The scenery recalls photographs of a ballet. First comes the upward swing. Then a gentle straightaway before swooping back down again. And then a turn to the left (seen from the Danish side). Like a sequence of steps in a dance, frozen: peaceful elegance, quiet effortlessness. For a bridge, so pregnant with meaning in its symbolism, not to mention complex in its design, the Øresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden projects an almost delicate character.
Especially in the gray early morning hours. Wispy clouds waft playfully above the sea, hugging the pylons—the first rays of sunshine reflect on the asphalt. The road is still wet from the night’s rain, and traffic is all but nonexistent. The
In the end you’re just plain amazed by it all. The open roof makes it easier to gape at the four 204-meter-high pylons, from which eighty diagonal cables, arranged like the strings of a harp, descend to the high bridge. That’s the main span, which sits 57 meters above the sea and is 490 meters long. Altogether the Øresund Bridge is 7.85 kilometers long, and the complete crossing is almost 16 kilometers long. It begins on the Danish side in a 4-kilometer tunnel which leads to an artificial island called Peberholm—pepper island. That’s where the actual bridge begins.
The entire structure—an idea bandied about for decades but repeatedly dashed by political resistance—cost a billion euros (about US $1.2 billion). And it was built in less than five years. The start of construction was November 1995, with the opening on July 1, 2000. With the Great Belt Bridge being completed around the same time as the Øresund Bridge, the nations of Europe moved a bit closer to each other. Now all that’s missing is a connection across the Fehmarn Belt. Beneath the four-lane highway on the Øresund Bridge is the two-track railway line between Copenhagen and Malmö—but who wants to ride the train when it’s possible to do the same route behind the wheel of a 294-kW (400-hp)
However, as the U.S. safety regulations for convertibles became ever more stringent, moving many manufacturers to strike con-vertibles from their model ranges entirely,
The wide rollover bar behind the seats was intended first as a protective shield, referencing the medieval Italian word “targa,” which stands for shield. But the name also refers to the Sicilian road race
With its top on, the
When the sound of the boxer engine mixes with the sound of tractors plying the fields, the chirping of the birds, the horn of the bus driver and, in European cities, the sonorous bell-ringing of bicyclists, the smell of fresh-cut grass and old cow pies, hot asphalt and rubber—then you’ve arrived in the moment when open-air driving is at its most alluring. Moments such as climbing the mountain in the early morning hours—or this bridge between Denmark and Sweden, a span that resembles a modern ballet.
And indeed, it is a type of dance that the new 911 performs—a techno-ballet. The rear glass cupola rises and tilts back. Two hat-ches in the classic
“Imagine meeting a childhood sweetheart again. And discovering they are now even more attractive”—
Last year after a concert in Malmö, the band Manic Street Preachers was crossing the Øresund Bridge to Copenhagen. In the middle of the bridge, bassist Nicky Wire, who also writes lyrics for the Welsh band, decided that he couldn’t go on, didn’t want to—that he had to separate from the band. It was a curious place to entertain such thoughts; bridges, after all, are more than just architectural structures. Symbolically, they also stand for a positive sense of connection. Nicky Wire wrote a song about the experience: “Walk Me to the Bridge,” released last year on the new album Futurology. For, after crossing the bridge, he decided to stick with the Manic Street Preachers, after all.
By Peter Ruch
Photos by Steffen Jahn