The trip, Part I – The Customs
Autumn. ‘All the leaves are brown …’ the song goes, and they are, here in Denmark.
Last week it was schools holiday here, and my husband and I also took some days off. To go to the island Bornholm – also called the sunshine island – together with Auntie B.
Denmark is small, but to go to Bornholm, you’ll have to sail. (Hence the island-thing.) 🙂
Our main focus was to sail for as short a time as possible, ‘cos we did not know how Pandora would react to the ferry trip. This meant we had to go through Sweden, driving to the Swedish town Ystad and sail to Bornholm.
This is two hours by car and almost two hours by the ferry. And to cross the Swedish border, all Pandora vaccinations had to be in order or else we would be send back with a fine for illegal transportation of animals. So, Pandora is always vaccinated against any relevant illness inclusive Rabies which is the most important when going to Sweden.
Leaving home early Wednesday morning, we crossed the border around 11 o’clock, passing the Oeresunds Bridge into Sweden (This bridge is the actual Bridge from the tv series The Bridge, if anyone’s interested).
In the customs in Sweden, we were stopped!
The custom officer looked at Pandora and said:
– You have to go to the people over there.
We drove the car to the ‘people over there’, which was three customs officers, four men with photo cameras, one with a movie camera and for me it felt like there was a bunch of other people running around.
A very kind guy explained that they had a campaign in Sweden regarding transportation of animals, including dogs and smaller pets. They asked to see Pandora’s passport and she was requested out of the car so they could scan her chip (placed in the neck right under the skin).
I was a little nervous. We just had a new passport made for her, as the old one has vanished into god-knows-where, and the new one therefor only have the rabies vaccination listed and the vet even made a correction at the first page with correction tape, which I hoped the Swedish customs officer wouldn’t see as an attempt of forgery.
Bringing Pandora out of the car was also kind of exciting. She hated the cameras (movie star or not) and she was very confused of all the people around her.
Luckily the Swedish customs officers were kind and helpful.
We walk away from the crowd and the guy with the chip scanner was gentle and non-threatening as he scanned Pandora.
I crossed my fingers and hoped the number on his screen was the same as the one in the passport, as we had never had it checked.
It was. Actually everything was so much in order that we were praised for the good work and was told that Pandora’s papers were better than ok.
We were ‘set free’ and could continue our trip across Sweden.
The Trip, part II – Sailing
Entering the ferry was no problem to Pandora. She showed no fear of the noise on the car deck and when we left the car to go into the ferry cantina, she was fearless. Indoor though, she stressed and gasp for breath.
The problem was to get space in the cafeteria. There was an area for people with dogs, but it was occupied by people with children. And did they make room for us when we came? NO!
Did they give us the possibility to eat our dinner at the dog-owners-table? No!
So we had to bunch together to eat and to nurse Pandora. She was a little stressed, but she took it very fine.
There were several dogs on the ferry, but Pandora just watched them, didn’t react to them, but somehow it made her more comfortable. If the other dogs didn’t die, she might not either.
Holiday, hotel and hot sun
Well arrived to our hotel, Strandhotellet, we had a small room, but it was okay. I asked if Pandora could go with us to the restaurant, and they said she could.
Great. Now we knew that if it was impossible to find other places to eat on the island we could bring Pandora with us to the restaurant of the hotel.
You see, in the summer time, it’s no problem. We can always eat outside, but in the autumn, it’s a lot colder and eating outdoor is not just a very cold experience, it might also be impossible if the restaurant won’t serve outside.
But let me say: Our four days at Bornholm turned out to be the best and most sunny days since July.
Every day except Sunday, we were able to eat outside.
Bornholm is very different from the rest of Denmark. Denmark is known to be quite flat. No hills, no mountains, no rocks. Except for Bornholm, which is solid rock all the way around.
This also makes trekking a lot harder and walking with a dog a lot more dangerous. Therefor I had brought Pandora’s harness. If she fell from a rock, I wouldn’t strangle her, but be able to lift her back to me.
But Pandora hates her harness. HATES!
Actually she gets mentally castrated by it. Seriously. The second she had it on, she went completely depressive, unhappy and definitely not in any danger – we thought.
But visiting an old ruin, a medieval fortress Hammershus, the silly dog jump up on a low wall. On the other side of the wall there was more than 10 meters drop into nothing. I tugged Pandora down quickly, and while we all got our nerves together she had an even shorter leash.
After that, the harness had to stay on her most of the time, but oh dear, did she hate it.
We had many nice walks during the days. The weather was fantastic and both at middays and in the evening we were able to go to restaurants and eat outside. Pandora behaved like an angel.
Every day we bought raw biodynamic beef for her in the supermarket so she was quite spoiled.
The Opal lake
One day we took a walk around an artificial lake called the Opal Lake.
It’s very beautiful and the colour of the wather is opal blue. I guess perhaps there is 2-3 kilometres all the way around and again, Pardora was in the harness as the edge was a steep fall at more than 20 meters.
As we got all the way around, there was a path where we could go to the lakeshore and let Pandora free.
She went completely crazy-happy. Running around and jumping into the lake swimming. Those of you who follow this blog, might know that Pandora swims, but not much.
She did that day. Obviously she needed to cool down. And after her swim, she found a spot in the lake and there she stood relaxing. Observing her surroundings, not moving at all. She might have needed to cool down. She was sooo sweet, just sitting there.
After that, she seemed refreshed and we found another sport where she could let out some steam before we had to go back to the hotel.
The next day we went to Dueodde.
This is a very different landscape than the rest of the island. This is a beach with white sand as far as the eye can see. Here we had yet another chance to let Pandora be free and we took a lot of photos there, as the colours were so beautiful.
It was a great day.
The last day we were at the island, we took a long walk into the rocky landscape. The rocks were ascending and the higher we went, the more careful we had to be with Pandora. As we went back down, we found a sort of natural bay, where Pandora could run free. She was so funny, blowing out steam again, jumping around from rock to rock, bathing and playing.
It was obvious that she missed her time off the leash.
We eat several different places during the holidays, but I’ll recommend these:
At the Strand Hotel (Strandhotellet) in Sandvig we could bring the dog to the restaurant. Pandora was even offered water to drink.
At the cafe ‘Margeritten’ in Allinge, we ate outside, but we were treated very kind and Pandora was offered water
At the cafe ‘Det Gamle Posthuset’ also in Allinge, we went for lunch and Pandora was invited in. Great!
The trip, part III – Going home
The trip home was actually the hardest.
I’m not sure why, but Pandora was so stressed on the ferry this time. It took at least half an hour before she could relax, but finally she did. I think she might have been tired, as she didn’t want strange people to touch or caress her, just the three of us in her pack.
We came home Sunday night. Monday Pandora slept like a baby, eyes hard shut and dreaming.
I guess the trip had made an impact on her after all, or perhaps she was just having nightmares because of the harness.
PS. Looking at all the holiday photos when we came home, it appears that in 90 out of 100, a wolfdog is showing. How can that be?