November when it’s cold, by hand in The Snow Village of Finland. The temperature in the snow village remains at a minimum of -5 degrees Celsius. The Ice hotel has an Ice bar and restaurant, an Ice chapel for lovebirds to get married. The ice hotel has in total 30 rooms, 8 of which are suites and each suite has an individual piece of art, that was designed by the world-famous artist.
Experiential travel is a predicted trend due to the increased interest of unplugging, self-care, and the inner journey. People across all age groups are interested in once-in-a-lifetime experiences and connecting with others”, said Amy from the Glamping Hub, which is an online booking platform for unique outdoor luxury accommodations.
3. Gorgeous Glass Cabin, Iceland
The best time to see the Northern Lights here is between December and February. Oskjuhlid Hill can be found right the center of Reykjavík, Iceland and is the perfect spot to sit and watch the whole night's sky light up over the entire city. After the celebrations are over, there's nothing better than enjoying the spectacular Northern Lights from your very own gorgeous glass cabin, which can be booked from the Glamping Hub’s website.
4. Riverfront tree house, Norway
This riverfront tree house is situated near Lake Tinn, Norway, and sits curled up in a forest. The tree house presents dazzling views of the river and surrounding forest through its floor to ceiling glass windows. While staying here you can enjoy reconnecting with each other and with Mother Nature as there are no distractions such as WI-FI or even electricity. Living in a tree house will make accessing hiking and biking trails really convenient. Already excited about the idea, don’t bother your nerves, Glamping Hub is the place to book your dream treehouse destination.
5. Kokkedal Castle, Copenhagen
It’s a splendid 18th-century castle laying on North Sealand’s ‘Danish Riviera’ with compelling views out over the Sound (Øresund). Demonstrating modern-day comfort and construction without giving up its noble past, classic drawing and reception rooms, which are charmingly breath to life with lavish Moissonier furniture, Free-spirited crystal chandeliers, and designer Nina Campbell’s furnishing fabrics.
We wouldn’t want you to starve yourself in Scandinavia so here are suggestions for cuisines to keep you un-hangry(Anger caused by hunger) and warm that you should try.
This is the ultimate Scandinavian food, the area’s meatballs are distinct from meatballs encountered in North America because they are generally tiny in size and cooked with only fresh ingredients. They are customarily made from pork and veal, but contingent to where you are in Scandinavia, the ingredients and size of the meatballs can differ. In Sweden they are usually served with a side mashed potatoes and jam; but, in Denmark, they are served with pickled cabbage, potatoes, and beetroot. One thing is for certain no matter where you are in Scandinavia, you will inevitably find meatballs on the menu.
Berries are a common staple in many Scandinavian dishes. Both sweet and savory dishes contain berries. They are eaten in many different meals, from the first meal of the day till the last, and are an ordinary ingredient found in desserts. Two berries that Scandinavia is popular for are: lingonberries and cloudberries. Lingonberries are usually consumed with toast and porridge and are also generally used for sauces for meats. They are analogous to cranberries and have a characteristic bitter taste, so sugar is additionally added to make them taste more cordial. Lingonberries are taken pleasure of in a jam form. Cloudberries are golden in color but look just like raspberries in appearance and are bought in jam form or as juice. Cloudberry jam is devoured on toast or as a dressing for meats or in sweet dishes.
In Scandinavia, they are crammed at any time the day. Different regions of Scandinavia offers diverse pancake recipes. At many Sweden eateries, you will come across raggmunk, also called Swedish potato pancakes because the major additive is potatoes. In Finland, you will find pannukakku. Pannukakku, are oven-baked pancakes. Nearly all pancakes are topped off with whipped cream and berries, although you can choose from a variety of different toppings of your liking. In Denmark, there are pancake balls that are like a consolidation of a donut and a pancake.
We’ve shown you things to do, places to visit, food to eat so the only thing left now is get you something to drink, you must be thirsty after all this physically excruciating travel. So sit back, relax and unwind sipping your cocktail
30 ml Rånäs Brännvin
10 ml apple liqueur
A dash of orange juice
1 tsp raw cane sugar
A slice of orange or a strawberry
Stir orange juice and the cane sugar together, and pour the blend in a rocks glass over ice. Mix in the Brännvin, liqueur, and soda, top it off with the fruit and voila.