FolkestoneJack's Tracks


Posted in Denmark, Helsingør by folkestonejack on May 16, 2010

A morning in Helsingør beckoned after I left the ferry…

I walked to Kronborg Castle on a rather haphazard route alongside a construction site. It’s pretty clear that Helsingør is undergoing a major transformation with the construction of a new maritime museum, a cultural centre and work on the harbour area – due for completion in 2012. The plans look amazing (take a look at Kulturområde Helsingør) and certainly worth the short term pain.

Kronborg Castle is an amazing sight by any yardstick and looks incredible from every angle on land or sea. I arrived before it opened and had an enjoyable walk along the coastal batteries and bastions before it was time to go in.

I’d certainly recommend the complete package – apartments, maritime museum, chapel, tower and casemates. It was all fascinating so it’s hard to pick out any stand out sights. The seven tapestries of Danish kings in the Royal apartments were one of many highlights from the visit, particularly with the clever details woven in to highlight the fate of each king.

After a few hours of reading and learning it was a welcome change to wander around the gloomy casemates at the end of the visit and find Holger the Dane!

Well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.

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Helsingborg to Helsingør

Posted in Denmark, Helsingør, Helsingborg, Sweden by folkestonejack on May 16, 2010

In theory, this was going to be the day I could switch to tourist-mode and take things at an easier pace. However, with the ash cloud from Eyjafjallajökull threatening to close British airspace today (for up to three days) the thought of what I might face later in the day was always lurking at the back of my mind.

I headed to the Knutpunkten, the combined bus-railway-ferry station at Helsingborg, and bought a ticket for the 8.40am crossing to Helsingør. All very straightforward. I made my way across the footbridge and onto the M/S Tycho Brahe for the 20 minute crossing.

As the journey was so short it’s hard to believe that anyone has much time to do anything on board. I headed up to one of the decks with outdoor viewing to get a good perspective of the journey and take a few photographs. It is a delightful way to arrive in Helsingør, particularly with the view that you get of Kronborg castle as you approach the Danish coast.

I have been on this crossing before, but under very different circumstances. In 1984 I travelled with my family by train and ferry from London Liverpool Street to Helsinki, which included a leg from København to Stockholm in daylight. At this time trains were shunted onto the ferry at Helsingør and were hauled off at Helsingborg before continuing on to Stockholm.

Today the only remaining signs that I could see at Helsingborg were the rails on the loading ramp. At Helsingør more seems to have survived – you can easily spot a spur off the København-Helsingør line which ends in a siding at the side of the road outside the station. The rails are still embedded in the road and carry on to a dead end at a fence, pointing directly towards the loading ramp.

My memories of this are somewhat confused as we made two crossings using trains that ran onto ferries during the trip (the other was Puttgarden to Rodby) however, I do vividly recall the excitement of hanging out of a window to watch as we made our way across the quayside and onto the ship (probably at Puttgarden), then climbing down from the carriage inside the ships and an all too brief look around inside the ships.

At the moment Helsingør is very much the end of the line, but maybe one day the proposed Helsingør-Helsingborg tunnel will get built and main line trains will return to make the crossing to Sweden…