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Jor Oct 11th, 2001 03:33 PM

What happened to my question- Has anyone been to Scandinavia in November?
I asked this question yesterday and really hoped to have some advice today, but I could not find my question anywhere. <BR>I have looked several times and even did a search, no luck. <BR> <BR>I would like to ask you all one more time, if anyone has been to any of the Scandinavian countries in November. <BR>We are planning on going at the end of the month. <BR>We do not know which country to go to, nor whether we are crazy to go at this time. <BR>We could also go to Ireland instead. <BR> <BR>I hoped someone would tell me what their favorite cities were and if they knew would we be over our heads in snow. <BR>I have looked a little online about the temps. and they say not much worse that NY city. Hmmm. I wonder. <BR> <BR>We are on a limited budget, will probably not spend more than 5 days in any place, and will have a toddler (this really not a problem as he has gone everywhere we have traveled with no problems). <BR> <BR>I ask because not knowing anyone that has ever been to any of these countries, I am at a loss to decide on where to go. <BR>They all look so beautiful and it is difficult to decide with the info I find online. <BR> <BR>Would someone tell me their favorite city? <BR>Also, if you know are things still open in November? <BR>Has anyone been to both Scandinavia and Ireland? Which is their favorite? <BR>Will I only find cold, wind, and rain in Ireland? <BR>Any help you travel experts can give will be much appreciated. <BR>Thanks. <BR> <BR>

Miriam Oct 11th, 2001 04:05 PM

Hello Jor, <BR> <BR>it`s too late here in Germany to answer all your questions.. <BR>If you are on a limited budget-go to Ireland, Scandinavia is extremely expensive.. Ireland never gets too cold. I was there over Christmas and it was ok, not nice weather of course, but good for sightseeing. Your budget will appreciate it, too.. <BR> <BR>More tomorrow <BR> <BR>Miriam

Jor Oct 11th, 2001 04:22 PM

Miriam: Thank you. I look forward to seeing what you have to say tomorrow. <BR>Also, I guess I need to be a little clearer. We are on a limited budget, but no so much that it will be our deciding factor on which country only on which hotels, restaurants, etc. <BR>I do appreciate knowing that it would be less expensive going to Ireland, and knowing which Scandinavian country is more expensive over the other, etc. at any rate,as when I get to making a decision I would put that on the pro side for a place (it just wouldn't be a number 1 factor). <BR>I wanted to put limited budget in my post as since I have been hanging around really enjoying this site, I noticed that many of you all are 4 and 5 star people.

Katja Oct 12th, 2001 12:45 AM

Just a quick note. Scandinavia is not anymore _extremely_ expensive as Myriam said. Norway is, but Sweden, Denmark and Finland are not that expensive. I think the order is from cheapest to most expensive: Denmark-Finland-Sweden-Norway. If I remember correctly friends of mine, who visited Ireland from Finland this summer, said that it was expensive. We thought that Rome was quite expensive compared to Helsinki. Go figure..

Jor Oct 12th, 2001 06:54 AM

If I say that we think Rome is cheap, than can I be safe in thinking we will not have to watch our money so much in the other places? Of course with the exception of Norway, as you mentioned.

kathleen Oct 12th, 2001 08:30 AM

Something to consider in either Ireland or Scandinavia is the available daylight. The sun sets early that far north, and can limit your sightseeing. <BR>And what are you looking for in your holiday? Do you want to see ancient ruins, modern museums, living history, good pubs, cross country skiing, outdoor sports? <BR> <BR>Ireland is a fantastic country, with a lot to offer. There are plenty of historic sights within easy daytrips of Dublin, but staying in the city costs more (though still way less than London). The weather in the southeast of the isle isn't too bad--it's windier & rainier in the west and north. But I'm betting that's still better than Norway at Thanksgiving!

