The Danes' Great Belt is braced

When a particularly fierce Baltic gust caught the ferry soon after she sailed from Nyborg harbour, everything lurched to starboard - except my coffee. Cleaning up the spillage, I looked wistfully at the plans for through trains from the Jutland peninsula to Denmark's capital, without a sea trip. They start tomorrow, connecting Copenhagen by fixed link with the rest of Europe for the first time.

The about-to-be-obsolete system has a certain merit: the train from Odense edges on to a ship equipped with rails. You can stay in your seat or wander up to the deck and attempt to drink coffee. The problem is speed. It's InterCity travel, according to the railway authority, but not as we in the non-archipelagic world know it.

Tomorrow, the muddle of transport around Denmark's islands becomes a little less tangled. The Great Belt project involves a repertoire of tunnels, artificial islands and a bridge, stretching in all for 12 miles between Denmark's two largest islands - Funen and Zealand. There is already a bridge from Jutland to Funen, and Copenhagen lies on the east coast of Zealand. Once Queen Margrethe cuts the tape tomorrow, Copenhagen will move an hour closer to the mainland.

The traveller will miss out on a couple of bursts of scenery, but in Denmark this is not too much of a loss. Landscape comprises neat meadows, polite towns and chilly-looking beaches. The main feature near the shore is a sequence of tall windmills, reaping an electrical harvest.

So spend the time saved by the new link at either end of the line. Copenhagen'sappeal is well known: a national capital on a comfortable, human scale.

But Odense, Denmark's third-largest city, on Funen, is often overlooked. Touristically, it is a one-crop town - being Hans Christian Andersen's birthplace. But the fairy tale is to be found away from the park and statues in the dreamy side streets, where cute cottages rub up against stout redbrick warehouses while your feet are quietly pummelled by century- old cobbles.

Ninety minutes away in Copenhagen the builders are still working frantically. After the Great Belt, the next mega-project will seal Scandinavia's connection with Europe. By 2002, a tunnel beneath the Oresund strait will link Denmark with Sweden. You will be able to travel by train from London to Stockholm, and your coffee will barely be perturbed.

Danish Tourist Board, 55 Sloane Street, London SW1X 9SY (0171-259 5959)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Day In a Page

    The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower