Around the Sound

In 1999 the Øresund Bridge was officially opened. It is a double tracked rail, and four-laned car bridge. At 7.8km, it is the longest rail bridge in Europe.

However, more significantly, it connects Central and Western Europe with Scandinavia, crossing from Copenhagen, to the Swedish city Malmö.

For moseying tourists like ourselves, it also means we can do a Danish / Swedish round trip in a day, taking the train to Sweden, up along the coast through several cities, and then taking the Helsingborg ferry from Sweden back to Denmark, and training back to Copenhagen.

Around the Sound train Map - Train loop journey through Denmark / Sweden crossing the Oresund Bridge

A must for train and bridge enthusiasts.

We took several stops along the way.  A super contracted trip report below, with photos further down.

From Copenhagen Central Station, we bordered the Oresund train.  We bought a 199DKK pass (around $45NZD), which entitled us to two days unlimited train travel on the Oresund line.

Leaving the Station at the start of our journey

The train passed Kastrup (Københaven Airport), and then continued on to the Oresund Bridge.  Within 30 minutes of boarding the train we were in the Swedish city of Malmö.

There were no security, passport, or custom checks.

We departed the train at Malmö, and tried to get a taste of Sweden.

It was raining.

Despite this, Malmö is a cute city.  And like Copenhagen, is car-free.

Cafe tables and shopping wares spill on to the streets.  The only non-footed traffic, is the occasional cyclist brave enough to negotiate the dawdling street folk.

Car-free Malmö

We lingered, and then continued on for Lund, Swedish city number two.  Lund has several calls to fame; it is Sweden’s oldest city in terms of history, and with the university, also the youngest in terms of population.   It also has a pretty cool church, which, built in 1095 makes it Sweden’s oldest.

University building, Lund

However, it was still raining.

Lund also has the distinction of not being car-free, making it an otherwise unexceptional town.  Crammed onto the footpath, with cars and buses roaring past, it reminded me of the streets of Auckland.  I had a scheduled job interview here, and Lund was my back-up plan if I couldn’t find work in Norway.  I was now very glad, plan A worked out.

Moving on.

Next stop.  Helsingborg.  This is the narrowest point between Sweden and Denmark, and where there are continuous ferry crossings.

Points of interest:  Cool church, and even cooler tower.  Also, lovely car free streets.

Swedish Chocolate. Helsingborg.

From Helsingborg, it was a 20 minute (Rangitoto-lengthed) ferry trip to Helsingør, Denmark.

The ferries are impressive, and of course come complete with extensive duty-free shops.  Express shopping is a must.

Duty free shop on the ferry

On the other side, the Danish border town, Helsingør, is another exciting car-free town.

Smaller than the Swedish cities we had passed through; it has a lovely small town feel, with an array of exciting shops to leisurely stroll through down cobbled streets without cars in sight.  Most importantly though, it is home to Kronborg Castle (1647).

This castle is Denmark’s most famous, with various royalty occupying it over the centuries.   (It is also allegedly the castle fron Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  Although, there is little evidence to suggest Shakespeare was ever here, and mostly this primarily seems to be a tourist selling point).

We took a stroll through the castle.

It’s large, impressive, and castle-like.

Well worth a visit.

My new life goal is to own one before I die.  I don’t yet have a concrete plan on how to achieve this, but step two involves making millions.

Kronborg Castle Moat. After repeated attacks, the Danish King ordered a more defensive moat be constructed.

From Helsingør it was the night train (after 4pm) back to Copenhagen, for some cheap beer at a local bar.

Post training pub

TLDR;

Trains are cool.

Sweden is wet and bitterly cold.

Car-free cities are awesome.

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