Last Friday Michael, our Danish ex-expatriate in Manila, extended a generous offer of taking the Pinoy assignees to visit some exciting places in Denmark. He has heard that we were not able to go around and we have been here for more than 4 months! The trip was set on Sunday morning, October 28.

Michael invited us to go and visit the Kronborg castle, the setting of the famous play Hamlet. Michael’s family originally offered to take Girlie, Francis and me but we asked if we can bring some of our colleagues especially those that have been in the country for less than 6 months. As of Saturday night, Tina and Alvin was supposed to come with us but they became victims of a late-starting drinking session in our apartment. Their resolve to come got washed away by some unholy concoction that Girlie was able to whip up using gin, sprite and lemon soda. 😀

Anyway, we took Francis’ car to Michael’s place where we arrived within the designated time (this is what Filipino time is all about!). Michael was skeptical with our light jackets even when I said that my fleece jacket is good of until -3 degrees if there is no wind. Michael’s eyes tinkled with devilish mischief and said “but there will always be wind, let’s see…”. He even showed his the jumpsuits his kids are wearing for the trip. 🙁

Since our Dansk lingual skills are next to zero, I went with Michael’s car and Anette (Michael’s wife) went with Francis and Girlie. The trip to Elsinore was filled with chatting about news about the Philippines, and politics in the office.

When we arrived in the parking space near the Castle entrance I got buffeted by strong winds coming from the open channel. The temperature was somewhere between 8 and 10 degrees but the chill factor is making our body shake. Girlie and I were only wearing T-shirts. My pants were even low-waisted and my shirt is not tucked! Chilling winds? How about chilling winds that gets free access to your skin? 🙁

When we got to the castle grounds we got a little reprieve from the winds. I never got the chance to read the posters at the entrance since doing so means I have to stay a little longer on the mercy of the winds. I don’t think the information is worth that much. The comfort room was directly after the entrance so the it was my first stop so I can tuck my inner shirt. Imagine what comfort a simple thing like tucking shirt tails can bring.

Erin and Soy

Michael doubled up as our tour guide in the castle. We got tickets for the #2 package which includes the visit to the Royal Apartments and the Casement (or what I would like to call as the Dungeon). The weirdness in me manifested itself because between the artsy Royal Apartments and the gloomy dungeon, I would pick the dungeon anytime.

In the dungeon, we met Holger Dansk who is fabled to wake up from his mighty slumber in the bowels of Kronborg castle if Denmark suddenly finds itself threatened. I was a little bit disappointed in our dungeon pictures because they were not able to catch the almost pitch-black “ambiance” of the dungeons.

   

After the dungeons, we had some more picture taking at the ramparts. Michael must be shaking his head in shame with the three crazy Filipinos acting weirdly and snapping pictures. 🙂

Since it was too cold, Michael and Francis went ahead to pick up the cars and we waited in the castle ground entrance. A car parked in front of us and I thought I caught a glimpse of Michael in the driver’s seat. I noticed that there is a single child seat on the backseat (the other one was transferred to Francis’ car for Maya (Michael’s daughter) so I opened the second passenger door and invited Jonathan (Michael’s son) to hop in. Jonathan, who doesn’t understand English, just looked at me like a crazy nut then the driver got down started asking me questions in Danish. Imagine my shock when I realized that the car was not Michael’s!!! Anette and Girlie were heckling me about giving Jonathan away to strangers. I guess I earned my 5 minutes of foolishness at that moment. 😀

From the castle, Michael decided to take us to a side trip on the beach front where the affluent lives with their huge houses with water front/beach front vie,w and super expensive luxury cars. We were going to “the Forest” but stopped in a bakery to buy some bread as we haven’t eaten lunch and it was already 3PM. When we got to the forest we decided against strolling since it was too cold, there is a slight drizzle, and Francis can take us back there if we want to. We rode again and went to this Arne Jacobsen building to appreciate “Modern and Contemporary Danish Art” but the building was closed so we just ended up walking around it. 🙂

After that we went back to Michael’s house for some Kapeng Barako (which Francis promised to replenish if he will come back to Denmark on January) and some cake. We went home after the coffee and some exchange of pleasantries.

Good thing Penpen lent us his camera or else we won’t have anything to show for it. As this blog is hosted on a thrifty 100MB space, I decided to hunt around for some free image hosting service. Picasa won over Flickr for its large free space, and the fact that it is hosted by Google. 🙂 Anyway, here is my Kronborg picasa album for those who want to see more of our pictures. 🙂

ciao!