It's actually very odd to think that I've been in Denmark for over a month now. It seems like I've been here for much shorter, but at the same time much longer. One thing that I'm actually finding is that there are so many places that I'd like to travel to, but I know I'm not going to have enough time to visit all of them, so I'm trying to sight-see as often as I can. Last week, I was able to visit two places that were absolutely stunning and experienced a new "activity" that the Danes normally do. First, my visits.
On one of my days off from classes last week, I decided to visit the Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød, about a 20 minute train ride North-west of Lyngby. One of my kitchen mates suggested that I visit the castle if I wanted to learn more about Danish history, since the castle interior was converted into a museum.
|The exterior of the Church|
|The main "plaza" area after the drawbridge.|
I did manage to visit the museum inside (it cost 60 kroners to enter, converts to about $11), but didn't get any pictures since I wanted to learn all that I could. I'll probably go back again, and get pictures then. Anyways, it was amazing on the inside. The church was the most decorated. The walls are covered in all the coats-of-arms of the recipients of the Order of the Elephant and of the Dannebrog (both Dwight D. Eisenhower and Winston Churchill were in the Order of the Elephant. I did find both coat-of-arms), and there is an organ there that contains wooden pipes and hasn't been altered since its creation in the late 1600's. The church still holds services on the weekends.
I also made sure to visit the gardens that were located behind the castle. They were just as beautiful as the castle itself (I thought so anyways). I didn't even have time to see all of the grounds.
|The water way running down the middle of the Baroque Garden|
|Another view of the Baroque Garden|
|A look from the top with the Baltic sea in the background|
Now the "activity" that I participated in is called border shopping and it is literally just that. Since the taxes are very high in Denmark, the Danes will actually drive to either Sweden or Germany (mainly Germany) in order to purchase items at a lower cost. I went with two of my kitchen mates and it was an interesting experience. It was about a 3 hour car ride that ended with a trip on the ferry (that was probably the coolest part. The ferry was pretty much a floating mall. I even saw a train boarding the ferry). Right after the ferry, there was a large store where everyone goes to get anything they need. We went in order to purchase beverages for the entire kitchen, buying about 92 packages (each package contains 24 cans. This amount normally lasts the in the kitchen for about half a year). Like I said, it was an interesting experience, but I did have a good time.
I really am having a great time here. This, so far, has been a very worthwhile experience, and will probably continue to astound me further.