We arrived in Hammerhavnen in the morning, and after getting some breakfast, we decided to take a walk in the area. Bornholm has many hiking paths, and one reason we had chosen to go to Hammerhavnen was its location right next to the nature reserve Hammeren. On this northern tip of Bornholm, granite makes up the ground, making it very different from the rest of Denmark. We filled our backpack with drinks and snacks in the hope of making Mattis want to walk the whole route with us, and started the route that took us up the coast. We soon came past goats and sheep living in the reserve, and met many other tourists taking in the beautiful nature. When we reached the ruins of a small chapel we consulted our guidebook and decided that the 7 km route was too long for us. Instead we started back and crossed over and up towards the light house located at the highest point of Hammeren. The road up there was steep, and Mattis didn’t find the hike that great anymore, but in the end we made it, and from the light house we could see all the way to Sweden. On the way back to the harbour, we made our way along the man made lakes in the area that originate from the granite quarries. Nowadays, they are impressive rocks which I guess most people visiting Bornholm go to see.
Hammershus is a medieval castle build on the hills above Hammerhavnen. We new it from a kids movie, so naturally we had to go for a visit. Once again we could follow one of the many hiking paths, this time along the coast towards the south. On the way we made a stop at the tiny light house that guides sailors into the harbour. It was so small that we could see the tinted glass, and Runa got a small lesson on navigation.
Our kids are not keen on the sailing part of our holidays, so the deal this year was that we would take the longer turn to get to Bornholm, but once there we would explore the island from a few harbors only. After three days in Hammerhavnen we decided to move on Christiansø, a small rocky island just 20 nm away. Bornholm is known to be crowded in the summer, and Christiansø is probably the worst harbor of all in that regard, so we left early in the morning in order to arrive before the crowd. It was a nice, but very misty sail, in which we could hear the fog horns from the cargo ships in the nearby route. But soon the sun broke through, and Christiansø appeared in the distance. We could see a number of sailboats heading towards Christiansø, but still managed to get a nice spot on the smaller of the two islands that make up the harbor. Christiansø has most likely been used as a natural harbour for centuries, but in 1684 a fortress was build on the islands, and today approximately 80 people live there year round, mainly making a living from the many tourists visiting the islands. We visited the museum and took a walk around the very small island, but in the end, the most exiting thing happening was that there was boat in the harbor with a girl Runa’s age on board, and the two went shrimp fishing. And ended up catching so many shrimps that it took three ours for us to clean them.
Christiansø is an amazing place, but after three days we were ready to move on to our last destination on Bornholm, Gudhjem, the tourist capital of the island. The harbors on Bornholm are tiny, so we decided to leave early in the morning once again, in the hope of getting a place. And we were lucky, and got a place right next to Runa’s friend from Christiansø. At night time, the whole basin had been filled with sailboats, with the last couple of guests being told that they could tie up, but would have to leave the next morning before the post boat needed to get out.
After successfully fulfilling our first mission of getting ice cream, we continued to the dinosaur museum. We love dinosaurs. We have countless numbers of books for kids about dinosaurs, and somehow they also manage to collect endless dinosaur dolls and teddies. So obviously we needed to visit the dinosaur museum. Actually, it was more like a geology museum, but that didn’t really matter. We learned about how the island of Bornholm was created, and saw rocks that had taken shape after the sea floor. It was very cool. And when we missed the planned bus back, we went to a flee market and bought comics for Runa to read sailing back towards Bremerhaven.
We kept Gudhjem as our base for the rest of our time on Bornholm, enjoying the place, practicing rowing in both of our dinghies and visiting nearby Svaneke where we bought beer and herring. And ice cream, of course.
When it was time to leave and head towards Bremerhaven, we had fairly strong winds from south west. Pretty much from the direction we were heading. After an extra weather check, we decided to leave in the afternoon. That way we could sail down the coast of Bornholm in lee of the strongest winds, reach the open ocean when the wind had abated a bit in the evening and take the worst part while the kids were sleeping. But for that plan to work out we needed to get ourselves out of the harbor. And since we had been there for some days, we had been packed pretty far into the corner of the basin. But after waiting for a couple of hours, as the other boats that wanted to leave slowly took turns to get out, we finally also made it, and could spend the day in the outer basin, preparing to go sailing again.