Monday, September 22, 2008

Island Living

So, when Dante was a little baby, we met weekly with a group of other new mothers and their wee ones to drink tea, eat cakes and talk about breastfeeding, organic food and other such pressing maternity issues. Some of us have kept in contact, some not. One of those we still hear from occasionally recently moved back to the Danish island of her birth, with her now two children that are close to mine in age. They now live in a very quaint little wooden house on the island of Bornholm, close to the sea and one of the islands forests as well. They come to the mainland once in a while to visit friends and whatnot, and she suggested to me that we could do a switcharoo, so they could have a place to stay when in Copenhagen, and we could have a place to getaway, far a way from everything.


We have just had a splendid three day weekend in their lovely house while they were staying here, attending a wedding. The three hour journey starts with a train ride to Sweden before taking the ferry to the island, which is actually closet to Sweden, Germany and Poland than Denmark itself. On the ferry, Dante even managed to make a new friend, a lady sitting close by who offered him some raisins and sympathized with him in general. Upon arrival, it was great to just find the house, walk in, and feel at home immediately. Our friends took their car with them to Copenhagen, leaving us their bikes so we could explore the island from the many bike trails about. We put them to very good use!

The bike trail we took Friday was entirely encompassed by a beautiful forest filled with pine and oak trees and a gazillion mushrooms. I do happen to own a book for identifying mushrooms, but fool I am, left it at home. There were many many mushrooms that I'm sure we could've eaten, but we refrained to be on the safe side. There are a few that you don't need a book to tell you to stay away from however.


A related specimen, not quite at poisonous, but at your own risk!


We rode our bikes to a little village with a seaside smokehouse where we enjoyed smoked salmon and a beverage before heading back.

The next day, Saturday, we had a little more time and a better idea of how long it would take to bike around, so we decided to take the same route as the day before but ride a little more than twice as far as Friday. The destination was a an old old castle from the early middle ages due 20 km. north of the house. It was a pretty long ride, and there were many many hills, but when we got there, we were enchanted.

And yes, I did give Dante a heaircut! Unlike Samson though, he did not lose his mojo. Dante seemed to like the ruins, and the fresh air did wonders for everyone.

That stretch of coast there isn't even half of what we biked that day! Surprisingly, I haven't been sore from all those hills. Yet.

On the way back, the kids fell asleep, and Mik and I stopped at this painfully quaint little harbour for a rest. We speculated that the location would be the ideal place to have a summer cottage, since it's isolated, without actually being too far away from everything. For now I think we're satisfied switching houses though.

Yesterday was a quick trip to the beach and then a clean up before leaving our house back to our absent hosts. We came home to an apartment that barely looked like it'd been used in the meantime, but we hope they enjoyed their stay as much as we did, and that they want to do it again, soon!

One thing is going on vacation, because you need to get away. We all do that in some form or another. But I wonder if Mikael and I had ever done this if we hadn't had children to entertain as well! Would we? Riding our bikes around an island? For fun? And we only drank one whole bottle of wine the whole time we were there! Imagine. Are we getting old? Someone send us a bottle of rum and a reality check!


ubergirlelijah said...

My reality check for you is that you have such a beautiful and blessed life!! Every time I see pictures of your amazing children I want to get pregnant IMMEDIATELY! And the island just looks magical...deep, dreamy sigh...and, plus, you don't live in a country where half the inhabitants favor McCain/Palin in the next election. Mind-boggling...

Sparx said...

Wow, that seems like heaven! What a lovely way to spend the weekend, you two really have a great life, you know...

Jennie said...

Pshaw. You two!

Elijah, you are hereby appointed chairman of my fan club.

Sparx, I'm actually inclined to agree! How lucky am I? You've done some pretty neat frolicking around the countryside yourself though. And, you have a garden where you can hang your washing to dry. I'm still a bit behind there. And your Canadian. Which is like being American - just better. So there.