Joe Oct 12th, 2001 11:20 AM

Jor: I will try to help since we were in Denmark, Sweden and Norway this past summer. If we are talking about a choice between Scandinavia and Ireland (we have only been to Ireland in the summer as well), I would give an edge to Ireland, but this is so subjective as to be of little value. Depends on what you like. If you could answer the questions below (essentially, what you like to do) and tell us how much time you will have, we could do a better job for you. Generally, Scandinavia is more expensive than other parts of Europe, certainly Ireland. We religeously stay in three star hotels, even an occaisional well located two star if the amenities are acceptable. For us, it isn't a matter of cost. We have found we are able to get "closer" to the Country we are visiting by doing this and our experiences after many years of travel in all parts of the world really bear this out. We tour hard, early out and late return, so luxery is not important, although we will stay at the occaisional "special place" when we hear about one. We try to see as much in a Country as we can, so, we do not Country hop (Scandinavia was the exception). We typically pick a Country and spend our available time in that Country. I offer this information so you can appreciate our bias when you read our response to your additional information. In Scandinavia, our favorite City was Bergen, Norway (and, perhaps, Visby, Sweden on the Island of Gotland). Among the big cities, we enjoyed Stockholm the most, but Copenhagen and Oslo are also delightful. We drive almost exclusively. Again, our bias. We think we see, do, experience more by driving. However, while I am guessing that November driving is fine in Denmark and Sweden (low rolling hills at worst), I would not want to be driving in the Northern parts of Norway. Driving in Ireland should be fine if you don't mind rain, some fog and wind and an occaisional bluster. <BR> <BR>If enough people respond who know November driving, I'll leave it at that. If not, I'll offer as much information as I can, once I know what you enjoy.

pat Oct 12th, 2001 11:39 AM

Dear Jor, <BR> I have not been to scandinavia in the fall but my husband and two boys were there this summer. We Loved it!! We went to denamrk, sweden and finland and people were very friendly towards children and ther was so much to see. I agree that the amount of sunlight may be a factor in your decision as we were out until 10 or 11 every evening as it does not get dark there until very late in the summer. In Denmark we visited Copenhagen which had a lot of intersting things for childrne to see. It seemed to have a nice blend of "adult and "kid" things. We went to Vejile which was not very expensive and took the bus to Legoland which was great for kids. We also took 2 trains and a ferry to Aero which is this incredibly beautiful island with cobblestone streets, thatched hut houses and great bakeries. We only used public transportation and it was very easy. Stockholm had a great outdoor museum and terrific Viking musuems. Finland was beautiful. Thousands of lakes interesting history and wonderful for families. The trip was not inexpensive but we made all of our arrangemnets on the internet after researching all of the travel books on Scandinavia. I found some very good rates, oftne cheaper than local/city rates. All of the hotels had very filling breakfasts so we only needed to eat out one or two meals a day. If you have any questions, feel free to email. We had such a wonderful time and the best memories. Good luck.

Jor Oct 12th, 2001 02:38 PM

Oh thank you, thank you, thank you, to all of you. <BR>It is nice to hear peoples opinions. <BR>Now that you have asked me to answer a few questions, you might be able to help me more. <BR>OK, I think you all have made me realize that it will rain more in Ireland than in any part of Scandinavia. <BR>I would much prefer cold, snow, and wind, over the rain with a toddler. <BR>We all have our snow suits but hate to use our rain gear. <BR>I don't really know what to say we like as we generally try to see everything we can in each place we are in, in as little time as possible. <BR>We do not do bars, or rather the night life (not with a kid). I think we do most everything else though. <BR>Aero caught my attention fully when mentioned great bakeries, cobblestone roads, and the huts houses. <BR>We like to shop, eat, see anything different from other places, see the typical sites, eat, try knew things, walk, ride, eat, shop, and be the typical tourists. <BR>Key word, eat. I have heard people mention lobster and this is enticing. <BR>I was worried about going and having to only eat fish, as I am not crazy for most types. <BR>I am a regular junk food junkie with a husband and son that eat anything and everything, but junk. <BR>As for sports, I don't think we will be doing them, unless it is one my 3 year old can do. <BR>We'd love to go swimming that I hear is so popular there in the winter. <BR>I think we will stay for no more than 4 or 5 days where ever we go, and <BR>we don't have problems driving if need be to see things. <BR>I think also, I was more worried that things would be closed in Ireland, and not in Scandinavia being they are famous for winter activities. <BR>Upon doing some research though, I see they say they don't really have snow in November. <BR>If they have rain, I am back to the beginning again between them and Ireland. <BR>Could you all tell me also, among the big cities, which was your favorite? <BR>Joe: is yours Stockholm? <BR>Pat: Copenhagen? <BR>Thanks again everyone. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR>

Mika Oct 12th, 2001 03:34 PM

I have never been to Ireland, but several times to different countries in Scandinavia. I am from Switzerland, which is not the cheapest country in Europe and found Scandinavia extremely expensive. I have been there in october and the weather was wet and cold. NOvember is an unpleasant month anywhere in Middle or Northern Europe.

