Our sixth day of the biking trip we started at Aakirkeby Camping. The beginning of that day was quite different than previous. In the plan we had a tour to the Almindingen forest.
Wet morning in Aakirkeby
In the morning we were greeted by rain. The first challenge was to pack up wet tent, next – to hide under the roof and to eat breakfast in dry conditions. The rain was periodical. When it was not raining for a while, the children ran out of the building to play chess, and then after a while they had to hide again.
The question was: will we be able to realize the planned route? We had a plan B (for bad weather), but when we thought about attractiveness of the sites scheduled for that day, it would be a pity to give up. We looked at the weather forecast on the smartphone. According to weather information it was expected to stop raining around 10:00. It was a good time to start our ride.
At 10 AM according to the forecast the rain stopped raining. Roads were wet, but we could go. The last chess game and we were ready for another miles of beautiful bike trails.
The first stop we made in Aakirkeby city center at the grocery store. We bought bananas, water and bottle of Cola. Then, we went north.
We rode on bicycle road first, then we drove through the local country roads. At 7 km of the route we reached the border of Almindingen forest. Since then we drove mostly the forest paths. Trees had the characteristic cycling routes signs, which made checking correct direction easy. From time to time we passed other cyclists who were going in the opposite direction.
The most boring part of ride we’ve had behind us. Within Almindingen forest distances between the places we wanted to see was much smaller. However, we still had a unexpected part – surpasses, but about them in a moment…
We stopped at Bastemose lake. To reach the destination we had to drive north side where was the pier. There we left bicycles. On the spot, it turned out that the lake was overgrown and there are wetlands. Children could learn how nature changes the landscape. Recently there was a lake, and now that little lake is overgrown. Who knows, maybe in a few years there will be a clearing?
Children didn’t hide surprise. We came to see the lake, and on the spot we saw a wet meadow instead. It wouldn’t be possible to walk on it, because it’s a marshy area. From the pier we had very nice view of the whole area.
After a moment spent at Bastemose we went further. Just few hundred meters of asphalt road away we reached the Bornholms Travselskab. It is a horse race track. We’ve never been to the racecourse before. Interestingly, when we arrived we saw that we could go inside through the cash registers and enter the area of the track. There was no gate and no service. We left our bikes in front of the ticket office and decided to walk inside. We didn’t want to be rude so we walked only for a moment to the stands and returned to the bikes. Inside, we saw the track where horses were running during the competition. There was also a large scoreboard, grandstands and cash registers for betting.
There was nobody there, the area was totally unprotected. Shock. In Poland there are no such places unless they are abandoned. Somehow in our country people are afraid of each other and because of fearing of potential thieves it would have closed gate, security guard or alarm. By the way, the curious is that in Denmark they do not know such a profession as a security officer. Here people simply do not steal. Sounds impossible, but it is.
When we visited the race track there were no races that day. To feel the excitement of the horse race you would have to visit this place during the competition.
After a while we went back to our bicycles and planned a further route on a more detailed map. In front of us were four more interesting places to see in the woods of Almindingen.
Gamleborg castle ruins
Next we came to see the ruins of Gamleborg Castle. We weren’t sure what to expect. Being nearby we saw a signpost pointing out the way to Gamleborg. We didn’t know if it was possible to ride a bike there. The first signpost directed us to a small forest road, while the other one was led by a wide duct. We chose the second variant. After a while we saw the ruins of Gamleborg Castle, but it was on the other side of the ravine. We quickly realized the terrain and found a way to park your bicycles and go for a short tour.
The castle was barely visible. There are basically only rare foundations. All we could see was outline area where castle was standing. We had to use our imagination to imagine how castle looked like in the past.
Once the castles were built in the shape of an oval. Gamleborg was built during the Viking period. Location in the middle of the island allowed to rule over whole Bornholm. In the 10th century the entire island was subordinated to the Danish king, and Gamleborg was used to protect the royal territorial gains. Access to the fortress was possible through the entrances from the south and north, where the slopes of the escarpment are the least steep. Undoubtedly, this is the oldest stone building in Bornholm. Gamleborg was abandoned around 1150.
Today, where once a fortress stood, you can find mainly blackberries. Children rushed to the delicious fruits of the forest.
The sun came out and no one remembered the morning rain. Oh, maybe just the tent, which was still a bit wet.
We went to the next place through very steep convention. The winding road led down the hill and the roots of the trees stuck out of the ground. It was an interesting experience to cross this trail with a trailer.
