Late on Tuesday night on the 21st, we drove through a frozen Sweden, with the car registering -23 degrees and arrived at Ystad port to wait to board the overnight ferry to Bornholm. We drove off the ferry the next morning at 6am, through snowy fields and clear roads, making it home to Rasmus’ parents before I went back to bed for another three hours sleep. When I woke up it had already started to snow again and the wind beat against the houses with noisy excitement, making it feel like we were living in a snow globe.
In four days Bornholm was showered with 140cm of snow! Even compared with our snowy Christmas last year in Scotland it was huge. The roads were officially closed – every time they tried to clear them the wind would have filled up the space again in a few minutes. And we were officially snowed in. Mormor needed to be visited every day so we braved the snow, me in a blue fisherman suit, walking through thigh-high snow and digging out the snow around her door to make it inside, to be rewarded for our efforts with Christmas cookies.
Two days after Christmas the roads between the main towns had been cleared, with lorries and tractors working around the clock to free people from the snow. We dug the car out and went for a drive to the north of the island, driving at times through walls of snow much higher than the car, and getting stuck three times – I got well practised at pushing the car out!
It was fun. The news was melodramatically reporting the total shut-down off the island the snow had caused and I heard some Danish comedians made a “save Bornholm” song in Live8 style. Church services on 24th and 25th were all cancelled. Some people got to the island by ferry only to be stuck in the port town Rønne and spend their Christmas evening in military bunkers and sports halls. The BBC mistakenly reported that all these people were stuck trying to get off the island, but everyone was trying to get home for Christmas.
In our cosy home in Aakirkeby we were well stocked with Christmas food, marzipan and gallons of coffee and had family and friends within walkable radius to keep us entertained and the snow was merely an exciting diversion.