The Eurobonus Forum Kafé

Old Mar 9, 06, 10:28 am
  #31  
Moderator: Hilton Honors forums
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Marietta, Georgia, United States
Posts: 24,599
I learn something new every day.

Thanks to everybody for the clarifications.

Regardless, I still would like to visit all of the Scandinavian and Nordic countries...
Canarsie is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 11:53 am
  #32  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Yiron, Israel
Programs: Bates Motel Plat
Posts: 63,141
Originally Posted by Canarsie

Regardless, I still would like to visit all of the Scandinavian and Nordic countries...
So would I, but I don't know if my UIG (Used Italian Girlfriend) would be overly thrilled about my returning to Sweden.

Her predecessor (actually her predecessor's predecessor) was my USN. No, that does not stand for "United States Navy" but "Unbelievable Swedish Nurse". She lived in Tumba, a suburb of Stockholm, and we spent two weeks together in Israel and then one week in Tumba.

During that time, I discovered the following facts about Sweden:

1. If you rent a car, there are two things you can not afford to do with it -- drive it or not drive it. Gasoline prices are sky high and there is absolutely no place you can park it without paying.

2. When you walk into a store and the owner says "Moron" he is not insulting you -- he is simply wishing you a good morning. On the other hand, when you seem surprised that he is demanding a higher price than anywhere else in Europe, he will repeat "Moron" -- but this time using it in its English sense.

3. The national sport in Sweden is not hockey (even though my USN's son-in-law played for Södertälje). Instead, it is smuggling. When you take the ferry from Denmark into Sweden, you can see people filling up their car trunks with booze and cigarettes from the Duty Free Shop on board and then covering it all with blankets. For some reason, Swedish Customs never thinks to look under those blankets. (Note: This was a number of years ago. I don't know if those Duty Free shops still exist.)

4. It is a very long drive from where the ferry leaves you off (in Helsingborg) to Tumba, but if you arrive in the middle of the night, as I did, the roads are empty and you can really fly up E4. When I got there, however, my USN was shocked by the speed in which I made the trip and told me that had I been stopped by the traffic police my fine would have exceeded the cost of my r/t flight from Tel Aviv.

In short, Sweden is a wonderful country but nobody can afford to be there.
Dovster is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 12:45 pm
  #33  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 91,218
Dovster, you have to get to Norway. It makes Sweden look like a pauper's paradise, for things from drinking to driving -- not to be combined unless it's non-alcoholic and you wish to do a study in non-IKEAized areas -- namely, bathrooms.

Norwegians do drink runs to Sweden.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 1:17 pm
  #34  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Travelling the skies over Europe
Programs: Lufthansa Senator, Hilton Diamond VIP, Marriott Gold Elite, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 1,819
Bjornstrom; this is a great idea. Suddently all the Americans have arrived to insult us and our countries. (With the exception of Swedish girls...)

Can somebody please go over to the woman traveller forum and attract someone that can say positive things about the rest of us?!?!
larsll is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 2:02 pm
  #35  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Programs: SK*G, PC Plat Amb, Hertz #1 Gold
Posts: 1,874
Originally Posted by Dovster
...If you rent a car, there are two things you can not afford to do with it -- drive it or not drive it. Gasoline prices are sky high and there is absolutely no place you can park it without paying.

...In short, Sweden is a wonderful country but nobody can afford to be there.
Haha, you have found the soul of Sweden in such a short time!!

On top of no parking and gas prices we also have a new thing called "trängselskatter" or congestion fee which runs to $8 per day in Stockholm and you get billed automagically. If you forget to pay within 3 days you get a additional fee of $80 per day so it pays to pay!

About that smuggling its so typical of our alcohol policy - prices are high and you are not allowed to shop anywhere except the designated stores. Instead people are buying hundreds of bottles of beer & wine and end up drinking even more (the "I have 40 cases of beer so lets drink everyday syndrome").
Bjornstrom is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 2:04 pm
  #36  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Programs: SK*G, PC Plat Amb, Hertz #1 Gold
Posts: 1,874
Originally Posted by GUWonder
Dovster, you have to get to Norway. It makes Sweden look like a pauper's paradise, for things from drinking to driving -- not to be combined unless it's non-alcoholic and you wish to do a study in non-IKEAized areas -- namely, bathrooms.

Norwegians do drink runs to Sweden.
LOL - Norway is the worst. WE make jokes about the prices over there which says a lot. $20 for a 6-pack of alcohol-limited beer is pretty steep
Bjornstrom is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 2:15 pm
  #37  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 91,218
Parking is cheaper in Stockholm than what I pay in NYC. And I find free parking in and around Stockholm. Or at least I don't pay for it.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 2:23 pm
  #38  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 91,218
Originally Posted by larsll
Bjornstrom; this is a great idea. Suddently all the Americans have arrived to insult us and our countries. (With the exception of Swedish girls...)

Can somebody please go over to the woman traveller forum and attract someone that can say positive things about the rest of us?!?!
Well, I'm not a regular from the Women Travelers forum, but I am an American that has one good thing -- at least -- to say about Scandinavian/Nordic guys. Scandinavian/Nordic guys don't (yet) routinely tuck their jeans into tight high boots. That's a good thing, because that would not make for a pretty sight.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 2:25 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 2,286
Originally Posted by Bjornstrom
LOL - Norway is the worst. WE make jokes about the prices over there which says a lot. $20 for a 6-pack of alcohol-limited beer is pretty steep
Last August I was in Oslo with my wife and didn´t even dream about having a beer as I knew it would be expensive. But is it really that expensive? Here in Finland you can have a 12-pack of beer for like 7-10€ and that includes 1,2€ for the bottles, which you get back if you return them to the store. That´s more than ok, by most standards and nowadays not many people bother bringing beer from Estonia anymore. Even cheap vodka can be had for less than 20€/liter.

