Day 9 – Castles, Cars, and Kids

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Europe definitely has its share of castles, it seems. In Ireland, we toured one, saw a few others, and even spent the night in one. Other than Caesar’s Palace in Vegas, I’m not sure the United States has any castles. Mansions by the thousand, but no real, historical castles. Today, we packed up a picnic and headed to the Egeskov Castle, a behemoth from the 1400s which has been passed down generation by generation through one family. There are 66 rooms in the castle, and a little less than a third of them are open to the public and are furnished with all the trimmings of a castle, including some game rooms (and by this I do not mean Monopoly or checkers and chess), sitting rooms, bedrooms, and even a kind of ghost in the attic. We loved every minute of touring the castle, and there were many other things to do on the grounds of the castle, so we did not even come close to seeing or experiencing everything.

There was a box hedge maze, a rose garden (very Elizabethan), a tree-top suspension bridge, a huge, private collection of classic cars, another of classic motorcycles, and a third of classic bicycles. The castle even has a creepy wooden statue lying in repose on the top floor in an attic space, and there is an equally creepy legend to go along with it. It is said that if the wooden doll is ever moved from its place of repose (on a pillow under the rafters), the entire castle will crumble and fall into the water on Christmas night.

Dan checked out the roof and found weird, little idiosyncrasies in the castle that I never would have found, and he loved the classic car, motorcycle, and bicycle exhibits. Zara and Tamara were brave enough to climb up to and walk across the suspension bridge, and baby Anja went along for the walk, though I think she slept through the whole thing. In addition to a wonderful picnic lunch, we stopped for ice cream, too, and had a really fun day.

On the way to the store to pick up a couple of things to go with dinner tonight (I love that everyone walks places, and the town is so pedestrian and bicyclist-friendly), I asked Dan what his favorite part of the Denmark leg of the journey has been. Hearing him tell me that his favorite part of the trip has been having a chance to reconnect and spend time with Zara and Anja, the two grand-babies we’re staying with here, made my heart melt. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have such a pure and gentle soul in my life, but I sure am grateful for him and for this trip of a lifetime.

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