Jor Oct 12th, 2001 04:27 PM

Mika: That sure is the truth, the only thing you all have cheaper than others is the gas. <BR>I also hoped to find better weather in the gulf stream than what the rest of europe has, ie:fog, rain, cold, wind. <BR> <BR>I think another important point I should tell is that we chose Scandinavia in the thinking that they are more "relaxed' than the rest of us at the moment. We are not worried about traveling in Ireland for that matter either. <BR>

ger Oct 12th, 2001 05:03 PM

Jor: <BR> <BR>In Scandanavia, I've been to both Stockholm and Helsinki in November (but very short visits) and, having been born in Ireland, well over half my life in Ireland during November (therefore, probably an unfair comparison). <BR> <BR>I think Kathleen's comment regarding daylight hours should be an important factor in your decision. Also, you are far less likely to encounter snow & ice in Ireland than you are in Scandanavia. Be prepared, however, for Ireland's damp cold and the possibility of incessant rain (but, you could also have above average temps and sunshine depending where you go). We travel back every year in Sept/Oct and have never found that the weather (good or bad) has lessened our enjoyment. <BR> <BR>On a fixed budget, I think that Ireland offers a great deal (the B&Bs are excellent and relatively cheap) and there is a wealth of extraordinary scenery in a very small island. <BR> <BR>Hire a car. Don't know how long you are there for but my recommendation would be to visit West Cork, Kerry, and Connemara. there are lots of excellent recommendations on this site for B&Bs and restuarants in these areas in addition to some very enjoyable trip reports. <BR> <BR>Enjoy your vacation. <BR> <BR>Best regards ... Ger <BR> <BR>

ger Oct 12th, 2001 05:07 PM

Just another thought ... <BR> <BR>West coast may have more rain in November. If you want to avoid rain, you might consider the East coast instead - land in Dublin, drive through Wicklow, Wexford, Kilkenny ... <BR> <BR>Basically, there are SO many options to choose ... <BR> <BR>Ger

Miriam Oct 13th, 2001 03:18 AM

Hello Jor, <BR> <BR>to specify what I meant in my earlier posting...Eating out, drinks etc. that`s very expensive in Scandinavia-and not only in Norway. I truly love Scandinavia, but I wouldn`t travel there in November. It`s cold and what do you do when it`s cold? You literally change from one cafe to another between sightseeing. No outdoor places, like parks where you can bring own food or sodas..and that is what it really makes it expensive. The daylight aspect is important, as well. <BR>I`ve been to Ireland several times over Christmas and the rain was no problem at all. It rained sometimes, but not heavy and the temperatures were ok to just wear a sweater. <BR>If you however want to go to Scandinavia I would suggest Copenhagen and a tour around Juetland (Ebeltoft, Aarhus etc.) If you need more information about that just drop me a line... <BR> <BR>Kind regards <BR> <BR>Miriam

Jor Oct 13th, 2001 02:34 PM

Thanks again all. <BR>Wish I could say you all have helped me narrow it down to one or two places, but can't. <BR>Also, the two posts on the board about Iceland are so incredible. <BR>As much as I really intended to go to Scandinavia and not Ireland, now I am in the middle of the road. <BR>I guess I can definetly say we will pass on Iceland for now (to far to fly) and maybe pass on Norway. <BR>I haven't heard much about Finland either, so still unsure of Denmark and Sweden and now of course Ireland. <BR> <BR>

Bjorn Alvik Oct 15th, 2001 01:28 AM

Hi, Jor <BR>I'm Norwegian, living in Oslo. <BR>If you asked me when to visit Norway, I suppose my answer would be: "Anytime except for November". That month by far is the darkest month of the year, and also a wet one. December of course has even less day-light, but November comes with more lightshading clouds and with rain and very little snow, meaning that in November you cannot even make a profit on the snow reflection. <BR>When that is said, and if Scandinavia still is tempting, I really would not turn Norvay down in favor of Denmark/Sweden. Oslo and Stockholm has the same amount of daylight, Copenhagen may be 1-2 hours more. <BR>At its lowest, Oslo sun will rise at 9:15 and set around 3. Late Nov I guess it is 8:30/8:45-15:30/15:45. Any way short. And that is a main point for staying outdoor. The shorter the day, the more you will experience the changing of the light. It can be terrific, especially when you seek scenic places. And scenic places you'll find in Norway, not in Denmark and Sweden. If sun gets thru you will experince very special colors of yellow and red. <BR>What about a Oslo-Bergen roundtrip? Either direct over the montain, or with a detour from Finse down to Sogne Fjord? With slouds, mist and light rain it can be really mysterious and beautiful. The detour is by train, boat and bus, and you'll catch the main rail at Voss. From there a short ride to Bergen, where you can stay at Skansen Pension, a highly recommended and budget accomodation, for a day or two when you explore Bergen. Rain in Bergen is the most normal, and November does not come with more rain than the rest of the year. <BR>You'll be fine..... <BR>Bjorn, Oslo

