Summer 16′: It’s Sweden Time!

Click here to read part 1 of the Summer 2016 series – Denmark

After almost a week of exploring Denmark and all its beauty, our next stop was Sweden! So we said goodbye to Copenhagen and off we went to Helsingør (a city on the Danish coast). Instead of flying into sweden, we thought that it would be far more interesting  to travel to the coast of Denmark (Helsingør) by train ,  and then into Helsingborg, Sweden by ferry!

Bikes on Bikes on Bikes at CPH Central.

Lights inside CPH central
Copenhagen Central Station

By train, a trip from Copenhagen to Helsingør takes almost an hour.

And then the ferry ride probably took about 20 minutes!

Figuring out public transport in Copenhagen can be really tricky due to the endless possibilities and varieties on offer. On days where we were within Copenhagen we would walk for the most part cause everything was close-by.Then, on days where we wanted to go further out, we would either buy the single train tickets to one location. Or, we would buy the the 24 hour ticket. Personally, I thought that the 24 hour ticket was the best deal because it meant that for 24 hours, you could literally travel around the whole of Denmark with unlimited rides on the bus, train and metro!

For anyone under 16, the price of a ticket was 65 DKK (about 1000 kenya shillings)

The price of an adult ticket was 130 DKK (around 1900 kenya shillings)

The prices may look a bit on the steep side, however, if you take full advantage of the ticket then the price is reasonable. To be very honest, Copenhagen isn’t cheap…but then it’s not ridiculously expensive either. Denmark is actually one of the most expensive countries in the Europe! So if you’re planning on visiting, just make sure that you are aware of the higher costs of living 🙂

Helsingør!

After about 50 minutes in the train, we arrived at Helsingør – a cute little town on the coast of Denmark. Apart from the beautiful coastline, one of the things that makes Helsingør a popular city is Kronborg castle, – It is the actual castle that Shakespeare set Hamlet in!

It was also nice to transition from busy (and rather hectic) Copenhagen, to calm and tranquil Helsingør. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and everyone was so kind! Here are some pictures of the city:

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Kronborg Castle, Helsingor

 This is Kronborg Castle – the actual castle where Shakespeare set the play Hamlet in!

Since 1420, Kronborg castle has been burned to the ground and rebuilt. However, it  always maintained its vital position – at the head of the Øresund Sound.

Interiors at Helsingor train station

Oh hey Sweden!

Boarding the ferry!

Ferrying Around

The ferry line that we took from Denmark to Sweden was Scandlines. A Scandlines ferry departs every 30 minutes and the journey across takes about 20 minutes :). One of the things I love most about Scandinavian Europe is the ease of travel. You can literally wake up one day and spontaneously decide to go to the next country and be able to do so very easily (as long as your visa is sorted of course) ! I am not sure about the pricing of a ferry ticket, I’m sure it wasn’t ridiculously expensive either 🙂

There are a couple shops, and restaurants on the ferry as well, and we did manage to buy a souvenirs on there too, which was nice!

Helsinborg!

About 20 minutes after leaving Denmark, we arrived in Helsinborg. Helsinborg is the fourth largest city in Sweden, and it is the center of the northern part of western Scania. It is a scenic coastal city, riddled with old buildings , trendy shops, churches and medieval forts. There is tons of history behind Helsinborg, and getting to learn about it all made the visit even more interesting!

The first thing I began to contemplate when we arrived was the Stereotype of Swedes being tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes.Now, I know stereotypes aren’t always true, and I am also aware that sweeping generalizations over an entire population is very inaccurate! But let me tell you, I could classify 90%  of the Swedes that I saw would fit perfectly under that stereotype. My mom was like nahh some of them dye their hair blonde but they are actually brunettes… I did not agree ahaha

So after debating about the stereotype, we began our journey into Helsinborg!

Helsinborg Central Station

 

Lucky for us the weather was on our side in Sweden as well !

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Of course I had to stop and enjoy the beautiful scenery! Duh!

 

I dont know if it’s just me, but the style of buildings in Scandinavian Europe are all so similar! They are all so beautiful though! Just imagine if you lived in a nice apartment on the top floor of one of there buildings overlooking the sea.. I would most definitely  never leave the house!

Kärnan and Helsinborg Castle!

Kärnan is a medieval Tower that was used to be the lodgings of the royal family. Scania was part of Denmark until the treaty of Roskilde in 1658 (#history).

The castle of Helsingborg, with its strategic location in the narrowest part of the Öresund, was one of the strongest and most important fortifications for the Danish crown. However, it was heavily damaged during the Danish-Swedish wars in the 1600s. The Swedish king Karl XI gave the order to demolish the castle in the 1680s. Kärnan was to be blown up, but the king failed to give the final permission. With only the keep left, the castle lost its importance. The name Kärnan, (Swedish for core), is known from the 1700s, before that it was known as the tower of Helsingborg.

Karnan from the city

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I was so excited to see Helsinborg castle and Karnan that I literally ran up all those steep steps! (Just kidding I didn’t run all the way up because ofcourse i had to stop to catch my breath and take a few pictures duh!)

I cant emphasize enough how surreal the views were!

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The city from the steps leading into Karnan
Me falling in love with the view! I literally stood here for a good half hour!
Helsinborg from the viewing point.
Panorama of Helsinborg from Karnan

There were many gardens all around Helsinborg as well which was lovely!

Karnan!

Sankta Maria Kyrka

Sankta MAria Kyrka (St.Mary’s Church), is one of the oldest buildings in Helsinborg.

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The exterior of the church is a good example of Danish Gothic Style Brick work – a characteristic of many Scandinavian buildins in the 14th century.

The stained glass inside the building was absolutely beautiful!, especially when the sun rays started streaming in. It was like a mini La Sagrada Familia (Barcelona)!

Oh, and entrance is free (even better) so you can enjoy this amazing church at no cost whatsoever ! 🙂

Kullagatan Pedestrian Street

Kullagatan is the main pedestrian street in Helsinborg. What I loved most about it was that it had all … well most of the shops that you’d find in Copenhagen, however it was way easier to get around and shop because there were less people around.

Plus, we all know what summer = summer sales! So we managed to get our hands on some pretty cool stuff at a fraction of the price 🙂 (Yay!) .. and yes, packing to go back was a serious struggle.

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After a succesful day of sightseeing and shopping,  we ended the day by taking a stroll of the city.

Once again, the people in Helsinborg were really really friendly! A lot of people wpoke english and, if you got lost there were plenty of people who were willing to help 🙂

Here are some pictures from our walk around the city:

Our stay in Helsinborg was short but sweet, and even though we didnt spend weeks there, we managed to learn and see so much in out time there!

How did we get around?

Well we walked for the most part. Walking was the most suitable way to get around. I actually enjoyed it, as I usually get around by car in Nairobi (#lazy).

Walking allowed us to stop and take pictures, explore all corners of the city while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Helsinborg isn’t that big of a city (compared to cities like Stokholm), and all the places we had planned to go to were pretty close to each other!

You can cycle as well – however, because it’s summer, if you were to cycle you would have to be very attentive due to the congestion on the bike lanes.

All in all, Helsinborg was absolutely lovely! I have no complaints whatsoever and I wouldn’t mind visiting again in the future 🙂 I will continue writing about our adventures in Sweden in a future post because fitting it all in this post will be a quite long and really tedious to read!

I will also put up posts on Amsterdam, Groningen and Germany soon!

 

Thank You For Reading & See you soon 🙂 -Emma O

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