Thursday, January 22, 2015

Baltic Cruise: Copenhagen, Part 1 (Elsinore)

Well peeps, we are (at long last) closing in fast on the last of the photos from our Baltic cruise from...last May.  I'm so behind.  But let's not dwell on how slow I am in posting these, let's just get right down to it!

So after we left Stockholm (which we quite enjoyed, between the Vasa Museum and the overpriced but still fun ice bar), our cruise ship took us to our last port, Copenhagen.  Lee and I booked a hotel to spend an extra night in Copenhagen so that we would have time to actually see things there before flying back to England, so once we checked in to the hotel and dropped our stuff off, we hit up the train station to go to Elsinore.

And when we arrived we found Noah's Ark?

We found this statue on the wharf, and this was Lee's favorite picture of the day (taken by me).  You'll see another, much more famous Copenhagen statue in the next post ; )

And this is the reason I wanted to go to Elsinore:  Kronborg Castle, which you might recognize as the setting for Shakespeare's Hamlet (which is, so far as I know, the only Shakespearean play that has been translated into Klingon).

Looks kind of moody and brooding in this picture, doesn't it?  If you're wondering, when Lee and I go places, we usually Google something like "top 10 things to see in (insert place here)" and that's how we found Kronborg and probably most everything else we saw on the cruise, minus St. Petersburg since that was a tour.

The current castle was built in the 1600s by King Christian IV (who signed it all over) after the previous 16th-century fortification burned down.

Kronborg was strategically important because it controlled one of the few entrances to the Baltic Sea from the west.  Sweden besieged Kronborg in 1658 (not terribly long after it was rebuilt) and stole a bunch of artwork as war booty.

After the castle fell out of use as a royal residence, the army moved in and used it as barracks until the 1920s.

Click this pic to make it bigger and take a look at the Eggo Waffle walls.

I told you King Christian IV signed the castle all over the place.  I think this was on a fireplace mantel.  *Digression alert* I was just sitting here wondering if it was mantel or mantle when discussing a fireplace, so I looked it up (fyi: mantel is for fireplaces, mantle is for an article of clothing).  I just read a couple of books by an author who has a serious and ongoing problem with homophones that was so bad I wanted to write a review on Amazon and teach her that "mane" refers to hair (not main); if you're seeing a single object, then it's "lone", not "loan"; and (worst repeat offender) if you're looking at something, most of the time it's a "sight", not a "site" (unless maybe it's an archaeological site, which it never was).  She also used the expression "lowered his/her brow" I guess to convey a facial expression of displeasure, but that's not a phrase I'd ever heard before.  This author used it so frequently that a.) it was annoying and b.) it could be the basis of a drinking game.  The bad thing about all this indie book publishing going on nowadays with e-readers is that a lot of these authors are in DIRE need of a good editor.  And some writing workshops.  Not to mention they most definitely require a good dictionary.

Ok, back on topic!

Here's another C4, this time on a ceiling.  We saw some interestingly shaped rooms in the towers of the castle, not really round but more polygonal.  If you scroll back up to the picture of the castle exterior near the top, this room was in the tower on the left corner.

This was a very large ballroom with lots of paintings but I don't know where my trip notebook is right now so I don't remember anything specific about the artwork.

Shot of the interior courtyard courtesy of Lee.

The castle has its own small chapel, and you can have your wedding here if you pay lots of money for the use of the chapel.  It is beautifully decorated, though.

Here's the organ at the back of the chapel.

You can go into the tunnels underneath the castle that were used for storage, and see a Danish character connected to Arthurian legend...

This is Holger Danske, a.k.a. Ogier the Dane.  Interestingly, his first appearance (that we know of, anyway) was in medieval French literature rather than Danish (well, they invented Lancelot too).  Like King Arthur, Holger Danske is an ancient king who is asleep, but will wake up to defend his country when it is in grave peril.  According to Wikipedia (source of all knowledge on the interwebs), the largest Danish resistance group in World War II was named after Holger Danske.

And there's Holger Danske with Lee's face : )

Not the best angle for a picture but we tried!

We were walking around the perimeter of the castle when it started to rain, so we got stuck for a bit waiting for it to clear out before we did the 15-minute walk back to the train station since we didn't want to get completely soaked.

Luckily we had shelter in the outer wall near the gift shop, and I got this picture framed in the archway from the wall.

One of the coolest things about Kronborg:  if you look at the castle complex from the air, it is shaped like a crown (tilt your head to the left if you don't see it).

On our walk back to the train station we saw this mural painted on a building, and thought it was fun so we took a picture.

Next up:  our last Baltic cruise post.  Cheers, peeps!


CCsMom said...

I really like that castle. I think it would be weird to lay in bed and think that those tunnels are underneath the castle. I guess I'd be worried that someone who shouldn't be there is creeping around the castle. I guess that's what they have guards for, though. Ha! If I was a kid, I'm sure I'd go down and run through those tunnels. Just seems like an interesting place. Thanks for sharing!

Vicki Burns said...

Ok, I totally enjoyed your grammar digression!

Love that photo of the ballroom. The perspective is cool!