I’m sitting in the Babylon Café Restaurant in Hillerod, Denmark where they have a Turkish-Greek buffet. I am not eating, but instead came in for a drink to get out of the rain while I wait for Alice (my couch surfing host) to come pick me up. We are scheduled to meet at 3pm and it is only 2pm now. I must say that it is quite the experience. The waiter is Mediterranean but speaks Danish and English. There are two Chinese couples at the table to my left who are speaking Danish, English, and occasional Chinese. Then there is a typical Danish family to my right and an older Danish couple behind me. I feel so international.
The café is situated across the street from Frederiksborg Slot (the main castle in town). I toured it this morning when I arrived on the S-Tog and walked a very inefficient but beautiful route to the castle. I didn’t have a map so I just guessed and somehow found my way. I arrived just after 10, when they opened and was able to put my backpack and daypack in a locker to tour the museum area. After being in the opulent palace’s in Italy, the Danish splendor doesn’t quite extract “oohs and aahs” from me, but it was quite grand to see. There were some beautiful paintings and interesting artifacts on display. As I finished my tour the church that is built into the castle let out, so I was able to go through the museum once again to view the church.
The tour of the church was through the balcony as they do not allow tourists in amongst the pews and such, but the balcony overlooks it all. It was quite beautiful and fun to see. I really enjoy viewing the different churches and seeing the variations. What is interesting to me is that all of these churches were built as protestant churches originally. I hadn’t really thought about it before but in my knowledge of European history I have always associated churches as being catholic cathedrals and then being turned into protestant churches. I guess that is incorrect. I wonder what other of my pre-conceived ideas will be changed on this trip.
I am currently reading through 1 Corinthians and have decided that whenever I visit a church while on this trip, I will read the section I am currently in. While I was in the church today I read 1 Corinthians 5 and sat and reflected. This is the third church I’ve been able to do this in and it’s been fun to be in a place of worship that is so old contemplating the scriptures. Before I left Copenhagen I looked up an English church service in Hillerod and wrote down the address so that I could find it once I got here. When I finished my exploration of the castle and church I got my pack together and ventured off to find the church. Well, I found the road where it should have been, but there was no church there. Sad. L So, really I went on a nice tour of town but did get to see a Volvo dealership, which was fun – It was Volvo heaven as there was a massive parking lot full of the cars that I love. I’m going to try and download the sermon from Bethany tomorrow after it’s put online.
Now that I am here in Hillerod, I probably could have made this portion of my trip just a day venture from Copenhagen, but I think it’ll be fun to explore a less touristy area. Alice has also offered to drive me around the countryside a bit so that I can see a bit more of the area and perhaps a few more castles. Tomorrow I will explore some more and either stay one more night with her or try to find a hostel in town. Tuesday I will take the train to Aarhus where I will meet up with another couchsurfing host, Mette. The plan was to spend two nights there with her, but she informed me that on the night I had planned to leave there is a festival going on that sounds quite fun. If she will let me stay a third night I will join her for that and then leave for Ribe the following day. If not, I may stay for the festival anyway and try to find a hostel for the night. I’m sure it will all work out. J
I was told today that I need to stray from my daily consumption of bread and apples for lunch and dinner and need to dine on some actual food native to the area. Well, I thought I would be giving that a try when I came in to get a beer and stay dry out of the rain. Let me tell you, this beer is nothing special. I essentially feel as though I paid $5 for a can of PBR, although they did serve it in a nice fancy glass and it was cold. I am thankful for a comfortable place to sit and write though, so I guess I wont complain. I just will not be purchasing beer in Denmark again – unless someone can assure me it’s different from what I am consuming now. I have a feeling that Germany, the Czech Republic, and Hungary will be way more satisfying in this area.
I am hopeful that my couch surfing host will be pleasant and give me some good insight into Danish culture. I’m excited to try out this whole couch surfing concept. I can see it going well or going badly. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see and let you know once it’s all said and done. Hopefully I’m not “taken” as my parents would say. And on that note, I am off to go meet her. I will post an update when I know more J