Storebæltsbroen services, Funen IslandSeptember 24, 2018 in Denmark ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C
Martha motorhome is parked up at motorway services on the eastern shore of Funen Island looking back at the incredible Storebæltsbroen; the Great Belt Bridge that brought us accross the water from Zealand.
The 18km road bridge has been in operation for 20 years and the railway that runs through a tunnel, then alongside the traffic on the west bridge, opened a year earlier in 1997. It comprises the East Bridge at nearly 7km long, spanning the straits between Zealand and the little mid channel island of Sprogø. This is a suspension bridge whose pylons, at 254m, are one of the highest points in Denmark. As part of the construction, Sprogø Island was extended to approximately 4 times its original size and links the East and West Bridges. The latter is 6.6km long and runs lower to the water.
We travelled over the Storebælt in the opposite direction on our way to Sweden last summer so we were prepared for the 365kr (£45) toll. The wind was strong and had made driving difficult on the motorway, never mind on the bridge! After a warning from the toll booth attendant we ventured out carefully onto the East Bridge, with Will keeping a steady hold on the wheel. There was an 80kmph limit due to the conditions, but we travelled more slowly, watching nervously as the caravan ahead of us was buffeted by the gusts, its net curtains swinging from side to side. We were right to be worried, between the two pylons, a van trailer had been blown over and was hanging off the towbar at an alarming angle, blocking the inner lane and looking as if it may well topple into the outer! Soon after we'd reached Funen, the bridge was closed in our direction because of this accident; a rare occurrence.
Arriving at the services we found a spot within sight of the West Bridge with a large grassed area ahead and the old port to our right. It looked as if this had been the place that cars boarded ferries to sail to Zealand, but the completion of the bridge rendered the boats obsolete and the infrastructure had been abandoned, falling into disrepair over the years.
Throughout the day Will had several short fishing sessions and we both took a walk up to the harbour entrance, from where you could see both sections of the structure. What a feat of engineering! There was also a path leading underneath the bridge, where there was nobody to stop you scrambling up the wall of boulders that protected the land from erosion. From the top of the wall you could see between the concrete stanchions for a long way until the bridge curved round to the north. The wind had whipped the waves up, skimming spray off their crests making it a dramatic sight.
At sunset we returned to this spot and watched as the clouds coloured with the amber light. Poppy once again woke Vicky before sunrise and like a magnet, the boulders at the base of the bridge pulled her back to watch the sun come up. Enjoy the pics!Read more