it’s tough to be a tour leader … (day 3)

… we both needed a bit of a lay-in for Sunday and with the weather prognosis not looking the best, so we decided to visit Elsinore, Denmark on the other side of the water and Kronborg castle (Hamlet’s castle).

It started off with that I missed my bus in Landskona and had to take a later train that was delayed like the most train has been during the last 6 months, mayor problems with tracks, signals, switches and lines.

So wasn’t aboard the ferry until 12.30 and 20 min later we were in Denmark. One of the most traffic ferry routes in the world .. a departure every 15 min 24/7. Stepping ashore in Elsinore means about a 20 min walk to the castle – but on the way, there was so much I wanted to show Suzanne … so for a while, I was worried that we wouldn’t make it in time for a visit inside the castle.

First I had to show her one of the oldest streets in Scandivaia …  Gamle Færgestræde, still with the original gutter. The houses along the streets go back to 1500’s. In the 1400s the city plan was completed we know today by Erik of Pomerania.  A very picturesque city, I wish we had more time to take a stroll through it. But also we met the first rain for the day at that moment. 

Then I had to show her the fantastic sculpture, ”Værftsarbejderne” (Shipyard Workers) by the Faroese sculptor Hans Pauli Olsen, and he was working on the project since 2009 and installed in 2014. The shipbuilding yard was a mayor employee once. The Helsingør Værft or Elsinore shipyard was a prominent landmark, which covered the whole area between the town and Kronborg Castle. It was founded in 1882. At its height in 1957, it had 3,600 employees. The last ship left the shipyard in 1983 and it closed the same year following heavy losses. The yard reached just 100 years before it closed in 1983.

We also found two amazing murals on the other side of the street.  One of them was at the house where I lived during 1968.

Today some of the old shipbuilding buildings have now been transformed into the “The Culture Yard” building, also something that is worth spending some time inside, because of probably best and interesting library in the world. The library which is visited by more than 1000 people every day. The library is considered to be one of Europe’s best and is a multi-cultural cultural house.

The converted shipbuilding buildings, opened on 10 October 2010, are a few meters from Helsingør harborfront between Kronborg, the new M / S Museum for Maritime and Helsingør’s old town centre.

The cultural heritage site contains 13,000 m2, which is dedicated to concerts, theatre, performances, events, conferences, exhibitions, festivals and a treater’s library for children and adults. The Cultural Yard is together with Kronborg, M / S Museum for Maritime.  The building, designed by AART Architects, has both won the British Structural Award Prize and the Thin Sheet Group Architecture Award.

Then we had to take a closer look at the “Han/Him”, the shiny sculpture by the London and Berlin-based artists Elmgreen & Dragset.  “Han” has been nicknamed ‘The Little Merman’ because of its obvious reinterpretation of Edvard Eriksen’s iconic “Little Mermaid” statue. Installed in 2012. 

The high gloss, polished, mirroring stainless steel is a clear contrast to the original and female mermaid who was cast in bronze. the reflecting stainless steel adds an almost psychedelic dimension to its visual aesthetics. the surroundings get distorted and morphed in the glossy skin of the sculpture and the imagery changes according to the angle from which the sculpture is viewed.

Now we were getting closer to Kronborg Castle, but I just had to show one of the most interesting architecture building in the world, “M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark” – that is built inside one of the former dry docks. You can’t see the museum from a distance – you have to be by the drydock and look down. Just amazing. 

The museum is designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) opened in October 2013. It is placed in an underground area of 7,600 square metres (82,000 sq ft) with an interior designed by Dutch architects Kossmann.dejong. Equipped with teaching facilities, workshops and a café, the museum also hosts conferences and cultural events. If you visit the museum cafe – then you can enjoy your break outside at the bottom of the dry dock. 

The whole harbour and quey area in front of the Kronborg Castle are full of interesting and exciting experiences or you can just sit there and watch the ferries … they do about 70.000 departures per year. So a lot to watch. Take your time.

We were in strong need of coffee before taking on the castle … so we stopped at the beautiful and colourful “Bridge House” – that paper cup of coffee was one of the best I had for a long time!!! We enjoyed it with an almond cake (so good).

. Located on a strategically important site commanding the Sund, the stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden, the Royal castle of Kronborg at Helsingør (Elsinore) is of immense symbolic value to the Danish people and played a key role in the history of northern Europe in the 16th-18th centuries.


