Subject: Re: Scandinavia
Hi Ziners and Rosemary, We spent all summer in Scandinavia in 2000. We highly recommend the Norway in a Nutshell trip, as well as a cruise on the Hurtigruten line from Bergen to Kirkenes, since you only mention going to Norway. We took the Nutshell trip from Oslo (we loved this cosmopolitan city) to Bergen, where we were scheduled to catch the M/S Polarlys (beautiful, modern ship). Whether you take the round trip or try to get a flight/bus out of Kirkenes depends on time restraints. We would take the trip from Kirkenes to Bergen this time, because it was a bit dicey getting from Kirkenes to Helsinki, Finland. I think they will have a flight from Bergen to Kirkenes, from which you would board one of the Hurtigruten ships leaving for Bergen. We had plenty of time, so we just made plans as we went along. You will love Scandinavia if it is a bit warmer and less rainy than the summer we were there. We loved all the fresh fish, particularly the mackerals and herrings. Scandinavia is not a cheap destination, so be prepared for that, plus any alcohol, particularly wine, is very expensive. There is a 25% tax on it, which helps support the social welfare system. All the Scandinavian countries, except Denmark, have these extra high taxes on alcohol (Big Brother is watching you). Also, you will not be able to buy a bottle of champagne for your hotel room with a credit card: the government doesn't want you going into debt to buy booze, so you must pay cash! If you have any time in Oslo, you simply must not miss seeing the Frogner Park. We spent the better part of an entire day at walking among the flowers and statues. It was very tiring, but also very beautiful. Write us personally and we can give you the hyperlink to several pages and pictures we have put on the Internet chronicalling our trip. You might find it helpful. There are many things we could tell you if your are interested, but it would not be appropriate to just write a long letter here. We do recommend this part of Europe.

Good traveling!

Marghe and Marty in Coral Cove, Australia.