Thursday, October 3, 2013

TIme Passing

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 Frederiksborg Castle

My first thought was just, "Wow." I was completely stunned as to the size and beauty of the castle. History lesson!: The oldest parts of the castle go all the way back to 1560. The rest was added on between 1602 to 1620 when it was the royal residence of King Christian IV. The royal family would live in the castle until a fire in 1859 destroyed most of the interior. Afterwards, the castle was repaired, but converted into a museum to help teach the people the history of Denmark.

The Bell tower. Each hour, the clock not only rang the hour, but also played a small tune specific to the hour.

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 Hedges in the Baroque Garden

The water way running down the middle of the Baroque Garden
Another view of the Baroque Garden

View of the castle from the gardens

The next trip I went on last week was to Møns Klint, a very famous landmark in Denmark. I went with a couple of my international friends and had such a great time. If you ever visit Denmark, I highly recommend visiting the white cliffs. Also, as a travel tip, the best view is from the beach, but in order to get to the beach, there is a staircase that consists of nearly 1,000 stairs, and going down isn't the difficult part. Also, going to the beach will get your shoes and pants very white since the entire area is made up of white chalk.
One of the stairways to the beach
The Cliffs of Møn (the island that they are located on)

This section actually came from a landslide in 2007

Probably my favorite photo
Some of us tried to skip rocks, but it didn't work well

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.


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