What’s not to like? Saunas, the Northern Lights, Moomins, Angry Birds, friendly people, Lapland, reindeers and Father Christmas (if you believe?).
And don’t forget heavy metal bands. A Finnish friend sent me a Nightwish CD swearing it was the national music of Finland. (Read more about them and hear them here).
The fact that it’s dark for half the year in the North and Summers are short doesn’t seem to bother the hardy Finns that much.
I’ve visited a couple of times to Helsinki and Espoo and apart from the difficulty in buying alcohol it seems a wonderful place. I’ve also flown to Lithuania via Helsinki on a number of occasions and it never closes (well once it did),and the airline crews are really helpful.
Finnair is my favourite airline – even though you don’t get free Lapin Kulta beer in economy anymore – and Helsinki is probably my favourite airport. Did I mention that the reindeer stew is very tasty too? And those liquorice and caramel toffees? And my Finnish felt boots I bought in Lithuania are perfect for this cold weather.
So congratulations on topping the list of 156 countries surveyed for the annual UN report. As usual the Scandinavians all feature in the top ten (along with several other countries that enjoy snow – is that significant?). In fact the same countries appeared in last year’s top ten but in a different order.
I described the methodology in last year’s blog on this topic here.
- Norway (in top spot last year)
- New Zealand
War-Torn countries and sub-Saharan Africa feature at the bottom of the table.
How did the UK do? We came in at 19th place, the same as last year, and the US dropped to 18th from 14th.