Bornholm Island, the Pride of Denmark 11.7. – 17.7.
On Wednesday we were in a hurry to leave. We were already a few days behind our travel plans and island of Bornholm together with Poland and Germany are still ahead of us.
After the strong wind there was no wind at all and the rain poured down for the whole day during our travel to the island of Bornholm. We arrived just before the sunset and of course the harbour was full. We managed to make her fast outside the poles. However the boat was so far from the pontoon that we had to use the bow of the neighbour motorboat for going ashore. We thought that one night is no problem and the next morning we'll move her to the better spot.
Already in the evening we walked around and searched for wide enough berths for Suwena. Our idea was that some of the boats will leave in the morning. Well, of course the wind picked up on Thursday morning and all the boats stayed. Only our neighbour left and we moved Suwena to the last pole on the pontoon. This enabled us a direct access to the dock.
The visit to Rønne become longer than we thought because every day the weather forecast indicated new low pressures and strong winds. Every day some new brave yachtsmen arrived into the harbour but nobody left. Finally we were in the middle of the raft of four boats and everybody used Suwena's foredeck to go ashore. Everybody on our raft were very careful about their boats and our boat and the lines were adjusted according to wind as needed.
The guest harbour of Rønne is very well protected with breakwater. That’s why it is so peculiar that in every few hours the swell found its way into the harbour basin and all boats swinged for a some time. We suspect that the high speed ferries arriving in neighbour ferry harbour are the cause of these waves. People were adjusting lines all the time and in addition for some reason the water in the harbour stunk terribly. The wind was still blowing and everybody was just killing the time and waiting to continue the sailing.
There are several guest harbours around Bornholm island from which the harbour in Rønne is the biggest. Close to the harbour is a shopping centre with a big Kvickly supermarket and getting provisions to the boat takes only a short walk. There are more possibilities for shopping and restaurants in the old town of Rønne. The weather however was not cooperating and most of people spent a lot of time on the yachts.
At the weekend we rented a car and went to look at the island. There was also a jazz festival in Bornholm. The festival was arranged in the town of Allinge and on Saturday evening we went there by a car. We descended a steep hill into the centre of Allinge and we saw a totally different scenery compared to Rønne. Of course the Allinge and its boat harbour was very small and yachts were rafted up but the wind was on the other side of the island. People were walking relaxed and there was a good summer feeling. At the same time in Rønne it was chilly and people were worried about their boats in gale force winds.
In Allinge we enjoyed a good dinner and visited jazz tent to listen the music. Afterwards we went for a walk on small streets winding up and down. Suddenly we heard the Danish pop song and voices of happy people chatting. We walked towards the sound and found ourselves in the middle of summer concert with a local band performing and the crowd singing along all songs. Everybody seemed to know the lyrics so he must be quite a popular artist. The band with Rasmus Nøhr as lead singer was really good and we joined the party even if we did not understand any of the words.
The Sunday was spend by going around the island by a car and we had a great day. We chose to go clockwise following the shore. The total length of the island tour was 140 kilometres. Our first stop was the ruins of Hammershus fortress. The place was packed with tourists as the sun was shining again and everybody was on a move despite that the wind was still in near gale forces. The ruins of Hammershus fortress are located on the north side of the island close to Allinge.
We also checked out the Allinge in daylight and it still looked very nice like during the previous evening.
From Allinge we continued to the town of Gudhjem where the streets also descend into the shore like in Allinge. There are fish smokehouses in most of the places on the north and east coast and in Gudhjem we went to see if we should have a lunch in one. However we wanted to look around and finally sat down on a lunch buffet restaurant that had already a load of customers. It is always a good sign if the restaurant has many patrons before especially if there are locals. We stuffed ourselves full with delicious herring, fish and turkey. The dessert crowned the menu. There was a yummy apple pie topped with soft ice cream. In addition the price was very reasonable for a Danish restaurant.
The next stop was a small town of Svaneke. In there we found small shops making chocolate and licorice. Also the Bornholm's brewery is located in Svaneke. Svaneke is credited for being an artistic and we could notice this from several boutiques selling the work of local craftsmen.
The road trip continued towards Nexø and suddenly we saw a fully functional windmill in Aarsdale. The café next to the mill sold some crafts from Bornholm but we were more interested about the insides of the windmill that was built in 1877. It was the first time for both of us to be inside of the working windmill and to explore how it works. It was great to climb up to the second and third floor by hearing the sounds of all the shafts and belts were creating while spinning. In all floors the wooden gearboxes were rotating at high speed as the mill's blades were turning in wind. The windmill will start working at wind speed of three metres per second but during this windy day everything was running at full speed with even the floors shaking in the tune of the mill's machinery.
Nexø is located on the other side of Bornholm from Rønne. It seems to have more industry compared to the rest of the island. Also the commercial harbour is located in Nexø. It was already a late afternoon and we just quickly drove through the town. We still wanted to see the vast beaches on the southern side of Bornholm. Dueodde sand beaches were dazzling. No wonder that at some time the fine sand from Dueodde have been used to make hourglasses.
During our next visit in Bornholm we'll definitely not go to the harbour of Rønne but instead we'll choose one of the idyllic harbours on northern and eastern side like Allinge, Gudhjem or Svaneke. All of them are cozy small places. On Baltic Sea the prevailing winds are from south-west and we got our share of it. Because these places are on the lee side of the island they are better protected from the wind compared to Rønne. In addition the water in Rønne harbour is very dirty and the bad smell was everywhere from morning to evening.
On Tuesday it looked like a regatta start as everybody was going to the sea after several windy and rainy days. We also cast off the lines and sailed towards Poland.