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KYST 33 we arrived at Svenskehavn a little late and the crimson sun had broken through the horizon by the time I unpacked my things. A friend was already waiting for my wife and me, and after a lovely coffee, I left them and got to work, positioning myself right by the waves. There had been a little rain during the week, but Bornholm was still bone dry, and the sky was completely cloud free. Though the sea was agitated there was just a gentle breeze from the south.
A couple of fishermen in a small boat collected the morning’s catch on the choppy waters.
I wandered up to the coastal path, where a multitude of small birds flittered about silently within the hawthorn bushes and alder trees. The path led to a small wood, so I doubled back and kept to the rocky coast instead. Soon I arrived at Prøjseværket, the site of a former minor quarry where slabs of granite had been calved off from the coastal bedrock and loaded directly onto waiting boats.
It was difficult to find the difference between the cracked and fissured bedrock and the quarry itself, but here and there large flat areas or marks left by quarrying tools could be found. The early morning sun was reflected in a natural fissure in the granite.
I walked on, this time on the coastal path through an unkempt wood that then led to Nørremark, where the open scrubby landscape was dominated by juniper, blackthorn and brambles. I wandered around hoping to find tree frogs, but luck was not on my side. Standing on a triangular rock that jutted out of the rocky shore I could see both Svaneke’s lighthouse to the north and the sandy beach at Broens Odde to the south. I had reached Bornholm’s most easterly point – the site of a Swedish coastal invasion in 1645, which led to the creation of one of Bornholm’s many coastal batteries, upon which is placed a memorial stone.
After some lunch and short nap I walked to an area I had spotted on Google maps, where rows of huge parallel fractures cut through the granite bedrock. Presumably, these were left by eroding intrusive rocks such as diabase, but just by the water, some of these veins were narrow, uneroded and incredibly clear. Beyond in the sea, waves could be seen breaking on the submerged rocks of Malkværn, the site of many a shipwreck.
I walked to the bathing spot at Sjolla, where there a few groups of swimmers and sunbathers perched on the rocks and enjoyed the warm weather. A group of young red breasted mergansers obviously had the same idea and were manically preening on some rocks just by the bathers. I spent some intense minutes trying to capture their strange almost reptilian shape, seemingly caught somewhere between a ‘normal’ duck and a cormorant (see also top).
The mergansers finally settled and took a nap, their sculptural forms blending with the granite rocks in the strong afternoon light.
I carried on, this time along the coastal path, and reached the area known as Halleklipperne, where again, small groups of bathers jumped into the warm water. The uncultivated area behind the rocks was dry and thorny and many of the leaves on the cherry, oaks and brambles were yellow and even red. Berries and fruit adorned the bushes and there was an ever so slightly autumnal feel to the area. I felt the need to document this is some way and ended up recording some of the colours dominating the landscape.
The path continued through a small wooded area before descending sharply down to the coast again. This point marked the day’s destination point and the Tornquist Zone – the boundary that marks where Bornholm’s Precambrian igneous bedrock is replaced with various sedimentary rocks from the Paleozoic Era. Since passing through the same boundary on the other side of the island six months ago at Teglkås during KYST 07, I had been walking over granite and gneiss, so it seemed like a big moment. I made a slice painting, recording the thunderstorms passing over the Baltic Sea, the passage of the sun through the sky behind the clouds, and the passing of 500 million years between the Svaneke granite to my left, and the Nexø sandstone to my right.
Weather report = Sun, clouding over in the late afternoon. Temperature between 17°C and 24°C. Wind between 3 and 5 m/s from the south. Visibility: good. Hours of sunshine: 12.5 hours.
Lessons learned = lessons forgotten more like…
Stops with the M60 = 2
Kilometers walked = 8.04 km
Day lasted = 14 hours, 57 minutes
Birds seen and heard = 35 species (1 new one, pied flycatcher = running total 102) There were actually very few birds about…
Other stuff = no shortage of minks, they’re everywhere. No grass snakes or tree frogs found.
People talked to = 3 (1 + 2)
In my head – moment of pure calm and peace, mixed up with…worries about the KYST book, the KYST exhibition, Kulturuge, teaching engagements, illustration commissions, being a non-biased and supportive parent to teenagers, not smoking, etc, etc…