Posted by: ilanasmith | April 22, 2008

An Epic FAIL on the Travelling Thing

This past weekend was a long weekend (not for Cow Day, for something called "Big Prayer Day".  I made sure to pray.)  I didn’t find any decent flights to interesting places, so I decided to take a bit of a jaunt around the Øresund.  Up to Helsingør, across to Helsingborg, up the Swedish coast to Göteborg for the night, back down to Lund for the next night, a stop in at Malmö and back to København.

The train trip to Helsingør was uninteresting due to it being largely my daily commute.  I waved at Work as I went by.

On the bit of Sjælland closest to Sweden, Helsingør is notable mostly for the fortress of Kronborg Slot.  Between Kronborg in Helsingør and Kärnan in Helsingborg, the Danes controlled access to the Baltic and collected tolls.  Apparently, it was pretty much legalised piracy.

Kronborg Slot is, incidentally, Elsinore Castle, but I saw no ghosts of dead kings while I was there.

Helsingor (0) - The mighty Kronborg Slot

From Helsingør, I caught the ferry across the Øresund to Helsingborg.  Big-ass ferries from about four different companies ply their trade back and forth across the 4km strait.  I can’t imagine how busy it must have been before the Øresund bridge was built; it’s still pretty crazy.  The lower booze prices on the Denmark side plays a significant role.  The fare was just 25kr, about the only bargain I’ve ever encountered in all of Scandinavia.  To put this in perspective: I’ve had coffees that cost twice as much.

In Helsingborg, I jumped on another train up to Göteborg.  (On the pronunciation front, I’d say that this name is evidence that it’s not just Danish that is out to get you, but Swedish and Danish are so similar, it’d be the same original motive.  Anyway, it’s pronounced "YOU-ti-bor".  Or "Gothenburg". Now try "Växjö".)

It took a bit over 2 hours to get up to Göteborg.  The train was crowded, the scenery wasn’t super-interesting, and Göteborg looked like most other Scandinavian cities.  Struck by equal parts exhaustion and ennui, I thought longingly of my comfy bed just a few hours away.  Plus there was a funny smell in the air and a new episode of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ due.  So I hopped back on the train and went home again.

Instead of Göteland and Skåne, my weekend ended up being mostly about my couch and the inside of my eyelids.



  1. Øresund? Helsingør? Växjö?
    Sometimes I think you just make up new Unicode characters to keep your blog fresh.

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