Jor Oct 15th, 2001 08:54 AM

Thank you Bjorn. Your details help a lot. <BR>Really hate knowing that November its the worst time to come, but am glad for the honesty. <BR>Also, if the hours of daylight are really from around 8:30- 3:30, then that is not as bad as I expected. <BR>With a toddler we don't usually get out before that hour in the morning, but we would really have to be on our toes to see what we want to see with the evening starting before 4. I guess we would just have to save all our shopping and indoors activities for the evenings. <BR>I am still following all the posts here on the board for all of Scandinavia and Ireland and hoping to come to some sort of smaller conclusion soon. <BR>I must admit, I have not had a lot of time to do much reseach on my own at the moment, I am trying to organize Halloween for the children of the city in which I live. <BR>I do so much appreciate everyones notes, and am paying close attention to what you all have to say. <BR>Thank you all again.

Sile Oct 17th, 2001 01:42 PM

Hello there. I'm Irish, living in Ireland (practically) all my life. But I'm off to Finland on Friday - hurrah! <BR> <BR>Just for a short visit and am looking forward to it immensely! I will report back to you on what it was like and especially the weather. <BR> <BR>That is what I am going to write about - the weather. It is miserably rainy in County Clare today - but is was lovely in Dublin (a couple of hours drive away). Last weekend was beautiful - but September had a lot of rain (and usually September is good). Most people say that the weather over the Summer was mixed. But my friends in West Cork said they had a fantastic Summer and the weather was great! Last December I travelled to the Aran Islands off the West Coast of Ireland - and we were walking around in T-shirts and Jeans......SO....... <BR> <BR>It really depends on luck! The weather is Ireland is - as changeable as the weather!. So it might be one way or the other. <BR> <BR>My feeling would be - don't base it on the weather - see what you would like to do and experience. I'm sure you would love both Ireland and whereever in Scandanavia so maybe just postpone one for now. Maybe it would be easier to decide which one to postpone - than which one to go to! <BR> <BR>however - I usually end up tossing a coin. (and it hasn't failed me yet!) <BR> <BR>Enjoy!

Elina Oct 18th, 2001 03:42 AM

Hi, Jor! OK, I am from Finland, and I must say the same some Norwegian already said here: Any other time here is better than November. In southern parts snow usually doesn´t come before Christmas (global warming??), and that makes everything DARK. In October there are still red/yellow leaves in trees, but by November they will be gone. And it may rain, or be sloshy. Summer is by far the best time to come. Same applies to all the Scandinavian countries. Or February, which often is very beautiful: deep snow + bright sunshine. <BR> <BR>In November it is not any colder than in Ireland (in southern Finland, I mean), but it can easily be just as rainy. Just like in all of northern & central Europe. If I chose to go on a vacation in Europe in November, I would go as far south as I could. OR as far NORTH as I could. In Finland, Sweden or Norway I would head above the Arctic Circle (Lapland). There should be snow by November (first snow to Finnish Lapland came 2 weeks ago, but now it has melted away), so you could go reindeer or dog sledging, skiing, and also try ice swimming. <BR> <BR>About the expenses, the order of Scandinavian countries is now (from cheapest to most expensive) Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway. Prizes in Finland are just about the same as in France, and Sweden is becoming affordable because their currency is weakening. <BR> <BR>Summer would be such a great time here with children. You could rent a log cottage by a lake, and live in the middle of clean nature. Swim, fish, take a sweet wood heated sauna baths, eat berries staright from forests, see animals etc. <BR> <BR>I understand I am not encouraging you to come, but I am just hoping you will get a good holiday. I myself am escaping the end of November, and go to catch some sunshine in Cuba ;-). <BR> <BR>I have been to Ireland twice: once in April/May (great time to visit!), and once in October (rained all the time, but fireplaces were great).

Jor Oct 18th, 2001 11:53 AM

Thank you Sile and Elina. <BR>Hearing about all the rain, is sad . <BR> <BR>I really wanted to go north for a few days, but my other half now wants to go south as suggested here. <BR> <BR>Maldive or Mauritius. <BR>All is not said and done, but we will see. <BR>Thanks again.

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