Technically speaking, the highway numbered E6 in the European road system starts at Trelleborg—the southernmost substantial Swedish settlement—and runs northwards up the west coast, through Gothenburg, and on into Norway, passing through Oslo and Trondheim before taking an immense—and, so we’re told, very scenic—trek along the northernmost edge of Scandinavia, ending at the border between Norway and Russia’s Murmansk Oblast.
More practically speaking, the E6 as a region of Skåne is best thought of as the stretch between Helsingborg and Båstad, with the latter being the last significant settlement before the border with Halland county. And yes, as we said above, the stretch south from Helsingborg to Trelleborg is technically also the E6… but for reasons of interest only to those with a scholarly fascination for EU directives of the late twentieth century, this lower stretch was never included in the highway which was named as E47 in the previous European road system, but which was later folded into the E47 when it was renamed as the E6 because… look, it’s complicated, OK?
Anyway, the Rough Planet team prefer to speak of such matters in cultural terms—and there’s a pretty clear cultural difference, in that the stretch of the E6 running past and north of Helsingborg is lined with commercial and industrial real estate in a way that the southern stretch somehow managed to avoid, with big clusters on the roadside edges of Varalöv, Ängelholm and Hjärnarp in particular. (Locals on both sides of that divide will gladly provide you with their own theories of how and why this occurred, but at the risk of spoiling the stories, almost all of them involve the stupidity or greed of the people on the other side of the divide.)
Much of this real estate is in the glum, blank style sometimes referred to as Peak Big Box, a product of the bloated and centralised logistical systems of the fossil era’s last few decades: windowless warehouses, repackaging depots and distribution centers. Believe it or not, there is a small niche of tourists and researchers for whom these architectural anachronisms are interesting for their own sake… but it turns out they have their own guidebooks, and we’ve likely bored you enough already. (Though certainly no more than the journey along the E6 by bus might have bored you.)
That said, we also like to be thorough—and after all, you might find yourself on the E6 en route to Åstorp, Ängelholm, Bjäre or Båstad. Hell, you might even (despite our strong advice against it) be starting a drive to the far north in your own private vehicle… in which case, we hope you’ve topped up the debit card attached to your road-toll transceiver; if you think the mileage costs in Sweden are steep, just wait until you arrive in Norway! And we suppose that such intrepid travellers may conceivably want to know what’s inside those former warehouses nowadays… and what’s up with all those windmills you’re driving past?