On Day 4 we travelled to Sweden. We had to, really, I’d bought nearly £100 in Swedish Kronor. Mrs RM wanted to take “The Bridge” to Malmo, but it would have blown our chocolate budget, so Helsingborg it was.
Perhaps walking the bridge or swimming to Malmo would have been the quicker route. Rail closures beyond the mysterious Rungsted Kyst (on which I am now a world authority) meant a replacement bus journey to Helsingor that would test the patience of someone with a Mikkeller-induced hangover.
Helsingor looked austere as it clouded over, so we hopped on the next ferry (£5 return)across the Oresund.
The only notable feature of the 20 minute was the frantic purchase of duty free slabs of Carlsberg (we’re talking 96 cans on trolleys here) before a klaxon signalled entry into Swedish waters halfway across and it all died down. Apparently some folk travel backward and forward all day, enjoying duty free prices and surprisingly cheap buffets.
And there’s not a lot to get out for in Helsingborg, though the views from the park at the top of Slottshagen isn’t bad. Smarter than Dover, but not as interesting.
But it had a pub, a place to splurge our Kronor at the foot of the hill.
The Bishops Arms is a chain of English-themed pubs across Sweden in the groundbreaking 1980s London Pub style. Great Swedish microbrews were promised, but instead we got what you might now find in a Wigan chain pub;
We’d arrived during “American Beer Week“. Could it be any worse ? (Yes it could, Ed Sheeran was on the radio).
I asked for Swedish beer. The barman searched the fridge and found something promising. It was 0.5%. I took it anyway.
Mrs RM ridiculed me mercilessly, to the amusement of nearby smokers, as she told me just how great her Viking Salute IPA was (£8 a pint). And it was, particularly in a marvellously sturdy pint glass. Apparently Americans can make good beer, after all.
I told her my alcohol free beer was OK. I was lying. A Kaliber would have been better.
The boys enjoyed their burgers. Lunch for 4 cost £75. Value was, indeed, “interesting“. That left enough for 2 ice creams and a couple of beers at a new Bishops Arms by the marina/ferry.
Rather a different beast, this one. Yes, that dreaded English cask abroad again.
And more people drinking it than in your average Stevenage Spoons at lunchtime.
I know you want to know what the Sheps was like, but I only had enough for a pint of the Evil Twin. It was tremendous, like a Green Devil but cooler, and Mrs RM devoured it on the seafront while “Winter Wonderland” played. Those Swedes so wacky.
We had £3 worth of Krona left, and spent them on Swedish chocolate on the ferry as it glided past Helsingor Castle,
Helsingor itself was the prettiest place we saw in Denmark, full of colour, sole-bothering cobbles, street art and beer tankards. A Saffron Walden by the sea.
Mrs RM’s feet were only saved by a biblical downpour that made us unpopular with driver of the bus winding back to Rungsted Kyst, but at least this was the fast one.