A No1 Finnday Funday

And for the fourth year running it’s the happiest place in the world, it’s a No1 Finnday Funday.

So what do we put Finland’s joy down to… all those icy dips and saunas?

Well, yes, according to the Finns themselves who credit their love of nature.

He’s started so he’ll Finnish

Roll in it: Finland

Heli Jimenez, of Business Finland, explained: ‘We appreciate the small things in our daily lives.

‘Such as sitting quietly on a bench and staring at the empty lake after a relaxing sauna session or taking a morning dip in the sea before starting the working day.’

If you now live in the frozen north of Britain, or Scotland as it’s sometimes called, then it’s a victory for chilly places.

Cry freedom

Happiest place on earth: Paula in Orlando

The UN World Happiness Report looks at perceived freedom, honesty, welfare, good health and generosity.

And a trust in their leaders which has been reciprocated over Covid with that ‘helping to protect lives and livelihoods during the pandemic.’

Now we’re all of us ambassadors for our countries when we live abroad.

And among my most treasured possessions is the Pleasure To Work With Award that hangs proudly on my wall.

From the Travel trade from my 13 years in Ireland.

And indulge me here but I’d lavish my own praises on unofficial Finnish ambassador to Scotland, and part-time Disney character Paula Murray here.

Among the friends from around the world who I got to meet through Ireland were those who also scored highly for happiness.

Happy talking

Walking on air in Copenhagen

Ireland themselves obvs and it will come as no surprise to our Paddy Party People that they come four places higher than the UK.

The Nordic and Scandi countries and be sure to know the diff.

Denmark, Sweden and Norway are in both alongside Finland, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

The Danes and the Icelanders occupy second and third spots and Sweden and Norway seventh and eighth.

And what they lack in low drink prices which sees cruisers stay dry on on-shore excursions, they make up for in spirit.

And a smile on their faces

žCan I be trusted on a bike? In Amsterdam

Making up the rest of the top ten are the swish Swiss (4th) and the liberal Dutch (5th),

Tiny Luxembourg (6th) you can get around in a day while Israel (9th) isn’t called the Land of Milk and Honey for nothing.

While the New Zealanders (10th) will be doing the Haka in celebration at being two places above Australia.

It is though refreshing, much like the Nordic air, to see that it’s still a No1 Funday Finnday


The debate – Greenland

Maybe Donald Trump has a spare half a trillion down the back of his White House couch to buy Greenland.

But wouldn’t that just pay the interest on the $22 trillion national debt?

But amid all that incredulity that a country could just buy another country, or land, then frankly…

And the Americans only wanted New Orleans

They don’t know the history of the USA.

The 49th State, Alaska, bought from Russia for $7.2million in 1867 ($109m today) was considered a huge white elephant by many Americans.

There’s ice in Greenland

The Russians had been looking to get rid of it after running up big costs in the fruitless Crimean War and had first sounded out the British.

Who thought it a wilderness too.

It wasn’t… there was gold in them thar swamps and oil in the fields.

And before that there was the Louisiana Purchase from the French of 828,000sq miles which doubled the size of the country,

Now Louisiana was a great bit bigger than New Orleans and the bayou back in 1804.

Welcome to Denver, Colorado

It stretched from the Gulf of Mexico and swallowed up part of 15 modern-day US states.

Including Colorado where there’s still a French influence and much more besides. Read my review in Go West.

And the Louisiana Purchase even included slithers of two Canadian provinces.

Not bad value for $15m ($220m in today’s money).

And again it was a case of its owners, in this instance France, and Napoleon, needing money.

In his case to wage war with Britain.

Then there was Florida, a swamp back in 1819 for $5m ($90m). About the price of a row of houses on South Beach now.

But is there oil too in Greenland?

Now not playing Trump’s game, and we live in very different times now…

But if Greenland is a $700m a year drain of a dominion on Denmark as he says…?

Then with all his powers of persuasions in completing the deal.

It’s a deal: Aw, hell, I’ve just sold Scotland

Now there couldn’t possibly be oil there, could there?

So you want to see how you can get to Greenland…?

A cruise is probably best. Check out Or And

And if you want to know a bit more about Donald Trump’s fellow New Yorker and the original NY businessman Alexander Hamilton