A taste of Northern Europe

Reine Lofoten, NorwayWe recently took a trip to the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania and Poland. Although we didn’t spend enough time in any one spot to write a full blown destination guide, we wanted to give you a few observations about each country.

The Netherlands

We don’t have much new to report on the Netherlands, everything is pretty much the same as it’s always been there. A relative bargain for Western Europe, legal weed, great food, excellent service and in Amsterdam you will find a great live music scene. So far the migrants situation does not seem to be too out of control yet, at least not visibly so. Not much more to add here, see our two previous articles on Amsterdam for more information.

Denmark

Copenhagen is clean, well organized and expensive (although not as expensive as Norway). Unlike our experience in Norway, if you know where to go, it doesn’t have to be outrageously expensive. You can find happy hour deals ($5), burger lunch specials ($10), all you can eat breakfast brunch buffet ($15) if you know where to go. The food and the service is good, as it should be for the prices you’ll pay. Of course, Christiana is much cheaper than the rest of Copenhagen also, there you can find a beer for $3 and a decent meal for $10-15 and you will likely get to hear some live music as well.

The migrant problem is certainly visible in Copenhagen but it is nowhere near as out of control as Norway, Sweden, Germany, France and the UK, at least not in the center of town. Be sure to save your beer cans and bottles if you’re park drinking as the locals love to do if the weather is nice, the deposit is so high on them turning in just six is often enough to buy you a new beer. In fact you will often find migrant beggars in the parks begging for your cans and bottles rather than spare change.

We did not hate Denmark as much as Roosh, but then again he was there longer.

Norway

We spent a couple of days in Norway visiting both Bergen and Oslo. The scene in Bergen was far different than Oslo. Bergen is a somewhat sleepy but beautiful town on the water. Everything is very expensive as you would probably expect. Beers start from about $8 USD and go up from there. Food is also expensive, you can easily blow $10 on a crappy 7/11 meal and can expect to pay a lot more for decent food. The girls were OK but for the most part unimpressive. Migrants definitely had a strong but not overwhelming presence in Bergen. There was one building in the center of town with an pretty constant stream of north African and middle eastern migrants coming and going. Overall Bergen is not a place to visit unless you have a good reason to be there (getting paid, friends to visit, etc.).

Oslow was a far different scene, within 15 minutes of arrival we saw more hot chicks than we did in Bergen in days. Unfortunately that’s not all we saw. Within minutes of exiting the train station we could see that the migrant situation is definitely out of control in Oslo. We saw hundreds of migrants loafing about aimlessly over the course of a 2 or 3 km stroll from the central train station to our hotel. They were a plurality of people on the street in the center although their true proportion of the people in the city probably appeared exaggerated since by the time we arrived most of the locals were crammed into noisy clubs and dive bars that dotted the streets near the train station. In fact, we were surprised at how shit faced everyone seemed to be even before 20:00.

Loud, noisy, crowded “boom boom” clubs with long lines in front seemed to be the norm for your average weekend party in Oslo which is not really our thing. Needless to say, Oslo was even more expensive than Bergen. We had a fantastic 3 course meal with 3 glasses of wine per person at a casual bistro near our centrally located hotel; the cost was a little over $100 USD per person (including a 10% tip). It ain’t cheap! All in all the verdict was, “Norway? No way!”

Lithuania

Now this is a country that is right back in our wheelhouse. Lithuania is quite cheap, even after moving to the Euro which locals say “doubled the price of everything except salaries”. You can find decent lodging for $25-50 USD per night. You can expect to pay $2-4 for amazing craft beers and $5-15 for nice meals in sit-down restaurants. While nowhere near on par with countries like Ukraine, Russia or Serbia, it was a significant upgrade from Bergen in terms of the women.

If you are a beer lover, Lithuania is the country for you. We have never seen such selections of amazing craft beers (both local and imported) as the standard in almost all bars. Furthermore, “Beer House” in Vilnius has the best beer bar we’ve ever seen with 350 different varieties. Snekutis (4 locations) was also quite good and an excellent place to try some local food on the cheap!

Poland

Poland! One of the few countries with the balls to refuse to allow rapefugees to invade their wonderful country and it really shows. We visited Gdansk and Warsaw and both were clean, well organized and felt a lot like “Western Europe for Eastern European prices.” Poland is still on the Zloty (almost 4 to 1 with the USD) and you can still find a beer or a vodka for just a little more than $1 in both Gdansk and Warsaw. In Gdansk we were amazed how the local jewelers would leave their amber and silver jewelry right out on the street often totally unattended. We have never seen anything like that before; this would clearly never work in any major US city, and now clearly not in Western Europe either. It was very refreshing to visit a country that has, for the most part, preserved their country and their culture for themselves. Unlike Denmark and Norway, we saw virtually no loafing migrants or halal kebab shops, let alone on virtually every corner like Oslo.

Although significantly better than Bergen, Gdansk compared to Warsaw in a similar fashion as Bergen to Oslo. Warsaw was clearly a much bigger city, with orders of magnitude more hot chicks and a much bigger party scene but it was still dirt cheap. Near the center they have a thriving party street full of packed bars and clubs and pretty promotion girls handing out cards for free drinks and bracelets for free entry to many of the clubs. We had very little time in Warsaw and did not get to visit many of the bars but from what we saw, Warsaw is clearly a city where you can make it happen for pennies on the dollar.

Overall, the most shocking revelation from the whole trip was that migrants (and indeed anybody) can fly between multiple Schengen zone countries without any ID at all. More to come soon…




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