· The Birthplace of Swedish Sin: The town of Mölle near Helsingborg was a Victorian-era vacation destination, and when word got out that the German emperor made a visit, floods of people followed. It is said that this small town became the "birthplace of Swedish sin" because of the "liberal" culture that allowed for same-sex sun bathing and swimming, which at the time was all but forbidden. We know, we know...so scandalous!
· Skåne County, Swedish or Danish? A look at the flag of Skåne County is sure to raise an eyebrow, as it appears to be a direct combination of the Swedish and Danish flags. For a long time, about 700 years, Skåne was under Denmark’s control and influence. Most of Skåne is located closer to Copenhagen than it is to Stockholm, and even today many residents identify more with the former than the latter due simply to proximity. Many Danish people also live across the river from Copenhagen in Sweden and commute over for work for financial reasons. Now, people say it’s “just a coincidence” that Skåne’s flag looks like a combination of the Swedish and Danish flags, but that's pretty hard to believe given the above!
· JFK Got It On in Båstad: Did you know that former President John F Kennedy had a Swedish mistress? Although they met in the South of France, they had a rendezvous at her parent's house in Båstad. His once secret letters were sold in an auction back in 2010. On another note, Båstad is also the home of the Swedish Open tennis tournament.
· Move Over Meatballs: The west coast is all about the seafood, and it doesn't get more traditional than the region's pickled, spiced Herring. It is typically served six different ways with boiled potatoes, egg, onion, and sour cream.
· Island Hopping: There are about 8,000 islands along the coast from Gothenburg to the border of Norway, and most, such as Tjorn and Marstrand, are leftovers of old fishing villages where time seems to refuse to catch up. The photos you see in this post are from Marstrand, where you can hike around the rocky landscape and catch great vista views of the harbor. On Tjorn, you'll find a floating hotel with a sailing sauna!
[Photos: Will McGough]