Sunday, August 9, 2009

there is nothing so lost it can't be found: cycling to Hamlet's castle

I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth.

Due to a string of unfortunate events, I was feeling out of sorts a couple weeks ago. Rather than wallowing, I decided to cycle up the coast to Helsingor. For those that like that sort of thing, it's roughly about 46 km from Copenhagen and is rather a lovely ride. Just keep in view of the sea, and you'll arrive eventually.

Here are some of the things you'll see on the way:

Just outside Copenhagen, you come to a large earthworks remnant of the old defense system. It is remarkably similar to the one inside Copenhagen, only somewhat less attractive and full of hippies due to the campground that exists on the right. It also possesses a rather unattractive beach. This beach is also full of hippies. In other words, if you like hippies, this is probably your dream spot.

If you can resist the lure of the drum circle, you are rewarded by views like this.

There are a lot of very nice marinas along the way, which are perfect for providing some shelter from Denmark's omnipresent rain.

There are cafes by the sea.

And a really beautiful cemetery if you are tall enough to see it.

Did I mention the really nice marinas?

And lots and lots of wildflowers

But the journey is worth it, just for this place I found at one of the marinas

And here's why

I have often wondered why, being on an island and an island with lots of fishermen, it is so difficult to find good seafood here. Where does it all go? Apparently, the answer is the north coast.

In any case, after a whole lot more scenery, you will come to Helsingor.

A city that has made its reputation on having a castle that was the model for the castle in Hamlet is unlikely to let you forget it. Ophelia gone wild graces the train station next to a Hamlet who, is it just me or does he look a little light in the loafers in this statue? (Not that there is anything wrong with gay Hamlet. Well, other than those bloomers which seem to be a bit overdoing things.)

It's quite a cute little town

And, of course, there's the castle

It has a moat

And looks, unsurprisingly, very castle-y

It has the ability to blow things up, which might come in handy as there are rather a lot of tourists around when the cruise ships come in.

It has a nice view

It has naked gods

And did I mention?

Though perhaps my favorite bit of statuary was the zombie nymphs that you can see on the walk to town.

If you're particularly enterprising, you can bike home. If not, you can always hop a train back to Copenhagen with your bike from Helsingor station. If you do go the train route, you will be rewarded with more advice for the proper care and treatment of your schnauzer.

Seriously, can anyone explain to me why the trains are so obsessed with schnauzers? Are rampant hordes of commuters trying to board with yapping schnauzers that must be accommodated and shushed at every opportunity?

In any case, these and other important questions so occupied me on the journey home that I failed to notice that my mirth wasn't lost after all. I'd only just misplaced it for a while.

No comments: