As a traveler, it is only natural to plan every leg of your trip to the T, backed by extensive research and even more so when you do a backpacking trip for 20 days across 5 countries. But just like all else in life, each of us have been in a situation where the best of plans have not worked the way you wanted it to.
The 5th of October, 2013 was one such day for us. We had to change our plans in the last minute and ended up having an extra day in Scandinvia and we decided to go to Denmark a day in advance. Without knowing what to do, we landed early morning in Copenhagen. Most of what we could do in Copenhagen were to open much later in the day and we moved back and forth near the station lugging our huge backpacks wondering what we should do next. Thankfully since we were in Scandinavia there was access to Wi-Fi and a quick scout online led us to take a bet on a trip to Kronborg Castle in Helsignor for that morning.In less than an hour we had reached the town of Helsignor. Kronborg Castle situated in the northeastern tip of Denmark, was a means of fortifying one of the outlets of Baltic Sea. Built in the 1420s and restored once again in the 1600s after the castle was partly destroyed in fire, it has stood testament for centuries of civilizations post that. The castle was also the setting for the famed Shakespeare’s play Hamlet as the castle of Elsinore.
With this brief history in mind, we reached the doors of the castle that stood tall and mighty at the coast of the Baltic Sea. We were there quite early and the castle was yet to open to public and it was just standing right there waiting for us to come explore. It was like a dream come true. Every girl has grown up seeing Disney princesses and castles on TV and to unexpectedly stand in front of one was surreal to say the least.
Going in there early worked for us as we could explore the huge castle grounds all by ourselves with no rush of tourists with their guidebooks and their cameras. As we entered the gates, we crossed the beautiful bridge across a small stream of water and made our way to the majestic entrance gates of the castle. As we entered the castle, it opened up to a large square ground ( read large as the size of four badminton courts side by side) with tall towers built on all sides like it was a fenced open space with a small structure like a platform right in the middle.
The castle looked its part, built for war, with 17th century canons preserved at its grounds, anchors two-foot-long lying by the grass and its immense fortification and planning to ensure no enemy can breach it without the castle giving them a run for their money. There were small covens by the castle walls, small wooden doors with those old-fashioned big round brass hooks and knobs, huge arches and mystical passages. Basically all that you would have imagined a castle to look like as you read those books as an adolescent, multiplied by a 100 times.
And just when I thought it could not get any better, we moved on to the grounds and I was truly floored. The castle was surrounded by a patch of such lush green grass and on all three sides of the castle there was the nothing but the blues of the Baltic sea expanding all the way up to infinity. A part of my heart still lies by the grass in that view. A view where you are afraid to even let your breath out or blink, wondering if you would just wake up to find it was all just a dream.
It was just us; standing at what felt like the tip of the earth, amidst the persistent winds blowing in our direction and the sound of the waves crashing against the footholds of the castles echoing in your ears back and forth, back and forth. It was moment captured in my heart forever!
And though it was an impromptu trip for me, I would urge any dreamer traveling to Scandinavia to put this on a Must Do list! Trust me, you will not regret it!