Vyvland Travel Guide
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
|Language||Vyvlander, Helish, Geadish, Namorese|
|Religion|| Irreligion (~50%)|
Christianity (46%) (Lutheranism (19%), Methodism (14%), Catholicism (10%))
|Electricity||220 V, 50 Hz (K)|
Vyvland is an island country located in Northwestern Esquarium. It is a developed country with a long history; the country has a wealth of historical sites from ever since the medieval era. The country's national language is Vyvlander, although the majority of Vyvlanders can also speak English. The country is well-known for its extensive countryside, friendly atmosphere, and cultured yet compact cities. Vyvland has an oceanic climate, with mild temperatures year-round in most areas. The country is an established tourist destination, with easy access from near and far alike.
The first records of inhabitance of Vyvland were around 400 AD, although humans had set foot on the island before that. Initially, the country started out as a bunch of warring petty kingdoms, but a few centuries of settlement caused some unity between these, with a primitive assembly held in Pegerms. However, the eruption of the Fijral Volcano in 1037 resulted in a total destruction of the city and culture that went with it.
With no effective means of communication, the various kingdoms fought one another for centuries, until the gradual hegemony of Stanmer in the mid-1300s unified the entirety of Vyvland under one ruler for the first time. Despite immigration from elsewhere, the Vyvlander monarchy descended from King Eylav, the first national ruler, held up until the 1930s, through industrialisation and massive technological developments. The monarchy gradually began to introduce democratic reforms during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
However, the Vyvlander Civil War from 1932 to 1935 led to the partition of the country into North and South, with the South under the control of the Nationalist Movement, chaired by Amiral Jeusev Jueves and later Erman Sanker. The regime is known for brutally expelling the Swedes from Vyvland in the 1940s. The North, however, remained under the control of the monarchy. Constitutional reforms following unrest in Lyksdal in 1968 reduced the monarchy's power to that of a ceremonial monarchy.
The two nations reunified in 1983 after the assassination of Sanker. Although an economic gap remained between North and South, much effort has been put into rectifying this. Post-reunification governments have been generally stable and helped to introduce major reforms, most notably those under Abram Zymeker.
Climate and geography
Vyvland's topography is very varied, ranging from the Slic Mountains, the peaks of which reach well over 2000 metres, to extensive plains in Stanmer and in a central belt across the country. Nowhere is this difference more pronounced than in Lyksdal, which lies at the base of the Western Slic Ridge, which rises eight hundred metres above the city. The contrast in landscapes creates an enticing range of activities on offer, from skiing in the internationally-renowned Kreuveld ski region or off-piste in northern Deg to cycling on the extensive trails in Pegerm and Wel.
Vyvland's climate, however, is much less varied. Due to its position, almost all the island enjoys an oceanic climate, although the eastern Slic and northern Deg are often significantly colder. Nowhere in Vyvland experiences large temperature variations from winter to summer - average temperatures in winter (December to February) range from -5 to 10 degrees centigrade, with 20 to 30 degrees being the norm for the summer (June to August). This mild climate helps Vyvland's agricultural sector and keeps the countryside verdant, although the year-round rain may hinder some holiday plans. Lyksdal and the Stanmer and Bajre coasts are particularly known for their rain due to their geographical positions.
Vyvland possesses a generally Germanic culture, although centuries of relative isolation have helped this to develop into something distinctive and unique. Vyvlander culture is rooted deeply in a sense of geographical identity and community known as lelsdadnes.
Vyvlander culture is tolerant of others and relatively progressive; there is significant anti-discrimination legislation, and high standards of civil liberties for ethnic minorities, gay people, and women. Religion plays a relatively minor role in the average Vyvlander's life, although there is a significant difference between the more irreligious former South and more religious North. Generally, larger cities tend to be more ethnically and culturally diverse, more tolerant of minorities, and less conservative. Recent years have seen anti-immigrant sentiment on the increase, although this is extremely unlikely to be specifically targeted at individual visitors.
Vyvland's government has been relatively stable since reunification in 1983. The unicameral Parliament wields ultimate lawmaking power and has been dominated by four parties since its foundation; the Socialist Party, a social democratic party, the Liberal Party, a centrist to centre-left liberal party, the Conservative Party, a centre-right christian democratic party, and the National Party, a right-wing populist party. Voting to Parliament us done proportionally by province, with half the members coming from a geographical constituency. The Prime Minister (since 2013, Kurt Blymont of the Conservatives) is the leader of the largest coalition in government, while the President (currently the Liberal Robert Ujson) is directly elected, usually every four years. Of these two, the Prime Minister holds the most political power, with the President being more of a figurehead.
Elections in Vyvland also take place on two or three local levels, depending on the location. The highest tier is formed by the seventeen Provincial Diets, which have lawmaking power in addition to extensive control of public services. The six independent cities of Vlud, Lyksdal, Mafiy, Jesel, Strossen and Lorence are semi-autonomous from their provinces. The equivalent level of government elsewhere is the municipality, which have significantly lesser powers than independent cities. Rural municipalities are also divided into parishes in some areas, which may elect a parish council. All Vyvlander permanent residents are able to vote in all four types of election.
