Sunday, July 07, 2024

2024 Viking Homelands - Day #15 - Bornholm (Rønne), Denmark

Scenic Bornholm

Visit Picturesque Island’s Charming Fishing Villages

Discover the natural beauty and charming villages of the idyllic island of Bornholm.

This picturesque Danish island is nicknamed solskinsøen (Sunshine Island) and klippeøen (Rock Island) for its weather and geology, respectively. Embark on a scenic drive by motor coach through the lush green fields of the island’s western coast en route to a photo stop at the largest castle ruins in Northern Europe, Hammershus. Continue along the island’s rugged northern side and glimpse Gudhjem, a small village situated on the steep cliffs. Leave the coastal road and visit one of the four round churches that can be found on Bornholm; these peculiar buildings were not just churches but served as fortresses during times of conflict. From the small village of Østerlars, travel through the island’s interior and return to your ship.
up at 6 am, we were eating breakfast at World Cafe as the ship sailed into port.

While we were eating breakfast, the Cruise Director came over the loud speaker and announced that there was a change in the schedule for the day. Originally, due to high winds, the captain thought that they wouldn't be able to dock until later in the morning. As a result, all of the excursions were rescheduled until later in the day. At the last minute, the wind died down and the ship was able to dock on schedule. Unfortunately, it wasn't possible to change the excursions back to the original schedule. As a result, our 8:30 am excursion had been rescheduled until 11:00 am.

We ended up crashing back in the room and taking a nap. Given that I am starting to fight a little bit of a headcold, this was a blessing.

Eventually heading to the Star Theater, we met our excursion. The excursion for the day was essentially a bus driving tour of the island. We made one stop at Hammershus. It is Scandinavia's largest medieval fortification and one of the larger ones in Northern Europe. Unfortunately, they only gave us twenty minutes at this stop. This was not enough time to walk all the way up to fortress.

Bornholm is famous for its four round churches, which are among the only seven round churches found in Denmark. These distinctive circular structures were built in the 12th and 13th centuries and served a dual purpose – as houses of worship and as defensive structures. Their thick walls and lack of windows offered protection from pirates and other invaders.

We were supposed to stop at one, but given it was Sunday, services were underway. They drove slowly by the church. I was dissappointed that we didn't get a chance to tour one of the churches.

When we got back to the ship, Sharon and I caught the shuttle bus into town for lunch. Using her superpower to find a restaurant, we wandered into Rønne and had a leisurely late lunch at Râzapâz. We had Tapas for two and a couple of glasses of wine.

After lunch, we wandered around the town a little. Sharon was looking for pins and doing some shopping. Given that it was Sunday, most of the stores were closed. We walked back to the ship.

Back at the boat, we did the Port Talk for Gdansk, Poland.

After the Port Talk, we went to a Guest Lecture by Steven Rivellino titled Fryderykk Chopin, Poland's Cherished Son. The lecuture explored the life and music of Chopin from his birth in Warsaw to his early days in Paris. The lecture was very good. We were seeing a Chopin concert as an excursion in Gdansk.

Getting cleaned up, we went to The Restaurant for dinner. Given that I was feeling under the weather, we sat alone. I had DESTINATION MENU, including: Smoked Haddock Fish Cake [leek and mature cheddar; dill mayonnaise]; Roasted Venison [butternut squash fondant, roasted parsnip; porcini truffle sauce], and, Chocolate Flabbergast [creamy & dense chocolate base, rocher shell, tonka cream]. Sharon had a Langoustines bisque, salmon and some of my dessert.

We finished the night in the Explorers' Lounge watching the ship sail along the coast of Bornholm. Sharon has started to call Bornholm Island the Boring Island. With me feeling under the weather, we crashed early about 9:30 pm.

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