In the early morning light of a June day, I decided to set off on my first solo backpacking adventure to Bornholm, a Danish island known for its beautiful hiking trails and breathtaking views. With minimal planning and a spirit of adventure, I embarked on this journey of a lifetime.
Day 1 (Saturday)
Excitement coursed through my veins as I boarded the train early Saturday morning. As the train chugged along, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of wonder at the journey that lay ahead. The journey began with a few unexpected twists as the connecting train in Malmö was canceled, causing a delay in reaching Bornholm. However, the setback didn’t dampen my spirits; it only added an element of unpredictability to the adventure. Finally, after a series of train rides and a ferry journey, I arrived at Rønne, the largest town in Bornholm, with determination in my eyes and a backpack full of essentials on my shoulders.
Setting off on foot in the late afternoon, I felt the cool sea breeze brushing against my face as I hiked along the coast. The scenery was simply mesmerizing – from picturesque shores to stunning hiking trails in the forests, each step brought me closer to nature. Along the way, I stumbled upon captivating landmarks like Kultippen Hasle, Himalaya Klippen, and the majestic Hammershus Castle Ruins, where I immersed myself in the island’s rich history.
As the golden hour approached, I made my way to a beautiful tent site with a panoramic sea view. The sight of the setting sun painted the sky in hues of orange and pink, making it a moment to cherish forever. I found a peaceful spot near the edge of the jetty, where I sat in awe, watching nature’s masterpiece unfold before me.
As darkness descended, I pitched my tent and savored a hearty meal, the taste of victory and independence sweeter than ever before. The sound of waves crashing against the shore lulled me to sleep, and the stars above twinkled like diamonds, making me feel small yet connected to the vast universe.
Day 2 (Sunday)
With the first light of dawn, I arose, eager to continue my expedition. My path led me along the captivating coastline, guiding me to the northern tip of the island where the Hammer Odde Lighthouse stood tall and proud. From there, I joined the Højlyngsstien trail, marked by vibrant orange signs, ready to conquer its challenges.
The trail took me through open grasslands, ancient forests, and past Moseløkken Stendbrud, where I marveled at rock climbers and slackliners showcasing their skills. Among the treasures hidden along the trail, the Sankt Ols Kirke, a charming little church, stood as a testament to the island’s cultural heritage.
As the day wore on, fatigue started to set in. My determination was tested when I got lost in Rø Plantage, wandering in circles for what felt like an eternity. Fatigued and uncertain, just when I thought I might not make it to my destination before sunset, a kind lady appeared and offered me a helping hand. Her generosity reignited my spirits, and soon I found myself at Myrstribe Primitive Teltplads.
At the tent site, I faced yet another challenge in the form of persistent mosquitoes. Undeterred, I mustered my survival skills, creating my first campfire with sheer determination and a touch of luck. The crackling flames provided warmth and comfort, and I relished a well-deserved meal before retiring to my tent, ready for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Day 3 (Monday)
The early morning tranquility was interrupted by the loud sound of a deer nearby, sending a shiver down my spine. But rather than cower in fear, I chose to educate myself on how to handle such encounters, embracing the unpredictability of nature. I was reassured by the fact that Bornholm’s wildlife posed no harm. Two more deers made an appearance but quickly fled away as I made some noise, signaling my presence.
As I continued my journey, my body began to feel the strain of the past days’ adventures. Determined to challenge my limits, I pushed on until Bisonskoven, where I decided to turn back. While I didn’t encounter any bison that day, I knew this was just the beginning of my exploration of Bornholm.
Although the journey had its share of challenges, it was an experience that empowered me and ignited a desire for more solo adventures. Bornholm had cast its spell on me, and I vowed to return, to complete the trail, and explore more of this enchanting island.
As I boarded the ferry back to the mainland, a sense of accomplishment and gratitude filled my heart. My first solo backpacking trip taught me the beauty of embracing the unknown, the kindness of strangers, and the resilience of the human spirit.
To anyone reading this tale, I hope it serves as a reminder that the greatest adventures lie beyond our comfort zones. Embrace the unknown, challenge yourself, and savor the beauty that unfolds by taking the first step into the wilderness. So go forth, create your own stories, and let the journey be your destination.