The unexpected delights of investigating Danish

In response to my post “Danish, anyone?” Purl gave an interesting reply and mentioned that she had visited Helsingør, a place I don´t know at all, not having been to Denmark.  This is what I found out when I looked it up.  Ten minutes is how long it took to uncover all these unexpected delights, a little longer to write them up.

Literature Shakespeare called the town “Elsinore” in Hamlet, written around 1599 to 1601.
Castles or History Near Helsingør is the castle where Hamlet was set, Kronborg.  It was built in 1585 on the site of an old fortress of the 1420s. Perhaps Shakespeare read or heard about the building of that prestigious new castle a few years earlier. 
More literature   Have you read any of Patrick O´Brian´s seafaring books?  Apparently mortar shells were fired at the heroes from Helsingør in “The Surgeon´s Mate”.
Film Have you seen “Out of Africa”, set in Kenya and based on a book by Danish author, Karen Blixen?  Blixen used the pen name Isak Dinesen and wrote several stories set in Helsingør (literature again: the world does like a good story!)  Blixen is definitely worth looking up too.
Geography Helsingør is situated in the extreme east of Denmark, on the northeast coast of the island of Zealand, where a narrow strait, about 4 miles, separates it from Sweden. The name “New Zealand” originates from the Dutch province of Zeeland.   Helsingør is 28 miles or 45 kilometers north of Copenhagen.
Etymology The origin of Helsingør ´s name is the word “hals”  which means “neck” in German and presumably in Danish too?  I must ask for help here. Hals can also mean “narrow strait”, referring to the waterway between  Helsingør and Helsingborg in Sweden, four miles wide.
More etymology Look at Danish   –gør and Swedish –borg and Geman Burg.  Burg means town in German.  Then there is Edinburgh, of course, and Kronborg castle.
Travel and food If  you and your friend, with bicycles, wanted to travel across that strait from Denmark to Sweden, there are several ferries each day available, for about the price of a cup of coffee.   Two countries for the price of a cup of coffee is something that I find extremely inviting.  The best idea would be the ferry and a cup of coffee, with a Danish pastry. You can, when you are burning off the calories with a bike.

About Fun with languages

Blogging about learning languages, making it fun Hobbies: paragliding, cycling, reading, BBC radio 4.
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