March 29, 2016

When Nick and I met Shannon, my sister-in-law, in Denmark, we didn’t have anything planned besides a Christmas food tour and tickets to the ballet. It was the most spur-of-the-moment-fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants trip I’ve ever taken. In Europe, of all places. And I loved every second of it.

Usually Nick and I have every detail of our vacations planned out. When we went to New Zealand, we had a huge binder full of reservations and itineraries, down to the time we should wake up. That vacation was absolutely perfect, and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it any way.

So as I sat down for my first cup of coffee in Denmark with Nick and Shannon, it was crazy to me that we had no idea what we were going to do that day. It was freeing. It was exhilarating. There were so many possibilities. We could linger over coffee for as long as we wanted, wander around the city without looking at our watch, and go into any museum or shop that caught our eye. And that is exactly what we did.

It ended up being the perfect way to experience Copenhagen.

I’m glad that we didn’t have too many plans. If we were constantly rushing around trying to see every single thing, we would have missed so much. At the very least, our vacation would have been very different.

Anyway, since we don’t have castles or royalty in the United States, Shannon and I first decided we should visit some castles in Denmark. We wanted to do something completely different from what we normally do.

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We rented a car and drove to Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød. King Christian IV had this castle built in the early 17th century, and I’ve never seen anything like it. We spent a good hour wandering around outside and taking pictures from every angle before we even went in.

Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (5 of 38)Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (9 of 38)Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (3 of 38)Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (4 of 38) Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (6 of 38) Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (8 of 38)

The castle is now Denmark’s Museum of Natural History. I loved walking through the castle and looking at all of the artwork and artifacts. All of the descriptions were written in Danish, so we couldn’t read anything. I didn’t mind though – it was nice to just walk through and look around.

Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (13 of 38)

As we walked through the halls, I decided that Shannon fit right in!

Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (19 of 38)  Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (18 of 38) Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (14 of 38)Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (15 of 38)Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (11 of 38)

Afterwards, we went outside to get an even better view:

Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (23 of 38)

Touring a castle is hard work and we took our time exploring every nook and cranny. We were ready for lunch. We sat down, ate pizza, and drank coffee for a long time at an Italian restaurant that I can’t remember the name of. I was so absorbed in the food, my amazing husband and sister-in-law, and the fact that I was in Denmark, that I forgot to take any pictures.

We made our way to the next castle. This is Kronborg Castle, but my fellow English majors out there might know this better as Elsinore Castle. Shakespeare used this very castle as his inspiration for Elsinore in Hamlet.

Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (33 of 38)

It was pretty late by now, so we only had a little bit of time to explore. But it worked out all right, because there were only a few rooms that are open for tourists. The best part was exploring the underground rooms, the casemates. That’s Shannon and me walking through:

Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (26 of 38)

I thought it was fascinating that the soldiers would hide in here when they were being attacked. They had enough food that they could stay down here for weeks.

Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (25 of 38)

It was so dark down! I had to brighten these up so that you could see!

Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (28 of 38)Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (34 of 38) Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (35 of 38) Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (37 of 38)Frederiksborg Castle and Kronborg Castle (29 of 38)

We did all of this in one day! Needless to say, Shannon and I took a nap while Nick drove us back to Copenhagen. It was so much fun – I’ve never had a day quite like this.

I learned that the best plans can be no plans, even while on vacation in Europe!

Are you a planner or a wing-it type person? Or both?

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8 responses to “Finding Denmark.”

  1. Jenn says:

    LOVE Castles and these are gorgeous! Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks of Price Edvard and Paige Morgan when I hear Denmark lol

  2. Emma says:

    ALL THE CASTLES. Ahem, sorry. Force of habit (and one of the reasons I live in the UK, not joking…)

    • Carolann says:

      This was a whole new experience for me and I just loved it! Now I see why you bloggers are always out exploring them!

  3. Your New Zealand trip sounds exactly like my trip to Disney World, planned down to the minute! We had the best time and it definitely gave us the chance to see everything we wanted. It sounds like your trip to Denmark was still wonderful, even though you didn’t have a ton planned. Those are the trips that you always come home a little more relaxed from.

    • Carolann says:

      Both kinds of trips are awesome. If I was going to Disney I would probably have every minute planned haha!

  4. Christine says:

    Love the photos!

    I’m definitely more of a planner when it comes to trips, but I’ve been trying to wing them a little more.

    • Carolann says:

      I am such a planner usually!! But I think it’s good to have a healthy mix of both. You want to know what you want to do and see, and sometimes you need reservations. But you don’t want to be rushing around, always checking the clock, and not getting to enjoy it. It’s a hard balance for me.

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