1. Another ferry passing ours
2. People snoozing on the upper deck
3. German flag on the south end of the ferry
4. Danish flag on the north end
For those of us who don't do it too often, riding on a ferry is a pleasant experience with lots of fresh air and views of the sea, or in this case the Fehmarn Belt.
This route is called the Vogelfluglinie -- German for "bird flight line" -- to make clear that it is the shortest route from Hamburg to Copenhagen.
1. Second class in a Danish EC3 train
2. Signs above the doors in the train, giving coach and seat numbers and the destination Københaven = Copenhagen
3. Text in the train about Kaj Munk
4. Free coffee and Danish newspapers in First Class
There are currently six direct trains per day from Hamburg to Copenhagen via Lübeck and the Puttgarden-Rødby ferry. Three of these trains are German InterCityExpress trains (ICE) and three are Danish EuroCity trains of the EC3 variety.
Since this rail line is not entirely electrified, the trains have diesel engines, so they sound and feel rather clunky compared to most long distance trains in Europe. But after getting used to them I found the trains very pleasant and comfortable.
The trip from Hamburg to Copenhagen takes roughly five hours, including 45 minutes on the ferry. The normal price for a one-way ticket is 78.80 Euros, but they sometimes have special offers for as little as 39.00 Euros. As I mentioned on my intro page, I didn't have to pay anything except for three thousand "Bonus Points" from the German Railway system.
One of the EC3 trains I went on was named after Kaj Munk (1898 – 1944), a Danish playwright and Lutheran pastor who was murdered by the Nazis during their occupation of Denmark during the Second World War. In the train there are text panels about Kaj Munk in both Danish and German (third photo). These texts point out quite correctly that Munk supported the Danish resistance movement against the Nazi occupation, but they neglect to mention that Munk actually favored dictatorship, not democracy, as his preferred form of government -- just that he wished for a civilized Scandinavian dictator, not a brutal German or Italian one.
1. EC3 train in the ferry
2. Narrow passageway to walk to the stairs
When the train arrives the ferry is already waiting and is already loaded with cars, trucks and other such obsolete vehicles, so when the train is rolled on the ferry can shut its doors and leave the dock almost immediately.
Passengers have to leave the train during the crossing, and the train is locked for about forty-five minutes.
There is a narrow passageway to the staircase that leads to the upper decks. It helps to remember which level your train is on (2 or 3, usually) and which staircase you took (A, B, C or D) to get upstairs.
1. Tugboat "Baltsund" in the Fehmarn Belt
2. The tugboat pulling a barge
We landlubbers rarely see tugboats in the normal course of events, but we often read about them to our children and grandchildren.
Tugboats in children's stories are spunky, cheerful little creatures. The didactic intention of these stories is of course to encourage the children to be spunky, cheerful little creatures themselves, instead of just whining and moaning as they are prone to do if left to their own devices.
Anyway for us it's always fun to see a tugboat in action, as here in the Fehmarn Belt from the ferry between Germany and Denmark.
Update: VT member Tugboatguy, who as his member-name implies knows a lot about tugboats, was kind enough to have a look at my photos. He says the Baltsund is "a fine working tug" with a North Sea bridge like the one on his own tugboat. "The design deflects a green wave deck-ward rather than busting the windshields/glass."
1. View from the train window
2. Passing through a station in Denmark
3. A DSB train (Danish State Railways)
After rolling off the ferry at Rødbyhavn, the train continues on to Copenhagen (=København), stopping four times along the way.
The trip from Rødbyhavn to København takes two hours and twenty-two minutes.
1. Puttgarden and its new windmills from the ferry
2. Puttgarden railroad station
3. Taking photos from the ferry
4. Leaflet about Fehmarn, on display in our local bakery in Frankfurt
The German island of Fehmarn got its first railroad line when the Fehmarn Sound Bridge was inaugurated in 1963.
The railroad station and ferry terminal at Puttgarden were built at the same time. Before that, the ferries had to take a longer route from the German mainland to Denmark.
Fehmarn claims to be "Germany's Sun Island Number One" and does a lot of advertising to attract tourists, but I don't know anyone who has actually taken their vacation there.
Update: After writing this I got on my bicycle and rode over to the bakery to buy some rolls and croissants for breakfast. On the shelf in the bakery where they display leaflets advertising concerts and other local events in our little corner of Frankfurt I also found this leaflet (fourth photo) about "Fehmarn, the sun island" -- so somebody in our neighborhood must have some connection to Fehmarn, I suppose.
GPS 54° 30′ 0″ North, 11° 13′ 0″ East (Puttgarden)
1. Rødbyhavn from the ferry
2. Sign at Rødby Ferry train station
Rødbyhavn ("Rødby Harbor") is the harbor on the northern shore of the Fehmarn Belt (southern shore of the Danish island of Lolland), where the ferries arrive from Puttgarden.
There is also a town called Rødby, about five kilometers to the northeast, with a population of nearly 2300 people at last count.
GPS 54° 41′ 28″ North, 11° 23′ 21″ East (Rødby)
Route E47 from Copenhagen crosses the Guldborgsund straight between Lolland and Falster via a modern tunnel, but the motorway currently terminates at Rødbyhavn where a ferry carries vehicles to Fehmarn. Two older bridges also span the strait between Lolland and Falster, the Frederick IX Bridge and Guldborgsund bridge at the northern end of the strait.
Guldborgsund is a long narrow and shallow strait located between the Danish islands of Lolland and Falster. It is also the name of a town immediately next to said straight on Lolland. The straight is crossed by the Frederick IX Bridge at Nykøbing Falster and by the Guldborgsund Bridge at Guldborg, at the northern end of the strait. The Guldborgsund bridge is of arch construction buit in 1934, 180m long and 7m wide. There is also a modern tunnel carrying euro route E47 from Copenhagen.
The Rodbyhavn - Puttgarden ferry is the shortest way between islands of Denmark and Germany. We spent only an hour to reach from Denmark to Germany, including 15 minutes of waiting for loading on the ferry and 45 minutes of navigation through the Fehmarn Belt strait.
Ferries on a route Denmark-Germany: Rodbyhavn-Puttgarden - "Deutschland", " Pins Richard " have an autodeck, restaurants of a various category, including for drivers, bars, shops, a children's room, a video-hall, meeting rooms.
Rødby – Puttgarden: 56Euros for car
Crossing: 45 minuttes
Departure: Every 30 minuttes
Check-in: No later than 15 minuttes before departure
Contact Scandlines at +45 33 15 15 15 for further information.
Driving across Denmark by car delivers the great pleasure. Highway E47 from Helsingor to Rodbyhavn has good European quality.
Restriction of speed in Denmark is 110 kilometers on motorways and 80 kilometers on usual roads outside of settlements. In settlements it is possible to drive with speed of 50 kilometers. An admissible level of alcohol in blood of 0,05 is supposed. All the roads are free-of-charge. Using of seat belts is necessarily for all the passengers. The passing light of headlights should be included round the clock.
The international telephone code 45. The phone of emergency service 112.