In April and June 2017, I traveled to Denmark, the Netherlands, the U.K., France and Spain, and I have to say, by far, hands-down, the most inspirational place I saw was Copenhagen, Denmark.
Spain gets second place for being an incredibly enlightening surprise—historically, educationally and socially; but the history of Denmark (its preservation of old relics and historical sites) and how its people persevere proudly despite being at the losing end of so many generations of political turmoil (let’s be honest), was really a unique experience. I would strongly recommend at least 2-3 days in Copenhagen to everyone, at the very least.
- Roskilde Castle
- Viking Museum (also in Roskilde)
- Frederiksborg Castle
- Kronborg Slot
We went on a tour with Hamlet Tours and our tour guide, Robert, was by far the best tour guide we have ever had! He was knowledgeable, sarcastic (in the best way) and frankly had the best demeanor I’ve ever seen on a professional with such a large burden of responsibility (a tour bus full of foreigners with questions on a tight schedule).
I know we’re all here for the photos, so here are my favorites:
This is Roskilde Castle! There are literally over 1,200 bodies buried within its floor and walls — the wealthiest of the Danish paid to be immortalized in this way. The castle itself was built by Harold Bluetooth (yes, as in Bluetooth!) and was passed on to his son. FYI: Apparently Bluetooth the service is named after him solely because the inventor was a fan of the monarch—nothing more.
One of the many tombs (sarcophagi?) viewable within. Frederik II and his son are buried here; the castle was burned to total devastation right before the last monarch died. He had put every penny into its renovation and after the fire, had no more funds to return it to its former glory. It was restored many years later. There are so many sad histories of Danish royal families on this trip. Honestly, I couldn’t get enough.
Ohhh, the Hulking Dane! He’s fabled to awaken and rush to Scandinavia’s aid in times of terror. I suppose he didn’t get that memo when Denmark was losing its territories time and time again to its neighbors. #Sweden. And for that reason, I had to take this photo.
This photo is actually more of an experimentation, discovering what my phone is capable of as far as artsy photography. I was the only one to take a photo of the Queen’s chambers — where she and her ladies in waiting ate meals and conducted their general business — and it came out quite nicely! This is Kronborg Slot, otherwise known as Hamlet’s Castle. The castle itself was gutted to become a military base before it was renovated as a tourist site, so its décor was quite bare. This room was actually the most ornate of all.
FYI: It’s actually not known whether Shakespeare had ever been here. It’s inconclusive based on some inconsistencies of his script and the physical layout of the property. He was an actor and theatre troupes did appear here from time to time, so it’s possible.
There are so many other reasons why Copenhagen was amazing: the people, the food, the frigid weather. I wish we had a bit more time before we had to shuffle off to Amsterdam, which, frankly, was a bit of a letdown. There were many other sites, like Tivoli Gardens, that I would have loved to see—but that just means we’ll have to go again!