Castles!

Trip Start Sep 30, 2006
1
7
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Trip End May 24, 2007


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Sunday, October 8, 2006

Thursday 5 Oct, Michael had the day off work and was good enough to show me around a little.
We got on a train to the north. First stop Helsingor. A smallish town at the top of the eastern most island in Denmark. From this town you can see Sweden across the water (closer than KI is to the SA mainland).
We wandered down to Kronborg castle. This castle in listed on the World Heritage list and, if I was paying enough attention this castle was made famous by Shakespeare's Hamlet. I haven't read Hamlet but this is what I am told :-)
It dates back to about 1420 and was enlarged in 1585. My understanding is that it was used largely as some form of a tax collection port for the narrow channel between Denmark and Sweden. It looked grand enough, as did the moats. Bearing in mind, being from South Australia, the nearest thing we have to a castle is Fort Glanville! And, other than aboriginal cave paintings we have nothing this old either.
A quick stop at an Australian wine and beer shop - yes, who would've thought! If you were going to have one in Denmark wouldn't it at least be in the capitol!!!! Well, they are soon moving to Copenhagen to attract a better turnover. Michael picked up some of his favourites and was pleased to learn they can fulfill special requests:-)
A traditional lunch of some pork, fish and pate went down nicely.
Anyway, we hopped on another train, to the west, passing Mary and Freddo's joint. Mary didn't wave from the Fredensborg station as we cruised on through to Hillerod, further west.
Michael knew where the next castle was. Lucky. I didn't! Frederiksborg castle was its name. Surrounded by a large lake and the customary series of moats we entered the main tourist section of the castle. This castle was built mainly in the 16th and 17th centuries. Some sections were ravaged by fire in the 19th century. Local beer baron Carlsberg leapt to the rescue to start the reconstruction. You can't tell it was rebuilt, it looks so original.
In the halls and chambers we found numerous castle type things including gilded ceilings, huge tapestries and thousands of really old paintings (something I am getting used to seeing over here). The long room was a high-light for me. Such a grand room would demand such grand ceremonies and one's best threads! I mean, the king would have been present - stubbies and thongs just would not fit in.
Returning to Copenhagen we met Heidi for dinner at Pussy Galore's Flying Circus (from James Bond fame).
Friday I made my way back into the centre and managed to basically get myself temporarily geographically embarrassed. This doesn't happen a lot to me but this city looks so alike.
Saturday Michael did me the favour of helping me understand my bearings a little more in the centre of town. We also went to the Little Mermaid. Now, I still must admit, I don't really see what all the fuss is about. By god it is little! But, apparently you JUST CAN'T COME HERE WITHOUT SEEING IT. So I did. But I agree with Michael, that the large statue before you get to the Little Mermaid (some chick with 4 mighty bulls) was far more impressive.
Saturday night 4 of Michael's friends came around for a poker night. A few drinks were drunk, a few hands were played and 6 players ended up being just 3 by 2am and the 3 of us remaining split the winnings to double our money. I now like poker :-)
Sunday we mainly slept off what we consumed on Saturday night before a late afternoon long stroll around the lakes.
Tomorrow I will be heading west to viking territory. Hey, I know nothing about the vikings except those hat-horns. I will pay attention there to learn more about them.
Ciao mis amigos.
I am still having fun.
I am still not thinking about work:-)
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