Saturday, October 28, 2017

Skirting "Hamlet's Castle"

15 July 2017

"To be or not to be. That is the question." Whether we would visit the Kronborg Castle, a.k.a. Hamlet's Castle, in Helsingor, Denmark or not.

Actually, my hubby and I didn't need to deliberate on this because I had been dying ever since to see this castle that Shakespeare immortalized in his greatest classic tragedy, Hamlet. We didn't need to travel far either to get there since at this time, we were already in the south of Sweden and it would take only a few minutes for a ferry to cross the sea to Helsingor, Denmark.

So on the evening of July 15, we headed off to one harbour in Helsingborg, parked our car somewhere and took the Helsingor-bound ferry. The sail across to Denmark would take about 15 minutes,  under which we explored the ferry and then settled on the deck along with many others who stayed there the whole time the ferry sailed to and fro, drinking a lot and chilling out.

As we neared the waterfront of Helsingor, I spotted a castle afar off, wondering if that was the one we were going to visit, and an old man sitting next to us said yes, it was the Hamlet's castle. I wowed!

Once we stepped on to another country, which is Denmark, we made our way toward the castle, stopping here and there to snap a few shots of some seaport scenery.

And then we marched into the castle's courtyard, gaped at this awesome Renaissance castle, which is famed worldwide as Elsinore Castle in Shakespeare's play, navigated the spacious precincts and had myself awash with wonder at seeing the grandeur of this place.

We couldn't get inside the building because we came past the visiting hours, but just skirting around the area switched me on to time-travel mode. I may not have been able to listen to the stories of the tour guide, Horatio, Hamlet's "surviving" best friend, but I could see and hear in my mind Hamlet expressing his famous soliloquy and other events in his life within the castle that floated on my mind at the moment.

Roving about the building also fed our birder's soul as we spotted several birds taking refuge there.  Despite the imposing air of the castle, the courtyard seems to be a safe haven for different birds.

The castle's surroundings are also a honeypot for tourists and photographers. The picturesque sceneries  vied for my attention, and not one was overlooked, of course! My sweeping eyes and my tireless camera just went on working.

 Denmark and Sweden (across the sea) in one picture, with hubby

After circling the the castle's courtyard, we started off to the ferry that would convey us back to Sweden. The swans came to see us off, and faint sundogs showed up in the evening sky as we exited the area.

From the deck of the ferry that had sailed off the dock, I watched the castle being kissed by the muted glow of the sinking sun as I said a silent goodbye to it. My heart brimmed with satisfaction and gratitude for having this opportunity to finally see my "castle in the air" materialize and be a part of its historical and literary affluence that keeps expanding as  long as it survives the ravages of time.

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