Work began on the construction of this outstanding Renaissance castle in 1574, and its defences were reinforced according to the canons of the period’s military architecture in the late 17th century. It has remained intact to the present day. It is world-renowned as Elsinore, the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. 

In 2000 Kronborg castle was put on the UNESCO list of cultural world heritage. Each year in August you can experience the Shakespeare Festival at Hamlet’s Castle. Today, the castle has  250,000 visitors a year.

Gallery Schurmann is a photo gallery situated in the historic Poternehuset right next to Kronborg Castle. In the gallery, fine photo art by Henrik Schurmann is on display and you can buy pictures, posters, books and postcards. Galleri Schurmann is part of the art association Kronborg Gallerierne. Both Suzanne and I fell in love with his photo art and he is the nicest man ever. He was present at the gallery.

We fell in love with his aerial photos of Copenhagen roofs and the Nyhavn. And my favourites; his panoramic photo with White Cottongrass from Iceland and his “calm sea … totally calm blue ocean with only one seagull. A very talented photographer.

©Henrik Schurmann

©Henrik Schurmann

©Henrik Schurmann

We got a good discount on the entrance tickets when we showed our ferry tickets, it was the lady at Scandlink’s ticket office in Helsingborg informed about the discounts when we bought the tickets. Excellent value. We had 2 hours to explore the castle inside and the girl at the ticket office said it was more than enough. She was right!

It impossible for Oscar and me to make this castle justice. I can’t find any information about how big the castle is or how many rooms it has. It’s big!!!!

We visited the royal chambers, the ballroom, the chapel, the tapestries and the Hamlet gallery, with images with all the international famous actors that have played Hamlet on film and on stage. I didn’t know that Jude Law has played Hamlet.

Plus we met Hamlet, wasn’t a very happy man … he killed his whole family.

We sat down in the kid’s workshop … full of drawings of the castle and Hamlet’s family … there was also loads of Lego be creative with.

As we left Suzanne checked her watch and informed me that we had been walking 6 kilometres (3,73 miles) – no wonder my feet were screaming and we still had 20 min walk back to the ferry terminal. 

As leaving the castle we could see how close it is to Sweden!!! And of course Kronborg castle has their own swans and it was grooming time. 

We were back in Helsingborg around 7pm … and we were in great need of food and drink. We decide to have something at Suzanne’s hotel’s English pub … it came down to a burger and a glass of red. Just what we both needed. And Mrs Jones stood for the damage. Thank you so much for a great day and a fantastic burger, Suzanne!

When I left the hotel for my train … I had this fantastic view straight ahead of me. Helsingborg in it’s evening gown.  

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet

17 thoughts on “it’s tough to be a tour leader … (day 3)

  1. If only I could have squeezed in your back pocket! 🙂 🙂 But what a wonderful tour! I was with you all the way. Hugs darlin, and I hope the body s not giving you too much grief. Fabulous work from you and Oscar!

    • Thank you so much, Jo!!! There is always room for you in my back pocket *smile It was a pleasure that you joined us.
      There is a lot of problem with my feet … and it’s not getting any better. See the doctor next months, but I don’t think they can do much for me. I hope there is a better pill than I taken for the last 8 months. Oscar says; Thank you too. LunchHug.

  2. We packed so much into that wonderful day and it’s so lovely to re-live it through Oscar. Lots of diverse things to see and good that it was in such a compact area. Jo, you need to come along next time!

    • I agree, Jo should come along next time. *smile Yes, I’m amazed how much we manage on 3 days. I had fantastic time … I don’t think my feet agrees. *laughing

  3. Fantastic tour, Viveka! I know you are the best tour leader one can have! In fact – I live so close to Helsingör and the castle – but I have never gone inside!

  4. I am visiting Helsinborg & Helsingor in a few weeks. Thank you for your tour guides 🙂 I was very interested in learning about the old street in Helsingor, definitely going to check them out. I loved the murals too – what street were they on?

    • Sarah, the murals are down by the Kulturværftet (the old shipbuilding yard) the modern building in the harbour. On side of the building where the tram goes is the sculpture of the yard workers, just pass the sculpture and on the other side of the street you first see on straight ahead of you … and walk a little future and you have the other one on the left (Kongens Gade). You have to visit the Kulturværftet and M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark. All on the way to Kronborg Castle.
      I know you will have a delightful day in Helsingör, but stay out of the restaurants on Stengade (main shopping street), for a coffee break okay, but for lunch or dinner … chose a restaurant on the back/side streets.

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