“It’s the hardest day of the year to get there.”
Europe, specifically Northern Europe is the epicenter of longstanding monarchies. In fact, Denmark has the oldest functioning monarchy in Europe, dating back the the Viking occupation of the islands. So I, as a wannabe princess since I was four, wanted to go see some castles. Frederiksborg Slot is one of the most popular tourist attractions within reach of Copenhagen. All of my aquaintances had plans for the weekend so I decided that on Saturday I would take the seemingly easy journey. I had pinned and researched the whole night before and knew exactly how to get there. Then stepped in reality. The next morning the ticket machine wasn’t letting me purchase my heavily researched and decided ticket, so off to the information desk I went. When I explained where I wanted to go she replied “It’s the hardest day of the year to get there.” Apparently there was train track construction right where I needed to go. She handed me a sheet full of specific instructions on how to get there, oh and the next train leaving was in one minute. I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt when I stuck my arm in the door to stop it from closing while I panted from running to the platform. I suppose I just couldn’t wait ten more minutes for the next train that I decided to sacrifice my limb, but I made it on. I got off on the designated stop and looked for the green bus like the blonde woman at information told me. She repeated the color green about five times so there was no mistake. After a 30 minute bus ride through a rural Danish highway and one more bus I made it to the castle. To be honest it was not that easy, there was an older foreign couple that I overheard going the same place, so I eavesdropped when they asked questions and got my information that way.
The castle was breathtaking and an audible gasp came out of my mouth when I entered the Great Hall. I couldn’t help but compare myself to Belle, feeling slightly superior in that moment. The bright walls were covered in dated paintings and every room had natural cascading light entering from ten foot windows. After spending my sweet time mozying through the halls and exploring the gardens, I entered the surrounding town. As the sunlight faded and the temperature dropped I decided I should probably start to retrace my steps to eventually get home.
I waited for the regional bus, and as it took me too long to get the correct change together, the driver let me ride for free. When I arrived at the station I saw a bus with the correct next station name that was leaving and ran after it and knocked on the door while it was starting to move and was let on. Smile, wink, thank you mister driver sir. Only this time I got on the blue bus. Green. Green green green. How could I not check the color?! Long story short I ended up on an unintentional two hour tour of the Danish countryside going into small villages without cell service or WiFi to make sure I was going the right way. My patience and anxiety were tested. We arrived at the correct station and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Everyone rushed toward the train waiting to leave, so I like a fish caught in a current ended up on the train as well. It started moving, and only then did I have the opportunity to ask any English speaker in my surrounding area if it was headed to Copenhagen. It was, thank God. One more change to the metro and I was home. After three trains and four buses I was emotionally and physically exhausted. Please note that in my anxious stupor and determination to getting to my destination I had not paid for a single train or bus that day, and the feeling that karma was going to hit hard came about.
Was it worth travelling to Frederiksborg on the most difficult day of the year? Yes. Because when the light filled those rooms or shined into my eye causing a haze of crisp air around this towering castle from the gardens, it was worth the trip.