This morning I ran across an article on Europe’s greenest cities. Based on the Siemens / Economist Green City Index, Scandinavian capitals crown the list. Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo take gold, silver, and bronze, while Helsinki fills a none-too-shabby seventh place. (Madrid ranks eleventh on the list.)

Unbeknownst to me, my spring break adventures took me on a whirlwind tour of these emerald isles. To say that Christina, my travel partner, and I took advantage of the longest break of the semester would be an understatement. We visited five countries in seven days, traveling Oslo-Copenhagen-Stockholm-Helsinki-Tallinn. (Okay, so this last one doesn’t appear on the green index. Instead, it has the special distinction of being one of the two 2011 European Capitals of Culture. More on that later.)

OPINION: Holy Week blessed us. We ate reindeer, got trapped on a party barge, spoke Spanish with a Venezuelan rapper, and more. It was a successful and enlightening adventure.

FACT: Scandinavia is expensive. 2€ for a postcard in Oslo? 4€ for a metro ride in Stockholm?  Add this to the fact that 1€ currently equals $1.48 USD, and you can see that the “green city” title has a sneaky double meaning.

Now comes the part where I tell you that the things we saw and the memories we made are priceless. They were indeed! We were grateful to have the opportunity to visit these cities, something which would have been difficult had we dreamed of traveling to Scandinavia from the states.


Taking in some green in Denmark


Possibly why Copenhagen scored well in the Transportation category…