The Epic Railway Journey

England to Sweden by Train

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Day 13 - København to Osnabrück

In the morning there is just time for a brief visit to the nearby lake and the Tycho Brahe Planetarium before returning to the station for the next leg of our journey.

10th August: 1147 København to Hamburg:
København - Rødby 183km, Puttgarden - Hamburg 153km

Danish flag German flag
IC3 at København IC3 - interior

Our train, the "Karen Blixen", is, if anything, even busier than the one that brought us from Hamburg on the outward journey. To add to the confusion on the platform, it is not the usual set of carriages and they are numbered in the wrong order. We have some interlopers in first class, they are speedily but tactfully evicted by the train manager.

The pattern of the trip is much as before: help yourself to hot coffee, but the main opportunity for refreshments is on the ferry. It is another dull, showery day as we head south, but the views in our island-hopping progress are still quite spectacular.

Arrival in Hamburg is on time, giving us plenty of time for our onward connection.

1647 Hamburg to Osnabrück: 238km

Intercity train - interior German loco in advertising livery
Our Intercity train (a name invented in Great Britain and now used almost everywhere except Great Britain) is of the traditional type, with a big German electric locomotive hauling big German carriages. The interior, however, has been refurbished up to the best modern standards. The first class accommodation is in compartments, with six large, comfortable armchair seats in each. Initially, there is just one other person in the compartment, seemingly a businessman on his way home from work. He leaves us at Bremen, and we have the compartment to ourselves for the rest of the journey.

There is no refreshment trolley on the train. There is a buffet car, but on this occasion we do not investigate it. The attentive train crew come round to remind us of our impending arrival at Osnabrück, not strictly necessary given the excellent public address announcements, but nevertheless welcome.

Our arrival in Osnabrück is exactly on time. Our hotel is right opposite the station entrance, it could hardly be more convenient. Even so, we are lucky to get across the square before another heavy shower descends.

The hotel is newly refurbished, bright and comfortable. It turns out to have an excellent restaurant, so we go no further than there in the evening.

It's good to be back in a country where you can get a decent beer! I don't care what the Danes say about "probably", and as for the Swedes - well, swedes is probably what they make their beer out of (Explanation for American readers: in England a "swede" is a turnip-like vegetable - you call it a rutabaga). Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying German beer is the best in the world, that would have to be a toss up between England and Belgium; Holland is not bad either (though in all honesty I have to confess that all three countries produce some rubbish beer as well). Nevertheless, a no-nonsense, honest-to-goodness German beer goes down very well after a week of famine in lands where the brew is indifferent and the price of wine is astronomical.

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