Monday, July 25, 2011

Road-trip update: Danegeld 2011

We’re about to set off for Sweden, where we’ll be for about a 10-12 days, after which it’s a dash across to the UK to begin our 14 day hike along Offa’s Dyke, taking us up to the last week of August.

Yesterday I started to program some of the stops into my TomTom and got a little shock. It turned out that the “map of Europe” that came included with it didn’t include anything east of Belgium/France/Switzerland/Italy. Whereas my old Garmin came with “the works”, I couldn’t program in my stops in Germany, Denmark and Sweden.

So 50 quid later and hours of downloading and fiddling around to get everything on my device. Even then it turns out that the TomTom which is less than a year old has skimped on memory capacity so it can’t actually hold the entirety of Europe and I have to pick zones of countries to stick on the device. It means I can never plan a road-trip across Europe because there is no zone that will allow that. Rebuilding the device’s map each time is a horribly time-consuming procedure while it slowly removes the old zones (and helpfully deletes all my destination history and favourites grrrrrr) and puts the new zones on. Really poor stuff TomTom!

So after that unplanned diversion, I’ve got most of our overnight stops booked and entered into the wretched device, but have had to do some extra route-planning for the crossing of Denmark, to balance time and cost.


On Friday I’ll be driving from Germany to Sweden, and there’s several ways to do this coming from my direction. All the roads lead past Hamburg, so I’ve condensed the map to just show the Hamburg-Malmö options.

The quickest route is the central one (dark blue line) which incorporates a short  ferry journey from Puttgarden-Rødby costing at least €85. Now that route is only 30-40 minutes faster than the more circuitous land-based route to the west, which made me ask what the benefit is for many drivers. I checked to see if there were road-tolls – yes, there’s a €31 charge for crossing the Storebælt bridge, but even with added fuel-costs, it’s still about half the cost of the ferry.

Once I get to Copenhagen, I still have to cross the Öresund bridge to Sweden, and that’s a further €40.

A third option is to get a ferry from Rostock in Germany to Trelleborg in Sweden (the red line), which is €165 but is a 6 hour crossing with very limited boarding slots.

For completeness, I’ve also included the longer Rostock-Gedser ferry journey (purple line) that Bondi and I took from Copenhagen to Berlin. At €124 it’s no bargain, and one notices that adding the Öresund bridge toll takes the price up to be the same as the Trelleborg ferry.

So Denmark is definitely not a cheap country to cross, and keep in mind that it’s not like buying a highway sticker for Switzerland which covers you for a year – this is just a single one-way fare! The Vikings no longer need to plunder other lands; a few domestic water-crossings is all they need provide and the world comes to them!

My first plan was to  travel onwards to the UK taking the Esbjerg-Harwich ferry (you can see Esbjerg in the top left of the map above), so I’ll be up for €71 to cross Denmark west to east in two weeks. Ouch.
However, I’ve found that the requirement for a cabin booking pushes that cost to €385 and it only travels every second day, so I may just swap that for another roadtrip via Dunkerque - keeping in mind I have to go through the veterinary fuss for Munson 24-48 hours before crossing the Channel. Ouch damn ouch.


  1. It's time Munson learned some music skills so he can start busking to earn his passage! Or hitch a trap to him and let him pull you to Sweden - tres verte - and think of the fuel savings!

  2. Scandinavia is bloody expensive so I guess I'm not really surprised. Safe travels.

  3. Have fun and stay safe! Can't wait to see all the fun pics of Munson enjoying his new adventure! Too bad it's not winter cuz then you could just hook him up to a sled!


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  5. We've done the 85 euro route (as i will call it) on a train, although the ferry fare was included in the train ticket price. We were travelling from Copehagen to Hamburg and had no idea a boat ride was in store for us. So imagine my surprise when I thought we entered a tunnel but next to the train were caravan campers and Volvo estates full of vacationers. The ferry ride was rough, waves smashing over the bow but that did not deter the duty free shoppers!! Full arms of cigarettes and liquor and we teetered back and forth. Makes a nice break to stretch your legs.


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