Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hamlet slept here

Marlena who did not approve of the Little Mermaid as a tourist attraction took me to Helsingor, just north of Copenhagen to see Kronborg Slot Elsinore, which is the model for Shakespeare's Elsinor, Hamlet's house. The trip reminded me of a Romania jaunt a few years ago to see the real building that served as Dracula's castle in stories and movies.

The moat and towers of Kronborg are impressive but I looked for the ramparts that figure so prominently in the play. The real structure was not so much a residence as a big tollhouse. For 400 years anyone who wanted to get through the Oresund sea paid the Danes at the watery bottleneck above which the castle sits. So no ramparts. And instead of ghosts we saw a crew of fishermen coming in from a run peeing against the castle's outer wall.

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