For my second full day in Denmark, I decided to rent a bike. Because my battery pack had died, I left later than I had hoped to because I had to sit and wait for my map phone to charge so that I wouldn’t get entirely lost. That was enough time for me to realise that Kronborg Castle was supposedly where Hamlet had been set and to decide that no, 48km was nothing and I could totally do that with no trouble. And on the way, I’d visit Jægersborg Dyrehave, the Deer Park; Bellevue Beach; and Bakken, the world’s oldest amusement park. Yes, Ema, that would be nothing.
The first bike I tried had no gears, which should have been a sign. I rode off cautiously on the second bike, remembering that I had almost killed myself in Barcelona because I didn’t know traffic signals… oh well. I found my stride and biked confidently off in the wrong direction, going about a kilometer out of my way before I realised that I was heading south. Later, after adjusting my seat twice, I realised that the bike’s seat wouldn’t stay up and was going to consistently slip down for the rest of the way. Lovely.
I had just gotten onto the main street when I came across construction that forced the bike lane into a space barely big enough for one bike. Danes on bikes are apparently Biking Vikings, and this was proved when a man appeared right behind me, not ringing his bell until he was an inch away. Even if he had warned me, there would have been literally no space to turn. I instinctively veered and crashed directly into the railing surrounding, and he sailed right on by. For the next four hours riding to the castle, each jolt made me wince in pain and I was pretty positive that my pinky finger was fractured. (The pinky finger, of course, because I am incapable of hurting myself in an actually serious way.) Thankfully, I raided the castle’s first aid kit and taped my fingers together, making the return journey a much more pleasant experience.
But it was all worth it when I saw Kronborg Castle off in the distance.
The castle had a moat. A MOAT!
I almost fell off my bike I was so excited. This castle was the castle I’d been wandering all over Europe hoping to find. This castle was my childhood dreams come true. I walked up to the top floor and practically cried of excitement at seeing odl tapestries and four poster beds and so many gorgeous things all over. There was even a room for kids to draw and to play in a smaller sized castle. To my amusement, I realised that the castle is in a region known as Northern Zealand. Sounds familiar. While I was (sadly) walking out, I also noticed a statue of hands on the edge of the moatbridge as if a person was drowning. Love it.
On my way back, I rode around Jægersborg Dyrehave but didn’t stop since it was getting late. I did make it to Bakken, where I rode the Rutschebanen, the oldest roller coaster in the world.
I got to meet up with another Californian, a friend who goes to the University of Copenhagen and was kind enough to let me experience a night as a Danish student and really enjoyed getting to hear about her life and seeing a concert for social science students.