…may just take the cake in terms of being the most beautiful place I have ever been to. The small Danish island which sits in the Baltic Sea about halfway between Sweden and Poland is characterized by rolling green hills and farmland, both rocky and sandy coastlines, and quaint towns whose shops specialize in glassblowing, and whose restaurants specialize in pickled herring.
The trip to Bornholm two weekends ago was centered around biking and served as one of two adventure tours offered by DIS – the other one being to Sweden. I chose the Bornholm trip because being given the opportunity to bike around an island for two days sounded more like an opportunity to create your own adventure as opposed to the Sweden trip which sounded from the description to be more rigid in structure and schedule.
Anyways, everyone going on the Bornholm trip met up at 10:30 pm on Friday night at Frue Plads downtown, where we were picked up by a coach bus which took us to the ferry dock. Our ferry for Bornholm left at around midnight from the ferry port, and the ride took about six hours. This sounds worse than it actually was. I ended up paying a little bit extra in order to reserve a bunk on the ferry, which made the trip essentially painless. The long trip also allowed for me to mingle and meet other people on the trip, some of whom I ended up biking with all day the following morning.
We arrived in Bornholm at around 6 am in the west coast town of Ronne, where we were met by a bus which took us to the east coast town of Gudhjem – about a half hour ride. When we arrived in Gudhjem, we were given a fresh breakfast of smorrebrod, a classic Danish meal. Smorrebrod consists of a single piece of buttered, usually rye bread, topped with cheese, cold cuts, and more. Absolutely delicious.
After breakfast, we were given our bikes, helmets, and maps of the island. Bornholm biking is kind of like downhill skiing (is that the proper phrase for it? I don’t ski) in the sense that with skiing you have a variety of different routes you can take down the mountain, with each varying in difficulty. The same goes for the bike routes across Bornholm. One of the easier tours, the Cultural Tour, took you northwards along the coast to the ruins of Hammershus, an old fort. The hardest tour, the Killer Tour, took you all the way down the eastern coast of the island through several towns and brought you to a beach called the Dueodde (I jokingly called it “the dude” for the duration of the trip, but I am not quite sure how it’s actually pronounced).
My genius self ended up deciding to embark on the Killer Tour! Guess what? The whole route ended up being 65 kilometers – uphill both ways. I swear. I ended up forming a group of about six people, and off we went!
Approximately 8 and a half hours later, after riding along beautiful coastlines, through rolling hills, through neighborhoods characterized by their quaint architecture, and groans of pain, I finally rolled back in to Gudhjem. The Killer Tour was finally over, and I could not even extend my legs.
Anyways, despite the pain it was an absolutely fantastic weekend.