Ekkodalen echo valley
We reached the Echo Valley. It is a beautifully located valley, which lies at the foot of a huge rock. Thanks to this rock wall we could hear echo in the valley. This valley was very popular tourists place. On the spot we saw a parking lot full of cars, and on the road leading along the valley was a lot of people.
It was hard to find best place to listen to echo. We weren’t the only people who forced echo to respond for a scream. It was quite ridiculous when one group of tourists decided to pretend to be echo. They answered for our scream, on behalf of echo. Lot of laugh was there.
Finally we found some place where echo responses was the strongest. We checked whether it answered our call. Echo was heard, although quieter than we imagined.
The field between the road and the rock wall was used as a pasture protected by an electric shepherd. Children wondered how the electrical fence works. They decided to touch the wire to check if the electricity is there. Kids reaction for “kick” was very funny.
After a pleasant time in the Echo Valley we went further towards the ruins of another castle. We tried to get in the direction of the rock wall, but when we saw that the road continued with a steep stairs, we did not attempt to climb up with bicycles, heavy trailer and panniers. There was no other option but ride around.
Ruins of Lilleborg Castle
A few hundred meters away we found the ruins of another castle – Lilleborg. There was a small lake in the woods nearby. Lilleborg had more walls than at Gamleborg, but far less than in Hammershus.
Agata said that she won’t forget Hammershus Castle. What we saw there was ugly, because we can’t see much.
Rytterknægten lookout tower
Another stop on the route was the Rytterknægten lookout tower, which was at the highest point of Almindingen forest. To reach the tower we had to go up the hill. Fortunately, it was not steep, the road was short and asphalt.
Upon arriving at the top, we entered the lookout tower. Almindingen forest is located in the middle of Bornholm island. In nice weather, and so we had, we could see the whole island from there. We could easily find the Dueodde lighthouse, where we were 2 days ago. Our today’s route target was also visible, it was Rønne, the largest city of Bornholm.
The lower part of the tower was built of bricks, and the top was a steel structure. At the top of the tower was a gallery where we could look in every direction.
Nearby the tower was a shop and benches. It was a good time to have a meal before the next part of tour. We pulled out the gas cooker and prepared the dinner. After dinner we ate ice creams.
On the way to Rønne
Each hill has it to itself that the harder it is to get into it, the faster it gets out of it. We drove down the forest road. Suddenly Kris came too close to Agatha’s bicycle and crashed. He flew through the steering wheel and landed on the ground. That’s the consequence of the lack of attention on the bike. Fortunately, nothing but a slight wiping happened. We left Almindingen forest quickly, all the time down the hill.
We moved south. Our ride was very good. On the way we passed huge fields of corn. Kids even tried to estimate how many corn cobs was surrounding us.
We drove towards Rønne. On the way we passed the rotund church in Nylars. We had no desire to visit it because we already saw the rotund church in Nyker and Østerlars. We only made a photo and rode away.
Suddenly, along the bike path, we saw stones with murals. This was a big surprise for us, because we did not find any information about them before. Nearby lived Mr. Slaus Stene, who was an artist. Over the years he has made sculptures and paintings on stone and placed them there.
We returned to the cycling trail that ran through Bornholms Golf Club. With astonishment we crossed the cycle road, which was led through the center of the golf course.
Galløkken Strand Camping Bornholm
Upon arriving in Rønne we headed straight to our campsite.
We chose a camping that is close to the harbor. The next morning we had our ferry early and decided to sleep closely. We needed to pay for the camp in advance, because the next morning the office opened at the time our ferry sailed.
We decided to prepare for the cruise. Seeing what we have in the trailer we found it would be worth to visit the shop. Nearby we found Superbrugsen shop and realized that it is closing in 10 minutes. We ran! Luckily we reached it and as the last customers we did fast shopping. We came tho the store so late. Shop’s staff were a bit surprised.
The evening and morning next day we were having fun on playground at the campsite. We pitched the tent right at the playground. We drove 32.77 km that day.
In the morning we woke up early enough to have breakfast, pack and get to the port for check-in.
Ferry to Germany
The ferry we sailed to Germany was much smaller than the one we sailed to Bornholm. There was no possibility to walk around the deck, so we sat in the compartment with the beds and sailed to our car, which was left in Sassnitz. We had a surprise during our cruise. Suddenly the alarm rang. Luckily it was a sensor error and we were not threatened. The ship’s crew apologized for the incident, but those who had slept before couldn’t fall asleep after such an adrenaline dose.
And so our expedition to Bornholm has finished.