See also: Christmas in Vyvland
- The biggest celebration by far in Vyvland is traditionally at Christmas (Jul or Krestnakt), which is celebrated throughout the country, often communally in small towns or villages, with large meals eaten out on major streets and town squares. Christmas is also a time for family celebration in addition to tourism, often to northerly parts of the country or foreign destinations - expect heavy crowds at Christmas. All non-essential services are legally obliged to shut on Christmas Day. It is customary for many employers to also shut from the 21st December (Kortesdedeg or Shortest Day) until the 26th, encompassing Christmas, the Winter Solstice and Feast Day on the 23rd December.
- Reunification Day (Mefkumengdeg) on the 23rd June celebrates the reunification of North and South Vyvland in 1983. Reunification day is characterised by celebrations across the country coinciding with one of the longest days of the year. The occasion often involves by fireworks and long all-night parties.
- New Year's Day (Niyjurdeg) is also a public holiday in addition to New Year's Eve (Synt-Silvesjre or Niyjuraven), and is celebrated similarly to in many Western countries.
- Volcano Night (Veurelnaakt or Volkannaakt) on the 5th August is an ancient day of remembrance for the eruption of the Fijral Volcano in 1037. It is celebrated by candlelit processions and bonfires, symbolising the destruction of the city of Pegerms, where a massive Volcano Night celebration continues to this day.
The other national holidays are Labour Day on the 1st May, Christmas Eve and Boxing Day (known as Tyf (2f.) Krestnakt, meaning Second Christmas) on the 24th and 26th December, Easter Sunday and Good Friday, Epiphany on the 6th January, and St. Lucy's Day on 19th July. Many of these days will be moved to the following Monday if they fall on a Sunday, or the preceding Friday if they fall on a Saturday.
| Vlud and around |
Vlud, the largest city in Vyvland, and its surrounding area, including sights such as Vecanbek Palace, Goydmurt, and the Niklaskatejral.
| Stanmer and Bajre |
The two provinces of Bajre, a chalky and hilly predominantly rural area, and Stanmer, whose capital is Lyksdal, Vyvland's second city. Sights include the Bajre Cliffs, Lyksdal's city centre, and Rycdayn.
| Eastern Vyvland |
The sparsely populated eastern provinces (Wik, Brudon and Helland), including the historic city of Mafiy.
| Southern Vyvland |
The warmest part of Vyvland, both meteorologically and culturally. Major cities include Jesel and Wel.
| Central Plains |
Plains dominated by the Fijral Volcano, and including historic cities such as Pegerms and the capital, Lorence.
| Western Vyvland |
The culturally distinctive western proinces of Kafren-Grunir, Kros and Nevel. Includes the extinct volcanoes at Kafren and Melers.
| Mountainous North |
Breathtaking scenery in a cooler, hillier area punctuated by Vyvland's highest mountains, the Slic range.
- Heersduik — The largest city of the Helish-speaking East province, with a charming Dutch-style old town centre.
- Jesel — The largest city in the south of Vyvland, Jesel is a vibrant city with a large alternative scene and historic churches.
- Lorence — The capital city, on the side of the Fijral Volcano, well-known for its castle and eye-catching nationalist architecture.
- Lyksdal — A post-industrial vibrant city, with a big cultural scene.
- Mafiy — A historic town gone large - a quaint medieval core with the mind of a big city.
- Pegerms — A popular town known best for its excavated ancient town drowned by lava a thousand years ago.
- Stiven — A handsome town situated around a gorgeous bay.
- Strossen — The hottest city in Vyvland, with a beachy atmosphere.
- Vlud — A proud international city with something for everyone.
- Wel — A city nestled in the mountains.
Be wary of extensive searches upon entry into Vyvland; these are mostly carried out to prevent travellers from taking invasive foreign plant species into the country.
Immigration and visas
Vyvland operates a three-category entry system. These categories are:
- Free travel permit (Vrivurpermet) - eligible to citizens of Esquarian Community nations, Comwald and Magane. The free travel permit allows for passage to and from Vyvland freely, with the exception of invasive flora checks, for an indefinite period of time. After three months in Vyvland, these citizens can qualify for permanent residency status provided they have no serious criminal record.
- Visa-on-arrival (Engangvisa) - eligible to citizens of Arkiasis, Everia, Fjalland, Katranjiev, Kofeiya, Luziyca, Masseau, Namor, Nevanmaa, Nordlund, Odissia, Scotia, Versant Plateaus, and Vjaarland. This allows for a short visa form to be filled out upon arrival in Vyvland, sometimes for a minimal fee. The period of time one can stay in Vyvland varies from nation to nation, from two weeks (Bulundia and Demphor) to six months (Luziyca and Nevanmaa).
- Pre-travel visa (Vorvurvisa) - citizens of these countries must apply for a visa before travel to Vyvland, either at a consulate or embassy or online (in some countries only). This includes all non-aforementioned countries, including Arnborg (including its quasi-independent hemlands), East Chorea, Koyro, Nautarya, Unolia and Ziegenhain although negotiations are underway to modify Unolia to visa-on-arrival.
