is one of those places where the women
are anything but hefty and ballast worthy. The Dutch, Swedish, Norweign and Danish folks are typically tall, slim, handsome and healthy. They've got a few things figured out...
Short seastory: we were sailing across the channel between Denmark
to Helsingborg, covered in 3 layers of fleece in early summer, and we noticed a small Danish sailboat was busily powering towards us on an intersecting course. They had seen our U.S. flag and we're just curious. They drew up alongside and we shouted greetings to one another. I marveled at their appearance: she had nothing but a bikini on (he had a long-sleeved T-shirt) and had been sunbathing in the cockpit
behind the dodger
. (Sure, it was sunny...but it couldn't have been more than 55F). I shouted something about us being very impressed with her, only having a bikini while we had many clothes, at which point she stood up on one of the cockpit
seats, took a bodybuilder's pose with fists up and biceps flexed, and shouted back: "Yes, but we are VIKINGS!"
We all had a good chuckle over that incident, but there's much truth in her statement. The national identity of many N European cultures includes being pretty tough and adventure-prone. Shoot, in The Netherlands
where everyone is pretty thrifty, the Docs and Dentists that do minor surgeries and teeth repair
do NOT include anethesia as part of their normal treatment; it is at an additional cost and the patient is asked if they want it. (Good friends who are British but live/work in Amsterdam
warned us about this). The normal Dutch logic is something like "the pain is momentary, but I lose the geld forever." I kid you not, these folks ARE Vikings.