Day Six - Helsingborg
Trip Start Jul 10, 2008
18Trip End Jul 19, 2008
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The castle is actually in Denmark, so we had to take a ferry back across the sound for it.
Our tour guide today was wonderful. She is obviously well versed in the history of her city (Helsingborg) as well as the Danish city of Helsingor. I was surprised to find out that a good percentage of the buildings in Helsingor are over 400 years old, with the oldest dating back to around 1250
After a short walk through the city square, she took us to the castle. One thing we saw along the way as crossing one of the moats, was a school of jellyfish. This surprised me a little, for while I knew they were strictly salt water creatures, I also thought they needed warmer water. Obviously I was wrong. I got a picture of one and hope it comes out.
One interesting thing about Shakespeare. He never visited the castle. King Christian the 4th was a great supporter of the arts and regularly had acting troupes come to the castle to perform, mainly Shakespeare's works. After seeing one, the king wrote to Shakespeare to thank him for his work. It was after this that he wrote Hamlet based on the castle and the king's wife and family. The Garden which features prominently in the story was actually at another castle 3 miles away that was the residence of the former queen and her entourage
Frederick the 2nds wife loved to dance, so he had an annex to the castle built that housed a 65 meter long banquet hall. (That's almost 200 feet to us Yanks) There's another beautiful picture of this hall in the collection.
We got through seeing all this amazing history and the tour ended, of course, in the gift shop. Jeff had said that if they sold small skulls (go read Hamlet) we were definitely going to get one. Alas, poor Yorick, they had none.
Back on the bus, back to the pier, where we waited in line with 75% of the passengers to get a ride back to the ship. Four tenders holding 100 passengers each, needing to transport 1,500 people. Doesn't take a math wiz to figure out they needed three or four more boats. We ended up leaving the harbor and hour and a half late, which meant we were to be late getting back to Southampton. The Captain said he would try to make up the time, but since we had a strong headwind, he didn't think he could do it.
Tonight was the second formal night, but Jeff and I decided not to dress up again
After dinner I participated in the Blackjack Tournament. I amazed myself and ended up qualifying in second place. Had to wait until 11:45pm for the final, but it was pretty exciting. You start with $1,000 in $100 chips. You can bet as much or as little as you'd like, but they only play seven hands. Coming down to the last hand, chip count was between me and one other (Lucien form London). With the rotation the betting was done meant that I had to bet before him. I played a large bet, but kept enough back to beat everyone else on the table. He bet everything. My only chance was for him to bust. We both got very good cards, but I was at 20 and he at 19. I saw good things in store. Turns out fate was not with me as the dealer busted so we both won. He ended up beating me by $200. He won the pot of $250 cash money. I got a T-Shirt. I guess I should be happy that at least it's my size.
After the tournament, Jeff and I went to the Razzmatazz Night Club (the only bar on the ship open past midnight) and ended up not getting to bed until 3:30am. For those that know us well, it is unheard of for us to be awake after midnight (kind of like the movie 'Gremlins', but with more alcohol)
Next day was a sea day, but I'll have to report on that later as they just called us to board the plane. Yes I'm doing this after the fact, get over it.