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roads to remember

My Favourite Drive: Declan O'Hara on a breathtaking 2,500km trip from Cork to Sweden

And a visit to one of the world’s most unusual bridges.

Bridge_from_the_air_in_September_2015 (1) Picasa / Wikimedia Commons Picasa / Wikimedia Commons / Wikimedia Commons

Journeys, even everyday ones, can mean a lot. Declan O’Hara is the General Manager of MSL Cork Mercedes-Benz. As someone with a passion for motoring, Declan told about the drive that means the most to him.

First up, describe the drive.

I’m actually just back from seeing Sweden for the first time – my brother and I drove from Cork to Motala in Sweden for Vätternrundan, a 300km charity cycle.

From Ireland, we travelled through the UK across on the tunnel to France, up to Belgium through the Netherlands, up through Germany and then we took a ferry from Lübeck, Germany to Malmö, Sweden. We then went from Malmö up to a place called Motala on the edge of Lake Vättern. It was about 2,500 km in total.

Is there a view along the way that sums it all up?

Coming into Malmö there’s the most amazing bridge called the Øresund Bridge that takes you from Copenhagen to Malmö.

We were actually on the ferry looking at it - it’s better to see it from there than it is to use it because you can see it properly. It’s overground but goes down into the tunnel and it looks like the bridge disappears into the sea.

shutterstock_391735933 Shutterstock / Lu Mikhaylova Shutterstock / Lu Mikhaylova / Lu Mikhaylova

What made the drive so special?

My brother and I were going over there to do a charity cycle Vätternrundan, a 300km cycle which circles Lake Vättern. You can pick your own charity but we were riding for cancer research.

It took place around the longest day of the year, so that far north you don’t get full darkness at any point in the night. There were 2,500 cyclists so we were let off at intervals, and our start time was at midnight.

We started in the dark and rode into the light. One of the most incredible experiences was the pure sound at two or three o’clock when the sun started to rise and all you can hear for miles is the noise of the wheels of over 2,000 cyclists on the road.

More: My Favourite Drive: Race driver Sean Doyle on hitting top speeds in the Austrian Alps

More: My Favourite Drive: Chris Pratt on racing past Cavan’s lakes with his two boys