Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Castles in Denmark and Sweden

It was a day of castles. We woke up and drove out -- all 11 Canadians as well as Roger, Caroline and Elsa -- and headed in a caravan of rental cars to the ferry terminal in Helsingborg. There are big ferries that make the 20 minutes crossing of the Ă–resond every 30 minutes. It was a warm sunny day and we had fantastic views of both historic cities of Helsingborg in Sweden and Helsingor in Denmark.

Arriving in Denmark we got our bearings with Roger and Caroline endulging their traditional feast of bright red, long Danish hotdogs with spicy mustard and dried onion flakes. We then trooped on to the famous castle where Shakespear set the play Hamlet. It was the crown castle of a Danish king in the 1600s, and on the outside is quite impressive. After we explored the grounds together as a group the party split up until the 3:30 ferry back to Sweden, to explore on our own. We poked around in the castle a bit, which was rather museumy and not too appealing for the boys. Then we headed out to the quaint old town quarter of the Danish city, had lunch in a square, did a bit of shopping (Karen bought well designed 'pirate' rubber boots for Elwyn), and headed back to the ferry.

Roger and Caroline were headed back to their house to prepare for a big BBQ they were going to have for family and friends, and Elwyn decided that he wanted to join them. Karen headed off on her own for some more shopping, so Alden and I decided that we would go explore the old crown castle on the Swedish side. It was more of a public outdoor park than a museum, with running fountains, great views and really authentic architecture, well preserved. Alden loved exploring the little corners and dead ends, and we topped it all off with some fancy ice cream treats.

Went back to Roger's house where the BBQ was well under way. We had Caroline's mother and her husband, the neighbours who are hosting our family at their house, Roger's friend Tobe, as well as the Canadians from Montreal (Bobby and Cathty, Ian and Laura and their three kids Veronica, Ryan and Emma). We had a lovely BBQ, with the gift opening at the end. The coolest wedding gift, in my view, was from Caroline's life-long friend, who had bought them an old phonograph. Stayed up late, chatted, watched the stars with Caroline's telescope (found a faint and fuzzy Andromeda galaxy).

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