Vyvland has two major airports; Wesge, mid-way between Vlud and Mafiy, and Stanmer-Lyksdal, to the south of Lyksdal. Both serve numerous international destinations, with frequent flights. Both airports are also well-connected to the national motorway and rail networks - Vyvlubaan, the national train operator, operates quick Mafiy-Wesge-Vlud shuttle trains. While most major airlines and flag carriers will serve these destinations, many budget airlines will instead serve Vlud-Wesjren, which is smaller and les convenient to reach from Vlud, although the lower prices may compensate for this depending on one's financial situation. Other regional airports include Olsence near Jesel, Vef near Strossen, Wel and Pegerms, near Lorence. Often, these airports will only serve international flights to major airports in nearby countries, such as Nevanlinna and Kaarela in Nevanmaa, Bondhaven in Geadland, Namo and Vetpei in Namor, and Bethlehem in Luziyca. Be warned, however, that flying into Vyvland may be more expensive than expected due to airport and emissions taxes on aeroplanes. Regardless, air travel is by far the quickest and easiest way to get to Vyvland.
Until the twentieth century, a boat trip was the only way to get to Vyvland. Although boat travel struggled under Vyvlander partition due to hostility between the South and the continent, it has picked up in recent years, and multiple ferry routes traverse the seas to other countries. Although routes change often, many ferry routes are consistent; the most consistently popular are those to Arje in Geadland, while ferries to Namor are ever-growing in use. Major ferry companies include Vyverie and L&A Veries on many routes, Seal Line and Marielink to Nevanmaa and Hsipeishan Company to Namor. Journeys are often relatively cheap, especially if one is prepared to use one of the many ferries which cater primarily for goods transport; prices can start from as low as µ35 (~$100; ~£70). Ferries take approximately fourteen hours to Geadland and Namor, thirty hours to Unolia, and two to three days to Nevanmaa. The main routes include:
- To Lishag
- To Lyborg or Temsvaal
- To Morn
- To Heersduik
- To Pee
Having one's own set of wheels is by no means necessary; Vyvlanders, especially in urban areas, have a relatively low access to cars compared with the rest of the developed world. However, for more extensive or rural travel, a car will come in handy. The roads in Vyvland are of an adequate standard, but capacity in many areas is poor due to low funding. Roads do, however, provide good access to out-of-the-way destinations, with almost every settlement being accessible by paved roads. Distances on the Vyvlander road network are measured in kilometres, while speeds are measured in kilometres per hour. Traffic in Vyvland drives on the left.
Vyvlubaan, the national rail company, operates an extensive system of railways which run throughout Vyvland, connecting the country's major cities quickly and easily. Rail is very well-used by Vyvlanders, and as such the infrastructure is generally of a good standard. Trains come in four classes:
- Sdadbaan (SB, city railway), which operates trains into and out of major cities, designed for commuters. These trains use a combination of purpose-built SB lines and general-purpose rail lines, which will often contain separate SB platforms.
- Nazonalbaan (national railway), which operates long-distance national trains on major routes which stop at major cities and towns only. These trains travel at high speed, often on parallel tracks to those used for other services. All Nazonalbaan services are electrified.
- Laanbaan (provincial railway), which operates medium- and long-distance services which stop at well-used stations only.
- Lokalbaan (local railway), which operates short-distance stopping services, especially in rural areas.
A few destinations, including popular tourist resorts such as Sangerstraand and Kreuveld, are only accessible via privately-operated rail lines.
In major cities, other metro, tram or light rail systems often operate in addition to mainline trains. Vlud, Lyksdal, Mafiy, Jesel, Lorence and Strossen all have metro systems (with Strossen and Jesel's being integrate with commuter networks), while many other cities operate trams or light rail.
By bus or coach
Bus services are operated under provincial or municipal control, and as such are sometimes patchy. However, all towns and most sizeable villages can be reached by bus; bear in mind that similarly to private vehicles and taxis, buses are susceptible to long delays. This problem does not usually affect rural areas, where buses will come in handiest for travellers. Long-distance coaches are relatively cheap, although generally slower than train travel. They tend to be more popular in areas poorly-served by the rail system, to and from which they offer handy connections.
Travelling by taxi is only feasible or cost-effective in major cities and to and from airports. While in major cities, taxis will often wait outside the busier hotels, tourist attractions and stations, it is usually required to phone for taxis in other areas. Taxis are strictly licensed; licences should be displayed clearly on the passenger door and front of the taxi. If they are not, do not use the taxi.
Almost all Vyvlanders can speak Vyvlander, a West Germanic language which is relatively easy for English speakers to learn, due to its similarity to English. However, for those less willing to pick up a new tongue, most Vyvlanders speak adequate English to help you, although making an effort to speak Vyvlander is generally much appreciated. Significant linguistic minorities include Helish (a dialect similar to Dutch) speakers in the northeast, Geadish speakers in the west, and Namorese speakers in the southeastern archipelago. In rural parts of Helland, speaking English may be preferable to Vyvlander due to a fierce pride in the local Helish language.