If you don’t feel like you belong in the mainstream, you will feel right at home in Helsinki – especially when you know where to go. The capital of Finland has always had plenty of room for the underground – be it the punk or student activist movement, minority rights groups, or just people who don’t feel like they...

If you are visiting the north side of the country of Iceland and want to do some exploring then Eyjafjardardalur is a place you should definitely have a look at. Last weekend I visited Akureyri, which is located on the north side of the country, around 380 KM from the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, with my family. We...

In the brief few days before the summer tourist season officially begins, the port town of Hanko on Finland’s south coast, three hours by train from Helsinki, is just as quiet as it is in winter. A population of a little over nine thousand goes a long way to ensuring that all is sleepy and still; certainly, it is...

It’s a bright Saturday morning in Stockholm and the sound of squealing children radiates through the air like the summer sun. You don’t need to be a parent to know that a squeal is far different from a scream, and it is sheer delight and excitement that spills from the mouths of these youngsters who are lucky enough...

If you haven’t heard of Trapped, (or Ófærð in Icelandic) then don’t worry: it’s more than likely on its way to you already. The new Icelandic crime series has screened on the BBC, in France and distribution rights have now been sold to the US. Yep, it seems like our hunger for The Killing is far from...

Davíð Rafn Kristjánsson was never one for writing. It took a move to another continent, on the other side of the world for the 34-year-old to start expressing his thoughts and ideas through the written word. The result is Burning Karma (Wild Pressed Books), which tells the story of Böddi, who wakes up in a hospital...

Don’t even try to keep up with the dizzying speed at which Helsinki is transforming itself. Love or hate the seismic shift in identity and appearance, it is undeniable that wherever you go, the Finnish capital is getting a fundamental facelift. Adhering to the old adage that change is always fashionably late, it often...

You might know Van Badham as a writer from The Guardian, or maybe you’ve seen one of her numerous plays performed around the world. Failing that, you may also remember her as the woman responsible for that eye roll when she went head to head with a former politician who really doesn’t deserve to be named here. As for...

Back in 1996, when I was a child growing up in rural New South Wales, an alien from outer-space came crashing down on earth and her name was Bjork. Like a lot of people, my friend and I quickly became fixated by her single, ‘It’s oh-so Quiet’, maybe because we developed good taste in music at any early age, but...

Sunshine in Bergen is not something to be taken lightly. As any Scandinavian knows, the winters have a stranglehold on the lives of those in the north, which is softened only in some parts by the beauty that is the aurora borealis (northern lights). And, as any Scandinavian knows, summer does not always mean a...