Our second afternoon on the rails gives us 3 Scandinavian countries in a few hours. We pull out of Copenhagen station at 13:30 heading east for Sweden. Øresund, meaning literally The Sound, is the straits between Zealand and Sweden. Like the crossing of The Great Belt earlier in the morning, it involves another spectacular example of Norsk engineering excellence. As with the Storebæltsbroen, it consists of a bridge and a tunnel. This time the road sticks with us all the way, and after travelling under the 4 mile long Drogden tunnel to the artificial island of Peberholm (pepper island) we then cross the awesome 5 mile long Øresund Bridge itself. Technically the crossing actually runs from the island of Amager, but to any casual observer that’s really just the southern tip of Zealand. The south end of Copenhagen is in fact on another island, one of about 70 populated islands in the Danish archipelago. This section of the route, between København and Malmö, is one of only 2 parts of the entire plan that we cover twice, the other being London to Calais. Once on the Swedish side, we run up the coast to Gothenburg, passing through the likes of Båstad and Kungsbacka. We arrive at Göteborg at just after quarter past 5 in the afternoon.
Rail and road disappear under the sea on the artificial Peberholm Island
Before 6 O’Clock we will be heading north again on the run to Oslo. For the first 30 miles or so we will be travelling along side the Göta älv, the river that drains the great Lake Vänern. the largest lake in Western Europe.
The river forms part of the fantastic Göta Canal, built 200 years ago and designed and partly overseen by our very own Thomas Telford. It can carry ships up to 32 metres long. The canal runs straight across the country and we will cross it 3 days later at Norsholm, just south of Norrköping, as we come back down Sweden. We cross the canal at Trollhättan over an elevating bridge and a second cantilevered bridge.
At Öxnered we will come within a few hundred metres of Lake Vänern, though alas we don’t get to see any of it from the train. We will though pass by numerous smaller lakes and tarns as we head into our first taste of true Scandinavian forest wilderness on the Swedish-Norwegian border. We get into Oslo at a quarter to 10 in the evening, and of course, it will still be broad daylight.
Here’s a nice article about other man made islands http://www.businessinsider.com/coolest-artificial-islands-2012-4?op=1