So, Finns are not that much into smuggling alcohol anymore, but many people I know stock up on snus (swedish chewing tobacco?) which is not allowed to be sold in the EU, except in Sweden. But if you buy it in Sweden you can bring as much as you like with you. There are several kiosks in Helsinki that sell it under the table. It´s especially popular amongst youngster that are into sports.
Helsinki Flyer is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 2:30 pm
  #40  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: In the skies of the world
Programs: SAS Gold, FB Gold, BA Gold, EY Silver
Posts: 3,167
Originally Posted by Dovster
3. The national sport in Sweden is not hockey (even though my USN's son-in-law played for Södertälje). Instead, it is smuggling. When you take the ferry from Denmark into Sweden, you can see people filling up their car trunks with booze and cigarettes from the Duty Free Shop on board and then covering it all with blankets. For some reason, Swedish Customs never thinks to look under those blankets. (Note: This was a number of years ago. I don't know if those Duty Free shops still exist.)
What a fabulous reflection of Sweden!!
Thorougly enjoyed it, although there are more expensive countries in Europe, Norway being one, UK another.

That thing about alcohol is so true!!
But nowadays you can import (legally) pretty much as much alcohol as you want from another EU country (like Denmark) as long as you can prove it's for personal consumption.
Duty Free is gone though but people still make that 20 min journey across the strait to buy cheap alcohol in Helsingør, the sellers usually stand on the docks so people don't have to carry the alcohol very long back to the ferry...

However back in the days when alcohol import was limited, the customs at ARN could probably have made a good profit stopping holidaymakers with heavy suitcases returning back to Sweden.
Many people have nervously passed that corridor at the airport with excessive amonts of strong liquids in the luggage, the customs is usually undermanned anyway..
Yeah it's kind of sad, but because of the heavy taxes it is usually worth the effort.
jacob_m is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 2:32 pm
  #41  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 91,218
Originally Posted by Helsinki Flyer
So, Finns are not that much into smuggling alcohol anymore, but many people I know stock up on snus (swedish chewing tobacco?) which is not allowed to be sold in the EU, except in Sweden. But if you buy it in Sweden you can bring as much as you like with you. There are several kiosks in Helsinki that sell it under the table. It´s especially popular amongst youngster that are into sports.
Snus is gaining in popularity in Sweden too. I see younger and younger people using the stuff and far more frequently than even a few years ago.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 2:34 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: EWR/LHR
Programs: CO Plat, UA 1P, SK *G, HH Gold
Posts: 87
Originally Posted by Bjornstrom
LOL - Norway is the worst. WE make jokes about the prices over there which says a lot. $20 for a 6-pack of alcohol-limited beer is pretty steep
You're right, Norwegians head to Sweden for cheap(er) booze. I won't say we're cheap, but careful with all our oilmoney...And on our trips we make(friendly) jokes about all the Swedish people working in our bars, serving us drinks...skål!
tbogart is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 2:34 pm
  #43  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 91,218
Originally Posted by jacob_m
That thing about alcohol is so true!!
But nowadays you can import (legally) pretty much as much alcohol as you want from another EU country (like Denmark) as long as you can prove it's for personal consumption.
Duty Free is gone though but people still make that 20 min journey across the strait to buy cheap alcohol in Helsingør, the sellers usually stand on the docks so people don't have to carry the alcohol very long back to the ferry...
Going from Trelleborg to Rugen/Sassnitz in Germany on that blasted ferry is still popular.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 4:53 pm
  #44  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: HEL
Programs: TK Gold
Posts: 4,222
Originally Posted by GUWonder
Going from Trelleborg to Rugen/Sassnitz in Germany on that blasted ferry is still popular.
I remember in high school before we were legally allowed to import alcohol we used to have a lot of tricks how to get the drinks in to Sweden. The one I used that never failed was to dress nicely, grab and flash a NY Times or similair off a bench, and walk together with an innocent looking group as if I were with them. Those were the days.
Gnopps is offline  
Old Mar 9, 06, 4:56 pm
  #45  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: TYO
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 6,831
Duty free booze was never sold between DK and Sweden on the ferries in my lifetime memory, which dates back to the 1970s. However, you were allowed to buy ONE pack of cigarettes, so it became a hobby for pensioners to sit and travel back and forth all day collecting a pack on every crossing. There was also duty free chocolate, which appealed to Danes who have/had some sort of tax on chocolate. You name it and they will tax it.

I guess the reason was that the ferries never hit international waters between SE and DK, so the governments could regulate things. The ferries from Germany was another matter. I have memories of my dad filling shoping baskets with gin bottles. You could also buy cheap booze in Germany for a pittance.

Finland to Sweden ferries had duty free but it was quite expensive because it was priced relative to two high price markets. Now the loophole is that you can buy duty free to Åland, which has increased the attractiveness of this shorter trip.

I gather that Finland dramtically lowered taxes on booze. ^

I also noticed that the Swedes changed the taxation to a flat tax relative to the alcohol content rather than a % of wholesale some years ago. Therefore, the price of expensive booze became marginally cheaper in S than DK. This was true in the late 1990s. I think the Danes have lowered taxes on booze.

The Swedes are fighting tooth and nail against any EU booze tax harmonization. The government is addicted to its tax revenue and there is a strong prohibitionist lobby that is influential within the socialist ranks.
gnaget is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: