Friday, April 9, 2010

Helsingør, Denmark

Thursday before practice, I spent a few hours with our QB, Kalle Nordström, who came into Hässleholm about three hours before practice due to a travel snafu. Kalle, as you may recall, lives in Helsingborg to the west.

We discussed many things. Football, to be sure, but also his career goal of someday becoming a cruise ship's captain, his Swedish Marines experience, a visit to Florida and some of my travel plans.

I want to go up to Oslo, Norway for a few days sometime soon and he had some great travel tips for me. I also asked him about the Danish city of Helsingør located 4 km ferry ride across the Öresund from Helsingborg.

He said that Helsingør was much smaller than Helsingborg but it did have a castle.

A castle, that's all I needed to hear!

Not just any castle mind you, this was Kronborg Castle. This was Hamlet's Castle and Shakespeare's Elsinore that we were talking about!

Combining pleasure with business, I also contacted two of the key figures on both sides of the Carlsberg Beer Dispute to discuss an amicable solution to their labor strife in Copenhagen. I thought a meeting in a neutral and historic location like the Kronborg Castle would help ease some of the tension.

If you are unaware of the Carlsberg Beer Dispute, take a peek at yesterday's blogpost.

Of course the ferry was named "HAMLET"

It takes about one hour to get to Helsingborg by train. My Jojo Card covered the 144 Krona round trip, so I've now recovered at least 816 Krona of the 1,060 Krona cost of the 30 day card.

My timing was good as the next ferry to Helsingør left from the same transportation building about 10 minutes after my train arrived It cost 58 Krona (about $8) round trip to take the pleasant 20 minute ride across the Øresund.

I love the Danish Ø!

Øresund just looks better than the Swedish Öresund if you ask me.

Helsingør's Transportation Center

Nice outfit but what is that
crazed look in your eyes?

Oh, I see . . .

Was I too late?

Had violence already erupted in the Carlsberg Beer Dispute before I had a chance to talk with the representatives?

Helsingør Domkirke - Skt. Olai

St. Olaf's Church was named in honor of the King of Norway who fell at the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030 A.D. I'm not sure why a Danish church picked a Norwegian King's name but that is what the brochure says.

Construction on the church started in 1200 and was completed in 1559.

I'm a sucker for old red buildings!

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!!

Kronborg Castle

Eric of Pomerania built Krogen Castle at this site in 1425.

From 1574 to 1585, Frederik II rebuilt the castle in its current Renaissance style and renamed it Kronborg Castle.

The castle's strategic position allowed Danish kings to build their riches as every ship passing through the Øresund had to pay a tax of "One English Noble", a gold coin worth the approximate cost of one ox.

Since Denmark controlled what is now Sweden across the Øresund, failure to pay this tribute would unleash a deadly cross-fire of cannon balls on any ship trying to slip through without paying its due!

"One English Noble" or DIE!

Oh yes, we are going to use the Shakespeare connection to the max!

The Danish Flag
flying proudly over Kronborg Castle

C4 Lions leaving graffiti at Kronborg?

On no, that's right, C4 stands for King Chritian IV of Denmark. Remember that Denmark controlled much of Sweden's Skåne region for many years.

I was sorely tempted to sit and have a bite.

Now this is a real castle, TAPESTRIES EVERYWHERE!!!

Good Luck Catania Elephants!

This tapestry reminded me that the Elephants (1-1) try to get back on track in Bologna on Saturday against the Warriors (0-2).

The Meeting Room

I rented this impressive room for our meeting with the two sides of the Carlsberg Beer Dispute.

Here they come, meet . . .

Carlsberg Beer's Vice-President
Hans Jensen

His outfit only added to the gravity of the situation!

Carlsberg Beer Union Rep
Rasmus Regelsen

I could definitely sense the pain in this man's body language as we discussed the abominable working conditions that management was trying to force on the workers!

We tried to have a calm discussion and come to a peaceful resolution to the conflict but as you can unfortunately see below . . .

. . . it turned into an all out,
no-holds-barred donnybrook!

On a more refined note . . .

Every August, Kronborg Castle hosts re-enactments of Shakespeare's play Hamlet, what else, with different interpretations like the Chinese one by Director Shi Yukun back in 2005 seen here.

What better place to see Hamlet than inside the walls of Shakespeare's Elsinore? Laurie and I will be here to watch it I'm sure.

Because of Denmark's long naval history, the castle also included a Maritime Museum.

Danish Migration to the U.S.A., c. 1890

Now that's a masthead!

This is a good one too.

Lisbeth Salander's Ancestor?

As if a lion isn't ferocious enough already,
this one needs a battle ax?

Kids having fun on a Field Trip

The Palmbrink Family Pew
Is that Ludvig?

The castle has a small but ornate chapel.

The Grip Family Pew

Historic Buildings, I'm in my element!

Holger the Dane

This statue is located in the casemates, the very cold (I could see my breath) and damp areas underneath the castle.

Holger is Denmark's legendary hero who sits slumbering, ready to be stirred into action the instant the Danish kingdom is threatened by an enemy.

Moss and a Moustache

Kronborg's Courtyard

Kronborg's Courtyard, another view

A lonely fisherman on Kronborg's shore

The Kronborg Castle was a treat, now it was time to do a little bit of exploring in the city of Helsingør.

The Mason's are ALWAYS of interest!

Crop Circles? Aliens?

I have been told by Laurie that these are not "wild flowers" as I speculated in earlier blogposts, they are crocus bulbs starting to flower.

A 201 year old grave site

You can purchase all of your belly dancing needs in Helsingør!

Farmer's Market for Alcohol?

Denmark is famous in Sweden for selling duty free alcohol in privately owned stores at much lower prices than in the Swedish government run liquor stores.

Madam Sprunck?

I'm hungry but this name and her look didn't make me confident.

Helsingør's Wiibroe Beer

Fed up with the failed talks earlier in the day with the Carlsberg people, I decided to try a local brew. I enjoyed a tasty bacon burger with my adult beverage as well at a place called San Remo.

Properly fed, it was time to go home

Knowing that the Carlberg Beer Dispute could lead to an all-out strike, Swede's on board the ferry back to Helsingborg were loading up just in case.

One last view of Kronborg Castle
from the ferry.


DPLassen said...

Holger the Dane looks like he might have the same pharmacist as Mark McGwire. Great statue, though.

steveswindle said...

I remember one time when I was in Copenhagen walking home with some friends and we spied several drunks lying about on the sidewalk.
The Danes sneered...."Swedes, here for the weekend".
Your comment about the cheaper booze prices made me think of that....and of course it was rather true!!!