Sunday 30 December
Today was a bit drizzly so we were glad to get on a warm bus at 10.15am for a castles tour. There were only 7 other passengers and Glyn and I got front seat on the upper deck – get in!!!

We were given headphones as there was intermittent commentary along the road. We passed through Copenhagen and started seeing countryside. Some of the houses were huge and beautiful, it turns out that they were in fact villas (the Danish use the Italian word villa) and ranged from being worth 1 million to 8 million dollars. We were told the value in Kroner but I’ve forgotten that. We passed by footballer’s mansions, valued anywhere up to $20 million.

We saw the sea a lot en route and witnessed people swimming in it. There’s a sport called ‘Viking bathing’ and there are clubs for it. Basically if you have to break the ice to get into the sea, that’s Viking bathing. Full kudos for those who do it, but its not for me. No way.

Another unusual sport I witnessed, but never got to the bottom of what it is called, looked like skiing on the road. I saw two people doing it on the bicycle paths. They were wearing what looked to be full length running gear, with long poles and what looked like very short skis with tiny wheels on their feet. I’ve never seen this before and don’t know if its just a Danish thing. (I’ve just found out that this also happens in Sweden and Finland)

Eventually we arrived at Frederiksborg Slot that was originally built in 1560 but mostly burnt down and was rebuilt in 1859. It had been very cold that year and they pumped up the heating too much. It seems this used to happen a lot in the olden days in Denmark, the weather went below freezing and people accidentally burnt their homes down as a result. This castle was rebuilt by the boss of Carlsberg. We’ve been told more than once by tour guides how Carlsberg support art, design and science, so every pint drunk also supports these things. I haven’t drunk any Carlsberg, what a yob I must be.

Frederiksborg Slot is a very fancy castle with tons of paintings, tapestries and ornate carved furniture. There were so many rooms, who knows what they were all used for and most of the ceilings were extremely fancy too. It was very dark inside, especially when the sky turned dark so little light coming in and no flash photography was allowed, so I had to turn my ISO right up.

The rain started to ease off and we were taken to Fredensborg Slot which is still used by the Danish royals and was built in 1720, it hasn’t burnt down yet. We were only given a few minutes to photograph this.

Finally we went to Kronborg Slot, Hamlet’s ‘Castle of Elsinore’. This was built in the fifteenth century and Shakespeare’s play has often been performed here although no one is sure if Shakespeare ever came here himself. It’s smaller than Frederiksborg Slot and not so fancy looking. As it’s on the coast, it was very cold and windy. Sweden wasn’t far away, just a short ferry trip across the water.

The walls inside Kronborg were mostly white and the decor was sparse compared to Frederiksborg Slot. It didn’t take too long to get around and parts were closed for winter. We went to the underground part that was very extensive and maze like, fortunately there were arrows to help you round. We were advised to take a torch (available in the castle shop for 20k) or bring a smart phone with torch app; we used our phones and wandered about in the dark for some time. We didn’t really know what we were looking at but I presume it was once dungeons and food storage.

The castle shut at 4pm and the bus took us home. The commentary didn’t just tell us about that castle’s histories, but stuff about the Danish and Denmark in general.

I don’t know if this was because it was a Sunday, but the roads were quite empty and the driving I did see looked very respectable and I wouldn’t be nervous about driving in Denmark if ever there was a need. We got back to Copenhagen just before 5pm.

When we got back to our hotel we looked on Trip Advisor for a good place to eat that was affordable. We came across a Chinese, Chun Bo, that had good reviews and was in an area we’d not been to yet. The walk was only 20 minutes and I was ravenous by the time we got there. We both had the buffet that included sushi for 128k each and got our money’s worth, especially Glyn. We foolishly ordered two large glasses of fizzy water each and received just over a pint each, I knew they’d be expensive but still was shocked to learn when paying the bill that they were 52k each (that’s about 5 quid!!). The most expensive glass of water I have ever had!

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Having only one cat, Claire is currently failing at being a mad cat lady, but she does have a mad cat, Bod. When Claire isn’t chasing cats and other animals with her camera, she works as a Graphic Design Manager.

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