Tuesday 19th of July, Vordingborg Harbour, Sjælland, Denmark.
Storstrømsbroen is a large bridge, about 3.5km wide, that stretches across Storstrøm or “the large stream” in the waters of Smålandsfarvandet which is south of Sjælland. We sailed underneath it yesterday evening while making our way to the town of Vordingborg after leaving the island of Fejø in Lolland in the morning. Our great Viking longship immediately shrank in size in comparison to this colossal modern feat of engineering. I sailed on another boat to capture this encounter of excellent modern and ancient Danish design. The irony is that the bridge is actually older than the boat and that it has been condemned and a new one will soon replace it.
Whilst sorting through the hundreds of pictures I have taken so far on this journey I noticed a pattern. This fascination with the juxtaposition of old and new. Denmark is a flat land made up of hundreds of small and large islands, it is the most intensively farmed country in Europe. So the landscape can be quite repetitive at times, however when you view it from its many seas you gain a new perspective and begin to understand why the Vikings were such dedicated seafarers. These waters were their highways, their towns were always accessible by water, usually located along the coast and inland were thick forests of beech and oak that they would go to for timber supplies and hunting. But everything else they needed was by the coast.
Nowadays the waters of Denmark are populated with wind turbines and incredible long bridges. The level of design and engineering is astounding at times. But this isn’t just a modern skill Denmark has developed. The Viking ships themselves were incredibly well considered clinker built boats the design of which continues in use right up to this day, simply because it works so well.