Weather: Sun & Clouds then late rain
Once again I am writing a journal entry because of rain. This time it is late in the day, I'm short of my destination and I am sheltering under a yacht in dry dock as I was passing a yacht club when a storm broke.
The day started in sunshine and although there were clouds in the sky they weren't threatening. It hadn't rained overnight so my tent wasn't wet, however the tent and some of my gear was damp, so I lingered as I packed to allow things to dry.
I broke camp just after noon and left my forest by the lake. My destination was Helsingor, but I chose a route via Fedensborg (to see the the castle which is apparently the official residence of Princess Mary & Crown Prince Fred, although I wasn't able to confirm this) and Louisiana (which is home to a modern art museum on a cliff setting, which I can confirm is a great setting, but I didn't view the art).
I arrived in Helsingor after 3pm and could see the main highlight as I approached the town. Kronsborg Castle, also known as Elsinore achieved worldwide fame as the setting for Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet'. Historically it was well known as the fortress castle that oversaw the main passage between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea that allowed the Danes to collect a lucrative 'sound duty' from merchants. It is World Heritage listed and very impressive, standing proud on a prominent headland.
The other reason for coming to Helsingor was to catch a ferry to Helsingborg, clearly visible across the sound in Sweden. It was a quick and pleasant trip and because it was a Sunday, apparently the fare was half price (although the bike was still full fare and cost just over half of what I paid for myself. It was just as well my fare was half price because you had to buy a return ticket and I wasn't going to be using the return portion.
My first impression was that Sweden was similar to Denmark. My first port of call was an ATM to get some Swedish cash, which was called Kronors, similar to Danish Kroners, and both translate to Crowns. Prices of food items I passed also seemed similar, however when converted to Australian Dollars (Oz$), it meant the Swedish prices were cheaper (Oz$1=S.Kr5.75=D.Kr4.5).
Helsingor's skyline was dominated by a square tower atop a steep hillside above a stairway leading through an arch. I tried to find a way to ride up, but chose the wrong road and ended up struggling to push my bike up some steps anyway. Still the view was worth it, particularly once I had paid my entry fee and climbed the tower.
Inside the tower I learned its history. It was once at the centre of a fortress built by the Danes (who established and ruled most of the major towns in southern Sweden for centuries) and was even a royal residence, however with changes to methods of warfare it became obsolete in the 18th century and the rest of the fortress was demolished. The tower was left to degrade and became a ruin, which some people felt was best as it was romantic to look at. However, it was restored and became an even greater attraction as a place to look from. The arch and steps were more recent and were constructed to give the city more atmosphere when Helsingborg hosted an internal trade fair in the 20th century.
Having satisfied my urge to climb tall things and look at the view, I continued my journey south along the coast. I discovered that Sweden had dual use paths with signs pointing the way to major destinations. Not quite the established cycle routes of Denmark and the Netherlands, but just as effective.
As night approached and I was considering finding a campsite, the storm hit, the wind blew ferociously, rain bucketed down and I took shelter under a yacht in dry dock.
The storm lasted less than an hour, but I was now in urgent need of a campsite. A little further down the coast in a non-residential section inaccessible by motor vehicle, I passed a dense cluster of trees beside the dual use path and thought that would do. It was hollow inside, but I couldn't be seen by the people riding and walking past and I was protected from the wind.
Being adjacent to the sea, I decided on a swim to freshen up then retired for the night.