The Bridge. Yes, that Bridge. As in the popular Swedish/Danish TV series.
I love all the Nordic Noir that has become popular recently. I like to think I discovered it long before it became popular and that everyone else is just copying my good taste. I’m glad it has become so popular though, because it means lots more books are translated and series like The Bridge, The Killing, Wallander and Arne Dahl are shown on the BBC.
So when I got the chance to go to Copenhagen recently, I couldn’t not nip across The Bridge to Malmö on the Swedish side.
Opening in June 2000 and stretching across the Øresund – the body of water separating the two countries – the 8km long bridge is part of a 16km link between Copenhagen and Malmö. The rest of the link consists of an artificial island and a tunnel.
The bridge looks architecturally stunning, but it’s when you see pictures taken from the air that you realise this really isn’t any ordinary bridge.
It doesn’t actually reach the far side and disappears into the sea. The patch of land where it disappears is a man-made island housing the entrance to a tunnel. The island, Peberholm, has become a breeding ground for birds as well as a habitat for rare insects, spiders and toads.
The bridge can be crossed by train or car/bus. The road is higher and runs above the train tracks. We decided to take the train.
Trains are really frequent as they run to Skåne, the county right at the bottom of Sweden, from Copenhagen’s Kastrup Airport. Even if you don’t plan on visiting Denmark and want to go straight to Skåne you’ll probably find this to be the closest and easiest airport to use. The trains go through the centre of Copenhagen and then across the Bridge to Malmö, Lund and beyond.
We caught the train at Copenhagen’s main train station and went all the way to the main station in Malmö. For our return journey we realised we could actually get on the train at the small Triangeln station close to our hostel and didn’t have to walk back into town with our backpacks. The journey from central station to central station takes around 35 mins.
The view of the bridge from the train wasn’t great as we were below the road. You’d probably be able to appreciate the structure a lot better if you travelled on the upper road level. However, we still had a good view of the sea from the windows and it was exciting just to know I was actually on THE BRIDGE!
Once in Malmö, I tried to get photos of the bridge from the coast near the Turning Torso tower, but it was so misty I couldn’t see it. There are supposed to be good views of it from the roof of the Emporia shopping mall near Hyllie station which is much closer to it, but we didn’t have time to go there.
Update: 19th February, 2016
I’ve recently been reading about how the ‘migrant crisis’ has affected travel across the bridge. Sweden is requiring transport operators to only allow people to cross if they have valid photo ID. As the operators risk a large fine if they don’t abide by this even though there is no infrastructure in place to carry out these ID checks, many train services have been suspended or heavily disrupted. Who would have thought the open borders of Europe would slam shut so quickly and easily?
When I crossed I made a video from my train window and I’ve finally got round to putting it on YouTube.