Saturday, September 19, 2015

Helsingør, not Helsingborg

Kronborg Castle in Helsingør, where Shakespeare's Hamlet takes place
I left the Louisiana after two hours, having supped my fill of ultra-modernism.  I still had the bulk of the afternoon available, so I decided to head north,  Farther north than I've ever been before.  To Helsingør.

It's always a good thing when you get a farthest "out" in any direction,  I had been stuck on the same "farthest north" since 1989!  Longer than any of the other directions.  Lake Louise, Alberta (51° 25' 31" N) has been displaced on this trip.  First a little by London/Heathrow Airport (51° 28' 39" N), then by Copenhagen (55° 40' 34" N) and now by Helsingør, Denmark (56° 02' 21" N).*

Helsingør is a very Nordic looking town with a beautiful old train station.

Large red brick train station on your right

Front entrance to train station, which doesn't seem to get you to the tracks
It is at the narrowest point in the Øresund.  In other words, Sweden gets no closer to Denmark than it does at Helsingør.  Which is pronounced almost like "Elsinore," like the lake town in Riverside County, California, near Temecula, which in fact is the Anglicized version of the name "Helsingør."

Helsingør is known for two things.  The ferries connecting it to its larger twin, Helsingborg, Sweden.

The ferries need to be huge so the Swedes can lug all their purchases back home to Sweden
Swedes come to Denmark to shop.  If you think Denmark is expensive, try Sweden.  Hordes of Swedish shoppers regularly cross the Øresund to buy out Denmark because it is cheap cheap cheap compared to Sweden.

The other reason is Hamlet's Castle, Castle Kronborg.

Swans in the moat of Castle Kronborg.
Swans are an effective defense against intruders because they are damn mean.
Beautiful, but very very mean. Sort of like the most popular girls in high school.
Hamlet is the story of a Danish prince living in Castle "Elsinore."  Hamlet is a work of fiction.  So too is Castle Kronborg, the Disney-esque recreation of Hamlet's Castle,  It was a real castle.  Then it burned to the ground.  Then it was rebuilt.  Later used as a prison.  Finally, in 1938, it was restored, renovated and re-opened to be the faux Hamlet's Castle.

According to Rick Steves, and I am a slave to Rick Steves, there isn't much to see inside the castle, but the grounds are well worth walking.  So let's do.

The welcome sign.  In Danish red.
These people apparently are castled out.

I always like these overhead models of the area you are exploring.

The castle gates.

To the point beyond which I must spend Danish krones.

Time to head back to the harborside.

But first a castle selfie.  You think I could smile.


Oh man.  That one is HORRIBLE.  I look like I've grown a goiter.  My multi-chins shifted right on me.  I'm smiling, yes, but I look like I've got a frickin' goiter.

By the way, I have no clue why they've got those statues there.

Or the statuary from Zimbabwe.  Although this one needs no reason to be anywhere in particular.

No excuse needed to snap pictures of docked boats in a harbor.

This boat seemed to be a fishing boat that had passengers.  Not sure about that though.

Soon the shadows were growing longer.

I decided I wasn't in the mood to cross over into Sweden.  It had been a long day.  I had my passport, but Europe's been having border issues lately and Sweden is one of the places that is getting closed off.  (Finland, e.g., shut down its land border with Sweden the other day.)  So I didn't want to take a chance of a delay.  (I didn't think getting stranded in Sweden was a possibility.)

So me and my goiter hopped a train heading south.  Fortunately, it was the right one to take me back to Copenhagen Central Station.

    * For those of you who care about my farthests, they are as follows:  Farthest east: Miskolc-Tapolca, Hungary (20° 44' 50" E).  Farthest west:  Tofino, British Columbia (125° 53' 30" W).  Farthest south:  Punta Del Este, Uruguay (34° 58' 21" S).  I really need to visit Asia and Alaska to shake these up.

No comments:

Post a Comment