Out of town castles and in town playgrounds
22.10.2014 - 22.10.2014 12 °C
First thing I made my way back to the Rundetarn as soon as it opened to take in the view and it didn't disappoint. The Rundetarn (Round Tower) is 115 get high with a ramp up to the top rather than steps. Apparently when Christian X had it built in the 1640s he wanted to be able to ride his horse to the top! I was particularly keen to see it as I had seen it's copy built by Danish ex-pats in Solvang, California with my second cousin Mary the previous year.
However my focus of the day was to take maximum advantage of my 48 hour Copenhagen Card and get out and visit the two most famous castles out of the city in North Zealand. First up was Fredericksburg Slot at the end of the regional train line out to Hillerod and a must see according to all the guide books. Originally built in1560 in Dutch Renaissance style on three islets in the middle of a lake it's certainly impressive. There were 80 odd rooms to explore but apart from the chapel, the great hall and few select rooms they were again bare of much period furniture and artefacts, I guess different countries have different ways of presenting their history. I guess we're pretty spoilt in the UK with the National Trust and all its volunteers! I did find the 1814 gallery explaining Danish History and split with Norway interesting.
After a quick bite to eat (I do enjoy the Danish way of doing hotdogs!) I got the train for the half hour trip to Helsingfor to see Kronberg Slot - Shakespeare's Hamlet's Castle. Again the rooms were bare but I loved the history of the place collecting 'Sound Dues' on all boats passing in or out of the Baltic. I bought my Hamlet "To be, or not to be" T-shirt and got my first view of Sweden over the barrels of the canon in the Flag Bastion overlooking the strait.
It was then a 40 minute train trip back to Copenhagen where after a quick visit to the H C Andersen Experience - full of animatronics recreationing his famous fables but not really worth the effort - I arrived at the city playground Tivoli. Open late for a 2 week season up to Halloween and full of brightly lit pumpkins and witches it we would hard for anybody not to love Tivoli :-) It's an urban amusement park first built in 1843 between Copenhagen Town Hall and the main railway station. Imagine a cross between Victorian antiquity, Disneyland and a fairground and you've got Tivoli; I loved it, with its hairy amusement park style rides, live shows, restaurants, marching bands including the pint sized Tivoli Boy Guard and fairground attactions such as bumper cars there was something for everyone.