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Scandinavia at a glance

Useful and superfluous facts for the Nordic Traveler

Population: 5.4 million people
Capital: Copenhagen, pop. 1.8 million (including suburbs)
Average temperature in July: 15.6 C/60 F
Head of state: Queen Margrethe II
Head of government: Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Liberal Democratic Party)
Currency: 10 US dollars = 55 kroner (April, 2007)
Food fact : Pork is king in Denmark. The Danes eat 106 kilos (234 lb) of pork meat per person each year, compared to 73 kilos (161 lb) for the Swedes. They also have the cheapest beer in Scandinavia.
Geography fact: There is no hill higher than 200 meters (650 ft), so Denmark leads the way in Nordic flatness. Maybe that`s why there are so many bicycles everywhere.
Tourist attractions:
Tivoli amusement park (www.tivoli.dk)
Legoland amusement park (www.lego.com/legoland/billund)
Louisiana Museum of modern art (www.louisiana.dk)
Tourism website: www.visitdenmark.com

Population: 5.2 million
Close to 5 percent of the population in Finland are occupied in agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing, second among the Nordic nations to only Iceland with 6.6 percent (pop. less than 300,000), compared to 2.1 percent for sweden.
Capital: Helsinki (pop. 976,000, including suburbs)
Average temperature in July: 16.4 C/62 F
Head of state: President Tarja Halonen
Head of government: Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Center Party)
Currency: 10 US dollars = 7.3 Euros (April, 2007)
Statistic: In general, Finland is the least expensive of the Nordic countries, with prices only about 15 percent higher than the EU as a whole...
Geography fact: Some 70 percent of the country is covered in trees. That`s fortunate, because the Finns buy and borrow books enthusiastically. On average, a Finn will borrow 20 volumes per year from public libraries.
Tourist attractions: Linnanmä©ki Amusement Park, Helsinki (www.linnanmaki.fi)
Kiasma, Helsinki, museum of contemporary art, (www.kiasma.com)
Bonk Centre, more wood, this time in buildings by the sea, in Uusikaupunki, a town known for the production of the Porsche Boxster, the Centre itself promises an incredible story of incredible machines, kids get to build their own baby bonk. Also an Automobile museum and a Museum of Cultural History all easily accessible (see: www.turkutouring.fi, search for the town Uusikaupunki)
Tourism website: www.visitfinland.com

Population: 290,000
Capital: Reykjavik (pop. 182,000 including suburbs)
Average temperature in July: 10.6 C/51 F
Head of state: Olafur Ragnar Grimsson
Head of government: Geir Haarde (Independence Party)
Currency: 10 US dollars = 642 kronur (April, 2007)
Geography: Has a lot of it. Here one finds active and inactive volcanoes, lava fields, geysers, waterfalls and mystical geothermal pools, but few people and few trees...
Food fact: This island has the most expensive food and drink in the region, but it probably also boasts the liveliest party-town, in its capital Reykjavik.
National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavik, (www.natmus.is/english)
National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik, (www.listasafn.is/english/first_page.htm)
Mother Nature: What can beat bathing in warm water of a volcano crater?
Tourism website: www.icelandtouristboard.com

Population: 4.6 million
Capital: Oslo (pop. 1 million including suburbs)
Average temperature in July: 16.4 C/62 F
Head of state: King Harald V
Head of government: Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Norwegian Labor Party—in a Red-Green coalition)
Currency: 10 US dollars = 60 kroner (April, 2007)
Geography fact: Bergen, one of the most beautiful places on earth, is also one of the rainiest. Umbrellas can be purchased from coin-operated dispensing machines.
Food fact: Of all the Scandinavian peoples, the Norwegians eat the most fish and shellfish, on average 55 kilos (121 lb) per year.
Popular attractions:
Holmenkollen: skiing, ski jump, ski museum, and great view, www.holmenkollen.com
Tusenfryd amusement park: www.tusenfryd.no
Dyreparken: enlightened zoo and amusement park, www.dyreparken.com
Tourism website: www.visitnorway.com

Population: 9 million
Capital: Stockholm ( pop. 1.7 million, including suburbs)
Average temperature July: 17.6 C/64 F
Head of state: King Carl XVI Gustaf
Head of government: Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (Conservative "Moderaterna" party in a Center-Right coalition)
Currency: 10 US dollars = 67 kronor (April, 2007)
Geography fact: The northern city of Kiruna, at 7,700 square miles, is half as large as Switzerland. Here you can find Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest mountain at 2,117 meters (6,946 ft) above sea level. The municipality also has more than 6,000 lakes.
Food fact: Swedes eat an average of 84 kilos (185 lb) of tatters per year. The arrival each Spring/Summer of new potatoes, "färskpotatis" in grocery stores is a happy occasion.
Tourist attractions.
Vasa Museum,Stockholm-warship from 1628 (www.vasamuseet.se)
Liseberg musement park, Gothenburg (www.liseberg.se)
Ice Hotel, Kiruna (www.icehotel.com)
Tourism website: www.visit-sweden.se

Attributions: Some of the facts above have been gleaned from the Nordic Statistical Yearbook and various tourist authorities. However, all errors are the sole property of Nordic Reach magazine. These errors may not be copied or reproduced in any manner without written permission of the publisher.

Photography: Bo Zaunders

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