Scandinavian Parkrun Day 3 - Helsingør

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June 7th 2019
Published: June 7th 2019
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Today we’re taking a trip up the Zealand coast to Helsingør, home of Kromberg castle, setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

First, we need to purchase 24 hour travel cards from the ticket machine. The old man requests 2 tickets plus a receipt and the machine issues 2 cards; one ticket and one ticket with a receipt. However, he is convinced he has been issued with one ticket and one receipt. He calls the helpline to complain that he has paid for 2 tickets and only received one. Eventually, a lady who had been waiting patiently in the queue steps in and clears up the confusion.

Once we have ascertained that we do, in fact, have 2 tickets, we catch a train to Helsingør and walk along the harbour. There are some nice sculptures, including a thought provoking fish made with rubbish from the harbour.

We continue around the outside of the castle. We’re too tight to pay the £35 to go inside. Then we buy provisions and picnic by the waterfront, which is pleasant apart from two facts; 1) we are relentlessly circled by an enormous seagull and 2) it’s so windy I keep accidentally eating my own hair.

We return towards Copenhagen by bus. Lonely Planet recommends the bus because it runs along the coast and is therefore more scenic than the train. They’re not kidding – if we were any nearer the coast we’d need snorkels and flippers. And nose-clips – in places the smell of sewage is overpowering.

We alight in Rungsted to visit the home of Karen Blixen; (“I had a house in Africa…”). You can take an audio guide of the home where she lived as a child and where she came to die after Robert Redford gave her syphilis. You can also visit her grave in the garden. After visiting the grave, which is a 10 minute walk from the house, I notice a short cut to the station. But we still have our audio guides. So the old man takes pity on me and returns to the museum while I hobble off towards the station.

I catch the train back to Copenhagen and sit in a ‘quiet carriage’. There is a man snoring very loudly. I can’t decide if this is permissible behaviour or whether ‘quiet’ just means no annoying electronic devices.

We return to our hotel room, which is just as we left it; £93 a night doesn’t get you housekeeping. It’s probably just as well. The stairs to the fire escape have already been transformed into an obstacle course by bags of laundry. I dread to think what it would look like if they changed the sheets regularly. Never mind, we check out tomorrow - unless there’s a fire which will lead to the ultimate check out.

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