Thomas and I decided to take a quick trip to that other part of Denmark to do some exploring before we became a two income household. (Yes, I got a job! More about that later.) Our main destinations were the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and Kronborg Castle, both of which are less than an hour north of Copenhagen by train. Thomas took Friday off from work and we rode the train from Aarhus to Copenhagen. After spending Friday night there, we took the train north to the town of Humlebæk (yeah, I can’t pronounce it either), where the Louisiana Museum is located on the shores of the Øresund (in English, The Sound). I don’t claim to understand or like modern art, so if you would like a review of the art at the museum, ask Thomas. I did really enjoy the sculpture garden and architecture of the museum.
Here is the wishing tree from the Yoko Ono exhibit:
The museum also had a great cafe where we ate the most traditional Danish lunch I’ve ever had. It featured the typical things, like various cold salads involving cabbage, some new potatoes, a small amount of beef, and a cream soup. After refueling, we took the train a little further north to Helsingør.
We spent Saturday night at a cute little hotel in Helsingør. We had a very nice dinner in the cozy restaurant downstairs and then listened to people scream outside our hotel window until 4am. Yay. Helsingør is in a pretty strategic location. Super close to Sweden, which is just across the sound. So, back in the day, the Danish kings charged anyone entering or leaving the Baltic Sea through the sound and started raking in the cash. Today the city is strategic for another reason. I hear alcohol is very expensive in Sweden and since Helsingør is just a 20 minute ferry ride away from Sweden, you can guess where the Swedes might go when they get thirsty.
On Sunday morning, we toured the castle/fortress built to enforce the “sound dues,” as they were called. The abridged history of Kronborg:
-Built in 1420’s as crappy fortress to collect cash from ships
-Late 1500’s, Frederick II upgraded the fortress, largest ballroom in Northern Europe was added. Great for a giant fredagsbar.
-1629, some guys accidentally burned down the castle, except for the chapel, hate when that happens.
-1631, King Christian IV (or C4 as he liked to be called) dumped a whole lotta money into the property to restore it to its former glory, but this time Baroque style.
-In 1658, during one of the Danish-Swedish conflicts, the Swedes invaded and stole a whole bunch of stuff from the castle. Bye-bye cool fountain.
-Improved defense of the fortress. Thanks, Swedes!
-1740’s until 1900ish = prison. Not so exciting.
There are two other pretty cool things about Kronborg. The castle is the setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which he calls Elsinore. Additionally, there is a pretty cool cat sleeping in the basement.
Holger will sleep in the basement of the castle until the realm is in trouble. At which point he will wake up and…….something. I liked Holger. Thomas wants to name our first dog Holger.
After this adventure, we took the train back to Copenhagen and had just enough time to rest up before a trip to Manfred and Vin, one of the restaurants we really like in CPH and that is actually open on Sundays. A great way to end a wonderful weekend!