For years now, some great college friends and I have done an annual trip to Vegas that always included a night out at the cheapest, most unassuming casino on the Strip: Slots-A-Fun. We would take risks at the blackjack table, but the amount of fun we'd have was never a gamble. Much to our dismay, Slots-A-Fun no longer exists but, minus the neon lights and sounds of coins clink-clink-clinking in the trough, Denmark's slots bring their own kind of fun.
Slots (castles in Danish) in Denmark are like Starbucks in Seattle. Everywhere. There are over 120 of them (let alone those edifices classified as palaces) and some of the most striking ones are in Zealand, the region in which Copenhagen lies. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Denmark has the oldest continuous monarchy and the market demand for royal residences has been up since, I don't know, the 16th century. Whatever the reason, they never fail to impress.
In most cases, these castles are very secluded and nowhere near a train station. Take yesterday's jaunt to Egeskov. The travel guides will tell you that you can walk from the nearest train station (and I use the term 'station' loosely) to the castle. But I found myself staring down the miles-away horizon on a rural, two-lane road with nary a person or civilization in sight. If tumbleweeds existed here, one would have rolled right in front of me. My prayers were answered about 30 minutes later when I rounded a forested corner and uttered an unabashed "wow" upon laying eyes on the exquisite castle.
It may not be the over-the-top experience of Las Vegas, but these slots are definitely worth getting on a train and taking a chance on.
Baroque gardens of Frederiksborg slot
Vallo slot's history traces back to the mid-1500's
The long, empty road to Vallo slot; typically peaceful yet eerie walks to these secluded castles.
Fairytale-like Egeskov slot
Egeskov, Europe's best preserved Renaissance water castle
Kronborg slot and fortifications