SCANDINAVIA 2010

In july 2010 we undertook a roadtrip through parts of Denmark, Sweden and Norway. It was my first visit to these countries and I hope you will find pleasure (and perhaps some use) in browsing the images and my account of this trip.

The Road Home

 

Sky with diamonds
This may have been a portal to another dimension, a parallel universe, but I missed it and kept on driving south in Sweden...

 

For the night we looked at two campgrounds, as we still had that tent and sleepingbags in the boot of the car. One camping was on a steep hill and a cabin would have been ok but they had only small ones remaining, primitive ones, so we left. And the camping we didn't even enter the gate: there must have been thousands there; so we skedaddled outta there. And found a very nice but pricey hotel in Tanum.
Tanum Hotel
Tanum Hotel

Pizzeriain Tanum, Sweden The hotel frontdesk advised us a restaurant about 60 meters down the road, but I spotted 'fine dining' and had my suspicions confirmed by the menu. So we quickly left and found 'Kapten Vikings Restaurant and Pizzeria' a bit further down the road. We had a good meal with some wine and beer. She is from Iran and he is from Iraq (or his male collegue who isn't in the photo , didn't quite get that).

Anyway, two from Iran and one from Iraq. She told us she missed Iran and the town she grew up in; though I've never been homesick I could relate a little as I had read during this vacation Kader Abdolah's book "Reis van de Lege Flessen"... Kader Abdolah is a political fugitive from Persia. He came in 1988 to the Netherlands and took the couragous decision to write in the language of his new homeland.
All in all a good thing we didn't go fine dining.

Bitterballen in Sweden!

Another culinary experience, the next day over lunch. We stopped in Åsa (off the E6/20, looking out to sea, an inlet called 'Kattegat') and the host became very enthusiastic when he learned we were Dutch; he discussed the chances of the Dutch national football team becoming World Champion in South Africa with us and... proudly showed his lunch special: Bitterballen !!!
A Dutch friend of him provided him with these snacks from Holland, so very popular at home in bars and at receptions. We definitely felt getting closer to home.

Setting sail from Helsingborg Leaving Sweden, taking the ferry from Helsingborg to Helsingør.
Cruiseship
 

DENMARK

Helsingor Castle Land in sight! And our target for the day: Kronborg castle, famous for Shakespeare's setting of Hamlet

But first we had to get off the ferry and we went through a bit of a panic. Going down the stairs we came to a closed door for our cardeck and a floor up we couldn't get the elevator to work to reach the right deck. We realized these boats are on a tight schedule and felt we were going to cause a delay!
We found a deckhand who couldn't believe the door had been closed, but right enough some workers doing painting had closed it from the deckside as they found they couldn't do their work without being disturbed...
For once we were the last to leave, facing many accusatory glances from all the staff who were trying to get the boat loaded up and sailing again on time.
How do you silently express 'It is not my fault'?

Panic!
 

HELSINGØR CASTLE 'KRONBORG'
Visit to Helsingor Castle
'Stole' this photo from an information board outside the castle..

Kronborg is situated near the town of Helsingør (immortalised as Elsinore in Shakespeare's Hamlet) on the extreme northeastern tip of Zealand at the narrowest point of the Øresund, the sound between Denmark and Sweden.
In this part, the sound is only 4 km wide, hence the strategic importance of maintaining a fortress at this location commanding one of the few outlets of the Baltic Sea.
The castle has for centuries been one of the most important Renaissance castles in Northern Europe and was added to UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list on November 30, 2000.
Along with the fortress Kärnan, Helsingborg on the opposite of Øresund, it controlled the entranceway to the Baltic Sea.
[Wikipedia, more..]

 

Helsingor Castle
 

Inside the castle we found the information provided and presented in very modern fashion. I copied some of the information by photographing them. It was nice to see that there were plenty of Dutch connections here.
Helsingor Castle
Helsingor Castle
Helsingor Castle
Helsingor Castle
Helsingor Castle
Helsingor Castle
Heslingor Castle
Helsingor Castle
Helsingor Castle - Hamlet

Helsingor Castle

Helsingor Castle
Helsingor Castle
Helsingor Castle
Dinner at the Helsingor Castle
Helsingor Castle

Helsingor Castle
Helsingor Castle, Denmark
Helsingor Castle

Helsingor Castle, Denmark

 

Helsingor Castle, Denmark - Home of Hamlet
Helsingor Castle, Denmark - Home of Hamlet
Helsingor Castle, Denmark - Home of Hamlet

Helsingor Castle, Denmark - Home of Hamlet
Helsingor Castle, Denmark - Home of Hamlet
Helsingor Castle, Denmark

Helsingor Castle, Denmark
Anna Frederick III; I think this is a portrait of Frederick's daughter Anna Sophie.

Princess Anna Sophie of Denmark (1 September 1647 – 1 July 1717) was the eldest daughter of King Frederick III of Denmark and Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and Electress of Saxony from 1680 to 1691 as the wife of John George III.
Anna Sophie was the sister of a King of Denmark (Christian V), a Queen consort of Sweden (Ulrika Eleonora), and a King consort of Great Britain (Prince George), as well as the mother of a King of Poland (August II, "the Strong").

But then there was another Anna, Anna of Denmark, see below

Helsingor Castle, Denmark

Wikipedia has an excellent history on Anna of Denmark

Helsingor Castle
Helsingor Castle

Helsingor Castle

Dutch painting in Helsingor Castle

I found another link in history with the Dutch:

Frederick III, 1609-70, king of Denmark and Norway (1648-70), son and successor of Christian IV. He at first made great concessions to the powerful nobles but later asserted his own power.

In 1657 war with Sweden began anew. Charles X of Sweden forced Denmark to accept the humiliating Treaty of Roskilde (1658). Charles soon renewed the war, and it was only through the heroic defense of Copenhagen by Frederick, assisted by Dutch ships, that the Danish kingdom was saved from utter destruction.
The Netherlands and Brandenburg, allies of Denmark, then assisted in repulsing the Swedes, and the peace of Copenhagen was made (1660). Denmark lost Skåne, Halland, and Blekinge to Sweden. Denmark was devastated and in debt.
To help the country recover, the burghers and clergy united to end aristocratic power and privilege. The monarchy was declared hereditary, and the state administration was centralized and staffed by civil servants. A constitution granting absolute power to a hereditary monarch was published after Frederick's death.

Stairway in Helsingor Castle

 

Helsingor Castle, Denmark
A circle of witches (Harry Potter comes to mind) gathering at the center square?
Rather a very disciplined group of scouts...

 

Helsingor Castle

Before we left we had a look in the richly decorated chapel
Chapel in Helsingor Castle
Helsingor Castle - chapel
Helsingor Castle - chapel, detail
 

 

On this 'royal note' we concluded our trip to Scandinavia: THE END

 

PAGE 1 - DENMARK & SWEDEN

PAGE 2 - NORWAY

PAGE 3 - GOING HOME, VIA SWEDEN AND DENMARK (KRONBORG CASTLE, HELSINGØR)