A weekend in Orø

Rural, remote and ramshackle : the island Orø is a glimpse into the spooky charm of provincial Denmark

There are no bridges to Orø, as there is no reason to drive across it. It is an end station, a shallow sandy island surrounded by Isefjorden. One of the two ferries arrives from Holbæk – a town located at the base of the Fjordto the south – while a yellow cable ferry shunts cars to and fro the mainland to the east.

Danes would classify the island as ‘udkantsdanmark’, meaning peripheral Denmark – rural land losing the fight against the pull of urbanisation. A single supermarket serves the island, but few other shops are open this Autumnal weekend. Fewer people are seen on the streets. Paint peels from wooden framed houses and apples are sold for five kroner by the side of the road.

A little community of summer houses sits in among hardy evergreens. Some are delapidated cabins, others modern builds with high-end sports cars parked out the front. There is little evidence of life. A couple walks a dog, the bin collectors make a rare appearance. Otherwise the only sign of human presence is sensed after dark, when squares of yellow light shine through windows, and the earthy smell of wood fires permeates the air.

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By Peter Stanners

Co-founder and Editor-in-chief. Occasional photographer.

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