Bridgewalking: A special view of Denmark
By Signe Hansen | Photos: Bridgewalking
Bridgewalking is an experience that combines stunning nature, history and exhilarating heights. Since the opening on 10 May 2015, more than 320,000 guests have tried the Danish Bridge Walk, which takes place 60 metres above the sea on the top of the 87-year-old Lillebælt Bridge, which connects Funen and Jutland.
The first to complete the Bridge Walk was Crown Princess Mary, who opened the attraction in May 2015, but many years of preparation took place before that, says manager of Bridgewalking, Lone Skjoldaa. “The idea actually came from a local man from Middelfart, who had been in Sydney and crossed the bridge there. He thought it was a completely amazing experience, and so he went to the municipality and said, ‘Why don’t we do this here, in Middelfart?’. Of course, it then took years to get the relevant permissions and figure out how to put it all together. But from the very beginning, it’s been a super exciting project, an exceptional cooperation between the two municipalities on each side of the belt, Fredericia and Middelfart, and Bane Danmark. Everyone’s been working together to make it happen.”
The Bridge Walk, which sets out from Middelfart, takes you 60 metres above sea level and 20 metres above the bridge’s railway. Perched above it all, visitors can enjoy unimpeded views of Lillebælt, feel the gentle rocking from the trains running below, and admire the elaborate construction work of the bridge up close.
Maritime nature and local history
While there might be more famous bridges to cross, few take walkers across a maritime nature park, as the Lillebælt Bridge does. As such, the walk over Lillebælt is not just an exhilarating experience in that visitors get to climb the very top of the bridge, but also in that it gives them access to an exclusive way of experiencing the beautiful natural landscape. One notice-worthy aspect is its population of harbour porpoises; Lillebælt is the belt in the world with the highest concentration of these charming sea creatures. “You are walking right in the middle of a maritime nature park and, of course, our guides share their knowledge about this distinctive area. In addition, on a lot of the walks, guests will see harbour porpoises. You can see them quite clearly swimming along underneath you, sometimes with their pups,” says Skjoldaa.
The trip takes two hours from when you meet up and until you are back again. The two hours include getting dressed in a characteristic Bridgewalking onesie, getting safety instructions, and walking to the bridge. On the bridge, walkers are secured with a safety line and the walk is, says Skjoldaa, accessible to everyone who can manage a normal walk and steep stairs. “It’s like a regular walk, just very high up. We have a lot of elderly visitors who really enjoy coming up here, hearing the history and enjoying the views – we’ve even had a 90-year-old, so age is definitely not an obstacle, as long as you’re not afraid of heights!”
Bridgewalking employs approximately 50 local guides, who take turns to bring guests up on the bridge. Guests are sure to be met by a dedicated guide, who will give their personal touch to the experience. “There are so many anecdotes connected to the bridge and the area, and our guides tailor every walk individually, depending on who they are taking up and their own area of interest,” says Skjoldaa and finishes: “Our guides include many pensioners and students, but also people with full-time employment elsewhere who take people up on weekends – just because they think it’s such a fantastic experience.”
Facts: Bridgewalking is open all year round. During winter, pre-arranged tours are scheduled only during weekends. The experience can be booked individually (as part of a pre-arranged tour) or as a group, and is a popular team-building event for local conference centres and organisations. The experience takes two hours. You have to be at least 140 cm tall to take part in the walk. Ticket price: Adults, 315DKK; children under 16, 255DKK. For more information and tickets, please visit: www.bridgewalking.com
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