The beautiful islands off the coast
When we got off the ferry from Endelave, we only managed to make one U-turn at the harbor, and as the biggest ferry enthusiasts, we then lined up for the next ferry: the Hjarnø ferry.
Both the Endelave and Hjarnø ferries sail from the town with the cool name Snaptun close by Horsens, and while the crossing to Endelave takes an hour, you can only just manage to greet the ferry skipper and pay your ticket before the Hjarnø ferry docks on the island five minutes later.
With sea views to Hjarnø and Alrø
We arrived at Hjarnø late in the evening in the rumbling darkness, but quickly found the church and the small tent site next door.
The next day it even turned out that there was something of a beautiful sea view. On the horizon there were probably a little black clouds, and DMI did warn of cloudbursts, but we put on the yes hat and put our trust in the reportedly better island climate, which is impossible to capture on any radar.
And therefore, of course, there was no reason to bring rain pants on the tractor ride around the island, which we had sneaked on. Or at least we did not think so…
The tractor guide Carl - a master of robbery stories
From our car 'Øjvinds' driving, we are used to a smooth bumblebee and a good portion of noise, which for example prevents you from talking to people in the back seat. So we found ourselves excellently in the tractor that Carl from the campsite drove us around the island in.
At regular intervals, the tractor stopped, and Carl told small anecdotes about the small island church, which as the only one in Denmark has a Viking ship as a church ship, about the many houses built of boulders and about the island's transformation from fishing island to agricultural and commuter island.
Carl also told robbery stories about "those over there" from the neighboring island of Alrø, who were some gift thieves of the worst rank. "Try asking them where they got their china from," Carl laughed with a wink.
The sky acted as dramatic backdrop for our little morning outing as the color shifted from light gray to carbon black with a red glow out on the horizon. It looked like sunset, and a bird-savvy woman, who was also on the tractor ride, said the birds had started singing evening trills - which appeared to be another challenge for ornithologist Sarah, who is already struggling to learn their day tunes.
As the tractor ride was coming to an end, it began to rain heavily and densely, a thundering thunder increased, and lightning flashed on the horizon. So we were somewhat excited about the next activity: Sailing with the bicycle ferry to Alrø.
Over the summer, the small ferry with room for about 15 people and bicycles sails between Hjarnø and Alrø, and you could clearly imagine the summer idyll with cycling, sailing and sunshine.
However, we stood in blaring thunder and rain. "But rarely does anything happen," said the optimistic skipper, so we once again put on the yes-hat and now also raincoats. And then of course we went to Alrø, which by the way was also a bit of a bonus island for us, because it is actually not part of island pass, which we otherwise travel around after.
Alrø: When 5 tartlets are better than 1
Luckily, the small bicycle ferry made it to Alrø, and even though the weather made it difficult for us to dock, we succeeded, and we quickly found shelter at the island's café, which serves giant tartlets of about 400 grams each.
A tribute on the wall reveals that Jens holds the record for eating 5 tartlets, which seemed completely incomprehensible as we could barely squeeze a single one down. But if you come past Alrø one day, we will only encourage you to take up the challenge…
Everyday life on Hjarnø
From Alrø and back on Hjarnø the storm had calmed down, and we walked through the small town to meet Mathilde and Hermann. Mathilde had grown up on the island, had been on a trip to Copenhagen to study and had recently returned with her boyfriend and child. And just a few days before we showed up, another little new one had arrived for the family.
We were therefore consistently impressed that the small family could somehow manage to meet with us, but the profits seemed to be at its peak.
We could in many ways identify with Mathilde, who had a master's degree in economics from the University of Copenhagen and therefore asked a little about the classic academic worries: "What about jobs?" But with 25 ferry departures a day, 20 minutes more Horsens and access to the entire triangular area's labor market, that was not the big concern for Mathilde.
“Even though I live on an island, I have shorter ones than those who come from Aarhus. When I lived in Copenhagen, I actually had a longer commute than I have now, ”she explained to us.
Hermann and Mathilde were just one of the island's nine young families, which is still surprisingly many compared to what we have otherwise experienced on Hjarnø and Alrø.
Hjarnø - an island with milk teeth
We also met Søren and Janne, who could tell that it was now "10% of the island's population who have milk teeth".
They had settled on the island themselves several years ago, when they had initially borrowed a holiday home on the island and suddenly could not see themselves living anywhere else. Later, children had arrived, and the island's security and unity was, like for Hermann and Mathilde, an important part of the family's island life.
"We do not see the kids from 10-18 on the weekends", said Søren. "There they roam around outside." However, it did not seem to worry Søren and Janne very much, as everyone on Hjarnø keeps an eye on the children of the whole island.
Perhaps it is the island's proximity to Denmark's eighth largest city, Horsens, that has attracted more young families. At least Mathilde thought that "you are cut off, but still in the middle of it all". Because just because you live on an island, you do not have to give up everything that the big city has to offer.
Søren had therefore also taken the initiative to arrange for lectures from Aarhus University to be streamed directly in the town hall, so that the Hjarnø residents could follow and be updated.
The people of Hjarnø generally beat us as people who want the best of both worlds. The tranquility and togetherness of a small island with about 100 people, but still also the opportunity to get your fingers in a proper coffee latte in under half an hour in a major city.
That way we could wake up to sunrise in Øjvind, which was parked on one of Hjarnø's quiet, beautiful beaches, and after a short ferry ride we drove around on major roads through the Jutland cities. And while Øjvind bumbled on to the next island, we thought that it might be possible to get a little of it all at once.
Good trip to Hjarnø and Alrø!
How to get to Hjarnø and Alrø?
- The car ferry M / F Hjarnø between Snaptun by Horsens Fjord and Hjarnø
- The bicycle ferry from Hjarnø to the neighboring island Alrø
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