What country had the friendliest people?

Old May 27th, 2001, 12:41 PM
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Denmark gets my vote for having the friendliest people, particularly in the countryside. I was shocked at the French who I had heard were quite nasty and snobbbish but found the opposite to be true. France would be #2 in my book as the friendliest people in Europe. I guess if your looking for mean and rude people you'll find them. Heaven knows we have enough of them in this country.AS yet I have not discovered any particular unfriendly country in the 8 European nations I have visited. Just some were nicer than others!
Old May 27th, 2001, 01:17 PM
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Hands down....the Scots!! I have never had a negative experience in Scotland. I was bowled over by the little old lady who came out of her house and offered me her husband's umbrella cause I was caught, in the rain, at the bus stop without one. When I returned the umbrella, later in the day, she invited me in for cake and tea!! On another occasion, a young man missed the last bus home to make sure I got a taxi to my B&B. The examples don't stop here. I encourage everyone who will listen to get to Scotland to find out for themselves!
Old May 27th, 2001, 04:33 PM
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Jim, I completely agree with you about the bread - it was absolutely awful! That was our second surprise/disappointment about Italy. However, all of the glorious vistas, architecture, history, wines, etc., made those little disappointments fade very quickly! Also, forgot to mention earlier - the friendliest, most polite and gracious people, not to mention the safest country I've ever been in - Japan!
Old May 27th, 2001, 04:51 PM
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Aye the Scots are a friendly lot. I and my two friends stopped at a pub on our way to St. Andrews in the cold, pouring rain. The proprieters not only insisted on making us tea and scones but built a fire in the fireplace and proceeded to introduce us to the game show that was being shown on the telly. We were loathe to leave the place to find St. Andrews!! My first trip to Paris - we had people volunteering to help us on the Metro when 2 of us embarked and the doors closed before the other 2 could exit. An elderly lady then came up to us as we were huddled over our map looking for our hotel and assisted us without asking. The list goes on but I have to agree with Al - try and learn a little of the language (our Parisian cab driver was in stitches over my mispronunciation of the street we wanted and kept making me repeat it) and friendly is as friendly does.
Old May 27th, 2001, 05:31 PM
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Old May 27th, 2001, 05:39 PM
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Last summer I was scheduled to have a 4 week exchange in South Queensferry, Scotland, just west of Edinburgh during August with an elderly couple.

At the last minute, I get an email telling me that the man had taken sick and they couldn't come. BEFORE they wrote to me, these dear people arranged to MOVE OUT of their house for 2 months to accomodate the home exchangers for August and September. You see, after I was done, they had another exchange for September.

Can you imagine? They not only moved out--and paid for another place for themselves--but rented another car for 2 months so the exchangers would not be disappointed. They explained it as using a friend's flat, etc., but I found out the truth after I arrived in Scotland.

I didn't know what to say. Of course, I would never have asked them to do this. Those folks are welcome in my house anytime.

In many trips to Europe I really have not met many unfriendly people--whether I spoke the language or didn't (it is debatable, by the way, whether I spoke the language in Scotland). I agree with all the posts that if you are polite, you get it back. But, the story with the Scottish couple just takes the cake, doesn't it?

I have wondered what I would do in their shoes. I honestly cannot say. Of course, I sent them a nice gift when I returned, but nothing can ever repay their great kindness to me in August 2000.
Old May 27th, 2001, 05:40 PM
Dr. Betty
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The Scottish people. They'll start a conversation anywhere and fill you in on casual details in their life as if they've known you the whole time.
Old May 27th, 2001, 09:10 PM
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As most of you, I have found the people very friendly where ever I've been in Europe. A couple of stories. 1. When in Venice, while waiting for the vaperatto, I was changing film in our cameras while my wife went to the fruit stand to buy some fruit for lunch. We were on a very tight budget, camping through southern Europe at the time. Logging our expenditures later in the day we discovered that we were 5000 lira short (600 to the dollar then), which was almost a days budget for us. I thought that they had ripped us off at the fruit stand, but my wife convinced me to go back there. We tried German, French and English, but she only spoke Italian. I got out the phrase book and told here that we had bought 4 peaches that morning. An enlightened look came over her face and she reached into the peach crate and pulled out a 5000 lire note(She had had to send out for change and my wife didn't count her change. The next day I gave her two packs of cigarettes as a gift. That evening, she was waiting for us and gave us 2 peaches and 2 large slices of watermelon and would not accept any payment. This went on for the 3 days that we were there.
2. I Florence, we were looking for a Laundromat (it was in august and most of them were closed). People came up to us to ask to help us. Finally we stopped at a tobacco shop where several men were having conversations on the sidewalk in front and when through our pantomime showing out dirty laundry. She spoke among them selves until one of them motioned for us to stay there while he took his scooter and took off. He came back in about 10 minutes and guided us to one that was open.
3. In Rome we went off for a day sightseeing and had left our burner and some other things out. We had a surprise rainstorm that day and when we returned our stuff was gone. Well actually not gone. Some one had placed our stuff inside our pup tent when it started raining. We had others as well but were very pleasantly surprised at the helpfulness and friendliness of the people in all areas of Italy.
Old May 27th, 2001, 11:03 PM
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I Immediately think of Mexico!

