aka Kronborg Castle (Slot is Danish for castle, or so I'm told...)
Well, since Rachel and I did our whirlwind tour of Copenhagen on Friday, on Saturday we decided to take a brief trip up north to Helsingor where Kronborg Castle (also known as Hamlet's Castle) is (get it? Helsingor= Shakespeare's Elsinore!). Anyway, my English-major geekiness came into full force as we toured the place, but things like that do happen.
But to start, Saturday morning the day looked kind of gray, so Rachel and I got off to a slow start. Not to mention that I was still relatively worn out from the day before, despite at least eight hours' rest. So, we didn't take the bus/train up north until after lunch, but I didn't mind because we were having so much fun anyway and, heck, I was in Denmark!
By the time we arrived at Helsingor, the weather had turned out lovely and sunny, which was awesome. We met one of Rachel's friends, Corinne (I think the spelling's right!), there and went on to visit the castle--originally a toll house that eventually became a part-time royal residence. Hamlet himself, of course, is quite fictitious, BUT those of you who are Shakespeare or Tom Stoppard fans (he wrote the play
'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead') would be delighted to know that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are the only two characters in 'Hamlet' known to have existed in real life. How cool (and random) is that? Crazy Shakespeare.
So, anyway, we went there for 50 Danish Kroner (abbreviated DKK-- the currency is really fun because it's in really big numbers, fifties, hundreds, two hundreds, but really you just divide by 5.5 or so and get the dollar amount... so it cost about $10 to get into the castle!) and it was awesome! It was well preserved/restored, and the decorations/detail work/architecture was amazing. It was definitely unlike any Irish castles I've seen, and it was quite beautiful and grand inside (excepting the casements, which are dark and creepy and acted as everything from a prison to a storehouse in the past). It was all quite fascinating!
After our visit there, which lasted some time, I availed myself of the Danish delicacy of soft ice (basically soft-serve ice cream but creamier and usually dipped in something-- chocolate shavings, powder, sprinkles, etc.) and hopped with Rachel and Corinne onto the next train toward Copenhagen. Rachel and I were going to stop at a
coastal town along the way, but since we were headed to a dinner party later on in the evening, we figured we didn't have enough time. But, I'd fortunately gotten to see the coast the day before, so I'd had that taste of Denmark!
Shortly after our stop at her home, we packed up our stuff and moved over to Van's house (where the dinner party was to be held). Van graciously invited us to spend the night, too, since I had to be up at like 5:00AM to catch my plane to London (and back to Limerick) and the buses weren't running that early from Rachel's neck of the woods. A bunch of Rachel's friends showed up, so it was nice to hang out with them, eat, drink, and celebrate studying abroad! We even had some piano playing, trampoline jumping, candle-lit chillin', waltzing, ABBA/Beach Boys/Eric Clapton listening, and loads of other fun stuff! We stayed up into the night (way too late for my early morning rising), and it was a great finish to a great trip!
The rest, as they say, is history. Rachel was kind enough to take me all the way to the airport
in the morning (what a wonderful hostess!) and made sure I got off okay. Now I'm back in Limerick, but it was a fabulous trip to Denmark, and I'm very glad I went! I can see why Rachel loves it so much! I'll post pictures soon, and hopefully I'll also add a couple belated entries on my parents' visit. Cheers!
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