We went to Copenhagen last weekend for a birthday party. On that score, I can report that anything you may have heard about dour Danes is absolute rubbish. They party hard there.
But my point is this. We were also able to sneak off for a morning and visit the Karen Blixen house and museum in nearby Rungsted, And if you are ever in Copenhagen and you love literature, you should too.
Why? Because the house, gardens and grounds are just the way you thought they would be after reading Karen Blixen’s books, only way, way better. It’s easy to imagine Blixen, home from Africa, broke, devastated from the death of Denys Finch Hatton, riddled with mercury poisoning to treat the syphilis she got from her former husband yet determined to become the celebrated writer she in fact became. It’s easy to imagine her staring out over the sea with the soft mellow light of Scandinavia dreaming of the bright sun of the African bush. It’s all there: Africa, Denmark, an artist’s sense of order and arrangement. There are also some excellent exhibits of her life and work and paintings of people you know so well from her writing. On the lovely Saturday morning that we were there, we had the place almost to ourselves.
Rungsted is 25 kilometers north of Copenhagen and 10 kilometers south of Hamlet’s Elsinore. Opening hours and directions on how to get there by car or public transport can be found here.
Photo courtesy of the Karen Blixen Museum