Sunday, February 01, 2009

spring, please hurry up

i'm officially tired of winter. especially because it pisses around and isn't ever real winter with snow and such. it's just grey and drizzly and windy and all it does is dry out my skin so that i feel constantly parched and like a look a bit like her. and she spent most of her life gracing the front of a ship and thus was REALLY exposed to the elements. if you click on her and enlarge, you'll see that her face has even been replaced at some point, probably because it dried up and cracked off, which i feel that mine will do at any moment.

there were whispers of spring in the air this weekend. husband swore he heard them yesterday. today, we went to kronborg castle--the hamlet castle--in helsingør because one of the members of the kraka viking boat group we belong to works there. when we went in, it was grey and very cold and windy with light flurries in the air. when we came out the top of the cannon tower to look out over the sound two hours later, the sun had come out and although it wasn't much warmer, you could feel a difference in the sun. it is making more of an impact, so we must be moving slowly towards spring. i know that i'm definitely ready.

i think tomorrow i'll buy some of the small forced bulbs--crocus or daffodils--that are in the grocery stores and perhaps that will help. in the meantime, i think i'll go put on some more moisturizer.

* * *
it's always more interesting to tour a museum together with someone who works there. benjamin had a ring with three big skeleton keys on it. these keys unlocked all of the doors to the secrets of kronborg. or at least all of the secrets on our particular tour, which was largely of the maritime museum portion of the castle.

whenever i'm in one of the danish castles, i'm struck by their lack of ostentatiousness. although kronborg is one of the largest, most imposing of the danish castles, you don't get the sense that the danish kings abused their power or were particularly selfish. in contrast to, say, russian palaces, where you definitely understand why russia needed a revolution. but then, the danes never had a revolution, so there is something to that feeling.

the maritime museum is an extremely traditional one of its kind--full of maps and drawings of ships and ships models and a slice of a container and a couple of boiler suits. there're some small rooms showing what cabins were like through the years. all very traditional. but they are building a new one, using an old dock from the shipyards that used to lie beside kronborg. it's another example of the excellent way that danish architects meld old and new in fresh, exciting new ways. if you click the link, you can see pictures, although the site is only in danish. the new museum will be far more interactive and i had a long and excited conversation with the guy from the museum about how awesome ship simulators are these days. it made me realize more than ever that shipping makes me tick. i got all excited talking about shiphandling simulators and models of ports and how the ship handles in the simulator. and i'm not even a seafarer.  i'm really excited to see the new museum, but it won't be finished until 2011.

i also learned about a danish training ship--of the sailing kind--the school ship københavn  that disappeared without a trace somewhere between buenos aires and melbourne in 1928.  the last they were heard from, they said "all is well, calm weather," a few days before christmas to a passing norwegian ship. then, they were never heard from again and no trace of the ship was ever found. it's a complete mystery what happened to it and the crew of 15 and all 45 students onboard. that's the kind of story that awakens my imagination and my curiosity. there must be books out there which at least speculate as to the fate of the 5-masted lady and i intend to find them and learn more.

what awakened your curiosity this weekend?


Sebrina Wilson said...

Yup! Spring cannot come fast enough for me!

Tara Thayer said...

I want to know about that lost ship, too. Gives me the shivers just reading about it. If you find a book or some info, send it along.
I remember being in Elsingor as a little kid-one of those memories where I can remember what I ate that day and the toy plane my uncle gave me on the way to the castle.
Our castles here all have rich people or restaurants in them!
Thanks for the memory jog, Julie!

Peggy said...

Bee Drunken sent me over to take a look at your blog because you and I both posted about castles! How's that for blogging synchronicity?! I've enjoyed my first visit to your blog immensely. :-)

tangobaby said...

We already had our spring and now are reverting back to winter as of today. I know this to be true because my umbrella is at home, I'm wearing open toed sandals and my hair is cute. The radio said we're having a thunderstorm tonight.

I hope your spring doesn't fake you out like ours did. I'll come back later and read about the museum but now I have to finish this presentation before I get busted.