Antipole in the Baltic

Copenhagen to Ven and Helsingør with David & Marcus

David & Marcus arrived on board in Copenhagen and the next morning we sailed for Ven, a Swedish island in the middle of the Øresund and some 16nm NE of Copenhagen.

Ven

With strong westerlies forecast for the next day, we tucked into the small harbour at Norreborg on the eastern side.

Ven is a lovely island with 370 inhabitants although this swells with vistors in the season. Cyclings is popular and cycle hire is big business in the season.

Ven is celebrated as having been given to Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) the Danish astronomer, who built two observatories on the island, where he made major discoveries about the planets and comets. He was one of the last astronomers working with the naked eye before the invention of the telescope and he still believed the sun revolved around the earth.

We enjoyed exploring the island, playing games and Marcus helped Grandpa with refilling Antipole’s water tanks and by scrubbing the decks.

Helsingør

From Ven we sailed to the Danish port city of Helsingør, where we berthed close to its famous castle of Kronborg. There were shops to be visited and more games evenings.

Then on Tuesday, David and Marcus took a convenient train direct to Copenhagen airport for their return home.

David writes…

Marcus and I were fortunate enough to have a full four nights onboard Antipole. This gave us a good opportunity to visit 2 countries, enjoy a couple of excellent, breezy sails as well as some quality time on Antipole, enjoying the ship’s rituals (largely culinary). We were very well looked after – thank you! We were sad to leave and miss out on future gems in Denmark and beyond. England seems like a long way away but we are happy to have played a small part in the voyage back.

After their departure, Ynskje and Tony explored the city, which is fascinating. Helsingør is located at the narrowest point in the Øresund opposite the Swedish city of Helsingborg, It was an important Hanseatic town and many fine buildings retains the Hanseatic brick gothic style – including merchants’ houses, the cathedral and former abbey. From 1429 to 1857 Denmark levied a toll on shipping passing to or from the Baltic. This made it very wealthy and a major source of funds for Denmark.

In 1585 King Frederick II completed the transformation of the medieval fort into a magnificent Renaissance castle. This must have been the talk of Europe, for around 1599-1602 Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark was first performed and set in Elsinor, as the castle is known to the English. The castle is closely associated with the play and many great Shakespearian actors have performed the play in the castle itself.

We enjoyed a walk around the ramparts and then visited the castle, including the royal apartments and the Great Ballroom – the largest in Europe.

Now we need to head out of the Øresund. The weather is being difficult. In early summer we could expect mainly easterlies but we are getting a succession of north westerlies, some up to gale force on our nose. It is just three weeks to mid-summer’s day and we still need the heating on at times.

We’ll let you know how we fair in due course.

Ynskje & Tony

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