When I lived there as a kid (Mexico City ...from Michigan...) It was so awfully magical and everyone was so very gracious... invited you into their homes and hearts...

There, and in Guatemala...

Basically, the friendliest people are wherever you find them. Anywhere.
Old May 29th, 2001, 04:40 AM
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I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the Dutch. On our trip there 15 years ago, we were amazed at the friendliness and helpfulness we found everywhere. That still stands out 15 years later.
Old May 29th, 2001, 06:01 AM
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Our family was recently in Turkey and were very surprised how gracious the Turkish people were to us.This was evident whether in Istanbul or down by the Aegean coast.(Perhaps they could tell by the blonde and red hair that we were not "natives" and could use help?)
Anyway,it made the wonderful trip even better! Debbie
Old May 29th, 2001, 07:20 AM
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I know it's the wrong continent for the Europe forum, but for most friendly I have to vote Syria. It was a major surprise, but the people were incredible. And they were particularly nice when they found out we were from the U.S. We stopped by a museum in Damascus that was not supposed to open for a while. When the lady heard us talking English, she asked if we were Brits. When we said that we were US, she opened the place early for us. She insisted we photograph some of the exhibits, in spite of the no photos sign.

We had similar experiences in several other places in Syria. Museum guards giving us the brochures that were for sale (National Museum). Insisting we take photos of displays (Palmyra). Special service in the hotel bar.

And it didn't seem like they were doing that sort of thing for other tourists. The only thing that I can trace it to is that a lot of people had friends and family in the US, which seemed to overcome government propoganda.

Old May 29th, 2001, 07:27 AM
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Friendlinest by far is Ireland - most everyone even says hi as they pass you on the street.
Sweden, the most unfriendly.
Old May 29th, 2001, 05:22 PM
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I would vote for the portugueses.

But actually I think it's highly subjective and depends on a lot of factors : your own mood, your luck, your interest in the country, the age of the captain (as we say in France), etc...

For instance, my brother who went there too think that portugueses are the most unfriendly ever.
Old May 29th, 2001, 06:42 PM
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Friendliest (not in any particular order):

Germans. I've been twice and have never encountered such nasty people. Even the germans I've encountered while touring other countries were nasty and rude.
Old May 29th, 2001, 06:46 PM
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Stockholm, Paris, Helsinki , Amsterdam aDublin and Athens.
I know thse are cities but I had to name a few as people think cities are usually unfriendly.

Old May 29th, 2001, 06:48 PM
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It would probably be more accurate to ask what area or what city. Friendliest people I ever encountered were in Florence. But the rudest were a few hours away in Rome...
Old May 29th, 2001, 08:56 PM
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Here is my list experiences with people--

Friendliest - Munich, Germany

Most sincere - Alsace region of France

Crankiest - Amsterdam

Most indifferent - Florence and Venice

Most changed (improved) - Paris

Most formal - London

Neutral - Rome
Old May 30th, 2001, 12:26 AM
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I'd have to dissagree - Swedes are some of the friendliest folk around. Spent 3 New Years there, very welcoming & our Swedish friends have visited us in Scotland - fantastic people. Not so the Irish - seem to have a problem with British people.
Old May 30th, 2001, 04:30 AM
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Most hospitable: the Turks, hands down.

Least hospitable: the Italians, hands down.

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