Øresund Rundt

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orseund route

Here are some more (long over­due) pictures from my Scand­inavi­an trip in the summer. You can see the previ­ous ones here. I was stay­ing in Copen­ha­gen, but the Swedish region of Skåne is a very short distance away, and so Sweden beckoned. In fact the plot of the ultra-popu­lar detect­ive show the Bridge relies on how close togeth­er Copen­ha­gen and Malmö are while being in separ­ate coun­tries (if you haven’t watched it, you defin­itely need to- the first two series are here on Netflix). I discovered that the local Swedish train company does an Öresund Rundt tick­et, which costs around £20, and gives you one bridge cross­ing, one ferry cross­ing, and unlim­ited train travel along the coasts. This seemed like a bargain (and you can split the jour­ney over two days if you like).

You have to decide wheth­er you’re going to travel clock­wise or anti-clock­wise. I decided to go by bridge, and return by ferry, as I wanted to go to the Lous­i­ana Art Museum in Denmark on the way back, and they had late open­ing that day, and I’d heard cater­ing for veget­ari­an food was better in Sweden (I was a little sick of the Danish tend­ency to slath­er everything in bacon and remoulade at this point). I’m not going to write in great detail in this post, because I’m also writ­ing a zine about the trip.


Due to the tick­et being issued by Skånet­rafiken in Sweden, I couldn’t buy it from the machines in Copen­ha­gen Cent­ral Station, and had to track down a tour­ist inform­a­tion shop. The tick­et was easily bought though, and I was soon on my way to Sweden, armed with some pastries and an elder­flower slush­puppy. I was expect­ing spec­tac­u­lar views for photo­graphs, but I forgot of course that the train runs under the bridge (I don’t know how I forgot, seeing as the first series finale of the tv show featured it heav­ily). I also crossed in blaz­ing sunshine on a summer’s day, and didn’t encounter any murder victims. I didn’t have the incom­pre­hens­ible lyriced theme song to listen to either. I soon arrived in Malmö.

Malmö centre sm

The Bridge also gives the impres­sion that Malmö is a gritty indus­tri­al city full of modern build­ings, I guess to give some contrast with Copen­ha­gen. The city centre itself is actu­ally quite histor­ic­al, with a harbour area, some big squares and a pretty old town area.

Swedish design shop sm

I had a look around this really nice art/​design/​book shop in a gallery in one of the histor­ic­al build­ings. I couldn’t afford to buy much, but I bought a few post­cards. Summer 2015 turned out to be a good time to visit Denmark and Sweden. I was getting 10 Danish krone to £1 and 12 Swedish ones, but the normal exchange rate is more like 8 & 10. This meant that everything in these normally expens­ive coun­tries was reas­on­ably priced, and also easy to work out the exchange rate. I even ended up buying a pair of shoes in Malmö because it was cheap­er than home (I paid about £25 for a natur­al coloured pair of these). I decided to move on to Lund, a univer­sity town on the route, because I thought it would be a good place to get veget­ari­an food. On my way out, I used the toilet in the station and was slightly amused at how it was decor­ated with IKEA furnish­ings.


sweden instagram

I managed to arrive in Lund on a gradu­ation day, at the very point where lots of students were milling around after the cere­mony, wear­ing their gradu­ation outfit of form­al wear and a sailor’s hat. Lund is basic­ally the Swedish Oxford. I ended up putting my camera away, because it was a magnet for people coming up to me and giving me their camera for a gradu­ation shot in front of some of the histor­ic univer­sity build­ings, and after I’d done that a few times I wanted to move on. I guess they must have thought I looked like I knew what was doing (hah!).  I then switched to Instagram for a few shots, as above. Due to a lot of the cafes being full of students and their famil­ies, I ended up eating at a Hare Krishna self-service cafet­er­ia called Govinda’s, the food was pretty decent and very cheap, and I got to eat it in a sunny court­yard, but obvi­ously it’s not what you’d chose for a gradu­ation meal.

After that I had anoth­er slush puppy, this time lingon­berry flavoured, and tried an ice cream that came between two macar­oons. It looked much better than it tasted, the icecream was soft­serve and it was too sickly to finish. Lund was very pleas­ant, maybe a bit quiet, and had quite a lot of expens­ive but solidly respect­able type shops. After a good wander, it was time to move on. I considered stop­ping off at Land­sk­rona, a decay­ing seaside town with a pretty island, but that would have cut into my museum time later, and I’d heard the museum was spec­tac­u­lar. So to Helsing­borg it was. (You can also see my gruelling pre-trip train­ing programme and cabin-luggage sized approved case here, and the IKEA lamp­shades in Malmö station- I have the lamp version in orange.)


HMS Hamlet sm

I didn’t actu­ally get to see anything of Helsing­borg. The train station and the ferry port are the same build­ing, and there was a ferry leav­ing in five minutes. As the boat was also named Hamlet, I couldn’t resist.

Helsingborg docks sm

This indus­tri­al area was really all I got to see of Helsing­borg. Anoth­er time maybe. The cross­ing took about 20 minutes and the sea was smooth. I enjoyed stand­ing on deck in the sunshine and the fresh air, feel­ing the sea wind. I grew up trav­el­ling to France a lot on the ferry, in the days before the tunnel and imme­di­ately after the tunnel opened and was too expens­ive, and I don’t get seasick easily, but it’d been a while since I’d been on a boat anywhere than the Thames (I love going on boats). A lot of the other passen­gers excitedly took advant­age of the fact that the bar sold beer at Danish prices, much cheap­er than in Sweden. I imagine in the oppos­ite direc­tion a lot of people stock up with beer.

Helsingør sm

Here I was in Helsingør, home of Hamlet. Kron­borg castle used as the setting for the play is a bit further along the water­front, but they were digging up nearly all of the path and it was diffi­cult to figure out how to phys­ic­ally get there, so after attempt­ing to walk there and nearly fall­ing in a ditch, I had to admire it from afar. Instead I had a wander around the town, and bought some snacks from the super­mar­ket.

Helsingør house sm

If Roskilde strongly reminded me of provin­cial South­ern England, then Helsingør reminded me of Normandy, anoth­er place I know well. I liked the town a lot, there was a good relaxed feel­ing about the place, and lots of slightly shabby old build­ings and people sitting out in the street eating and drink­ing.

Helsingør cloisters sm

After having a wander around this cloister, I headed back to the train station to get a train to Humle­bæk, the town just outside Copen­ha­gen where the Louisi­ana Art Museum is. Things got a bit confus­ing at this point. Helsingør is the end of the line, and they seemed to take a free and easy approach to what plat­forms trains were going from. I got on a train that changed its destin­a­tion at the last minute, and I had to jump off at the last possible minute with quite a few other confused Danish people. I hung around a bit, and got anoth­er elder­flower slush puppy from the ubiquit­ous 7-11 shop in the station, and even­tu­ally got on a train that I was fairly confid­ent was going in the right direc­tion. This train was packed, I guess with other people hedging their bets that it actu­ally went to the right place. In the end I got to Humle­bæk fine. The Louisi­ana was incred­ible, and I took a lot of pictures, so I’ll write about it in anoth­er entry.

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