As you know from my last post, I’m starting my last big round-the-world trip, and I’m beginning in Scandinavia, figuring I might as well get the most expensive countries out of the way with first. I’m currently in Stockholm, one of my favorite cities in the world, despite the fact it abuses my wallet. (I’ll be going to Norway next, and that country is even more expensive. Luckily, I have family there I can mooch off of…I mean visit.) If the winters weren’t so harsh, I’d seriously consider moving here.
Sweden remained neutral throughout World War I and World War II.
Sweden has the most number of McDonald’s per person out of every country in Europe.
There are 10 nuclear reactors in Sweden.
ABBA is from Sweden.
So is Eagle Eye Cherry.
And Ace of Base.
And Alexander Skarsgard, that guy from True Blood.
Pippi Longstocking is also Swedish.
IKEA and H&M are both Swedish.
The population of Sweden is 9.2 million, which is only a bit more than the population of New York City.
22% of the population lives in the capital of Stockholm.
Swedes have the longest life expectancy in Europe.
Sweden has the largest shopping mall in Europe—Nordstan is located in Gothenburg.
By land area, Sweden is the third-largest EU country after France and Spain.
In the ninth century, Rurik the Rus, a Scandinavian Viking, founded the first kingdom in Russia. All subsequent Tsars of Russia were thus of Swedish descent.
Sweden is a constitutional monarchy.
At the height of its empire, Sweden built a large warship (the Vasa) to symbolize its power. It was so big and heavy that on its maiden voyage in 1628, it sank less than a mile out of dock.
While prostitution is legal, it is illegal to use the services of a prostitute.
Contrary to popular belief, Swedish Vikings did not have horns on their helmets.
To celebrate the start of summer, Swedes celebrate midsummer by dancing around a pole and leaping over each other like frogs.
The sun rises at 3:30am in the summer.
The sun sets at 3:30pm in the winter.
On Easter, children dress up as witches and go trick-or-treating.
Sweden has a long and interesting history, and its beautiful architecture, friendly people, and stunning landscape make it one of my favorites countries in the world and one I never tire of returning to.