The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
- Saint Augustine

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hamlet: Prince of Danes. Black Diamond: Royalty of Libraries. Boat Tour: Was Cool

As far as I know, there was no Princess of the Danes when Hamlet ruled. Therefore, if the position's open... I wonder if they're taking applications?

On Sunday, I went to what is known as "Hamlet's castle". The place in which the real Hamlet resided and where Shakespeare sets his iconic play. It is known as the Kronborg Castle situated in the north part of the island Kobenhavn is on called Helsingor (about a 45 minutes train ride from the center of the city)

As my friend Caroline described, the weather was particularly "castley" meaning it was gloomy and ominous, with just enough mist to make a coat of armor rust. It really set the mood for medieval architecture, and the dungeons were particularly damp and dreary. 

They began to explain how the royalty was kept warm in the winter. They had one of two options. 1) higher servants to warm up the bed with their body heat before the king arrived. or 2) sleep with a constant supply of hot bricks in the bottom of the bed. Chances of catching on fire were relatively low- only one in five. 

It should also be noted that eating soup was difficult during the winter months because the bowl would freeze over before they had a chance to eat it. I feel slightly ashamed for complaining how cold it was only minutes before. Although I was more than bundled enough. As I was leaving for the day my roommate, Leylia comments "You look like you're going to Aspen!" Whatever. I was cozy for castley weather. 

One of my favorite quotes from Hamlet:
"Lord! We know what we are, but know not what we may be."
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 4.5

Oh, Shakespeare (where ever the twelve of you may be) you certainly have that right. How can we know what we will be in the future? (Even if we are lucky enough to know what we are now?) We can only live today like we want tomorrow to be. There's your fragment of wisdom for the day. 

You're welcome.

For further touristy things, on Thursday I took a boat tour along the canals in Kobenhavn.
The picture below is a photograph of the restaurant "Noma" which was ranked number one in the world two years in a row. A friend and I called to get reservations and the soonest opening is in February. We opted for some Turkish kebabs instead.

In the intercity canals, there was much calmer water.  
To the right of this picture is my friend Sam's apartment. I'm not jealous or anything.

I really can't get over Copenhagen's skies. Almost as good as the Northern Lights- not developing frostbite is a good trade off I think. Some nights, it particularly reminds me of Nietzsche's Quote:

And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.- Friedrich Nietzsche

The next evening, Friday, The Danish Royal Library hosted a party for all college students in Kobenhavn. It was one of those wonderful excuses to actually get dressed up to go out with friends. Although the music was somewhat questionable for a college crowd, it was great to see everyone dressed up and in a glamourous, glass building decorated for the occasion. Check out the difference between the Royal Library during the day and at night time.

While my travels are wonderful, some great reading, knitting and tea really hits the stop as well. Just finished the Maltese Falcon. Eh, it's murder mystery set in the 20's, I think I expected a little too much. Dashiell Hammett wrote the Thin Man where Nick has five drinks a scene, and always has a gun. Am I that far off to think that this is slightly unrealistic (or more than slightly dangerous)? Sam Spade, the detective in the book, still has too much swagger to be authentic. 

The fingerless gloves are complete. 
New scarf in the works (damn you alpaca, makin' me wheezy- the bad kind of wheezy not like the rapper Mr. Carter) and should be finished shortly. Got quite a bit of it done when watching Out of Africa -Danish writer Baroness Karen Blixen anyone?- with the roommates. They laughed at Meryl Streep's accent which sounded slightly German. Although since some people mistaken me for speaking Mandarin I'd say she did a fine job.

And a good Chai Tea (which I may have found), might be the missing link to life's elixir. 


    ......What do you read, my lord?

    Words, words, words.

  2. I was going to put that one!!!
    Here's another great one to ponder about:

    "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:

    Words without thoughts never to heaven go."
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, 3.3