Another day, another crazy adventure here on Bornholm. I’m loving my days here on the beautiful sunny island, and I want to take advantage of every day that I get here. Yesterday, I went to the nearby geological pearl of Klintebakken, but today I wanted to venture a bit further, to Almindingen, the largest forest on Bornholm. There are quite a few things that I want to see in the forest, but today, I decided to focus on the west part and headed out for a few hours of biking and sightseeing after work.
I had plans of seeing the viewpoint at Dronningestenen, the Echo Valley, the highest point on Bornholm at Rytterknægten and the ruins of Lilleborg and Gamleborg. But only two of those places were ticked off my list today.
I left Åkirkeby Camping at 7 PM and biked the 7 kilometres to Almindingen. I Google’d the Echo Valley, the largest cleft valley on Bornholm, which is famous for its echo. It was the first thing on my itinerary in the forest, and I expected Google Maps to show me the shortest and quickest way to get there. It did not.
Instead, it took me to a complete other part of the forest, from where I had to walk about two kilometres to get to the valley. Despite this, I enjoyed the longer ride, which took me past countless cute farm houses and a large lake with thousands of birds right by the entrance to the forest.
I could never have imagined what was going to happen next.
I biked into the forest and followed the path towards the Echo Valley. Suddenly, there was a turn off for the valley. Without checking my GPS, I blindly decided to follow the sign and started biking along the narrowest and most rocky path on the island. I was clearly not on a bicycle path any longer, but for some reason, I was determined to keep going.
It was getting harder and harder to pull my bike along with me, over large rocks and tree roots, but I kept going. Two kilometres of this was awaiting me, but I couldn’t look back now.
Not long after I had entered the path, I came to Dronningestenen, one of the best view points in the forest. I could see all the way to Åkirkeby and the ocean!
Close by the view point there was also a large stone with a Bronze Age petroglyph, which I didn’t even know was there – so some good things did come out of taking the wrong turn!
The path didn’t get any wider or less rocky after Dronningestenen. In fact, it only got worse. At one point, there was no other way to get down but to push my bike in front of me, holding it tightly in case it decided to slip and fall down the steep “path”.
When I was FINALLY getting close to the Echo Valley, I once again realized what an idiot I had been. I had undoubtedly chosen a foot path, and now there was no other way down than to carry my bike in one hand, as I walked down a flight of steep stairs!
But, after much hard effort, I finally got to the bottom of the valley! I was in the Echo Valley, listening to other people’s voices echoing from far away. But now I had another problem. My chain came off my bike!! I had no idea how to fix it, so I decided to find my way out of the valley and call the camping people.
Thankfully, I bumped into Preben, who was flying his drone and filming a live video on Facebook with it at the time. I asked him if he knew how to fix the chain and he did it in a few seconds. And then he taught me how to fly the drone!! That was a pretty cool experience! Thank you Preben for saving me!
After Preben had fixed my bike and I had tried his awesome drone, I took a few pictures of the magnificent cliffs of the valley, before I decided to head back to the camping place before it got too dark. The other sights in the west part of Almindingen would have to wait for tomorrow!
On my way home, which didn’t take me nearly as long as getting there (thank you, Google Maps….!), I saw the most beautiful sunset, as the sun slowly disappeared under the closely packed trees of Almindingen.
Another adventurous day is over, and what a crazy and fun one it has been! I got myself into a big mess, but with the help of Preben, I got out of it again, and the day turned out to be as great as I had hoped for, despite not seeing everything I wanted!
The Echo Valley is one of the most naturally beautiful places on Bornholm, and it was a definite must re-see for me! I think I might even come back again for a third look!
Tomorrow it’s back to the excavation from 8-16, and then I’m off to Almindingen again! Hopefully everything will go as planned on my second try 😉