Sejerø: ‘Victory Island’

DSC_6313

Sunset over a cornfield above the harbour at Sejerø

The Danish word for island is composed of just one letter Ø.  Yesterday, we arrived at a harbour on the small island of Sejerø, which translates as “Victory Island” the ship was received with the usual warm welcome, there are always people waiting at the harbour to greet us, we feel like rock stars and when prompted by our skipper greet them with a Viking “ROAR!”. We rowed into harbour in perfect tandem, each of the thirty oarsmen carefully watching the oarsmen on the first row who set the rhythm for the ship. When we landed I joined the crew that were to assemble the tents while the others prepared food on the boat and the lucky ones went for a swim.

DSC_6297

The harbour at Sejerø, in the centrer of the photo you can just about see the Sea Stallion’s tall dark wooden mast amongst all the modern fibre glass yachts.

 

DSC_6234

A crew meeting with our skipper Søren next to the ship at Serejø

DSC_6208

Cow Bingo, Sejerø

DSC_6206

A local from Sejerø taking roasting a pig on a spit. His ‘Kansas’ dungarees and black clogs are typical Danish workwear.

After we finished preparing the tents, we walked towards the local village which was very pretty. Then we followed all the parked cars and ended up at a local fair where there was a pig roasting on a rotating spit, a bar with ladies dressed in Santa Claus costumes for some inexplicable reason and best of all was the “Cow Bingo”, where a cow is placed on a white grid in a field and people place bets as to which square it will shit into first! Now, we are in the countryside and on an island. The pitch was clean and when we asked, we were told that the cow had been there for on whole hour without relieving itself, when it lifted it’s tail to pee, gasps were heard all around but unfortunately nothing followed and the poor exasperated animal gazed at all of this unusual attention in bewilderment. I have not come across this ritual in Copenhagen as of yet and something tells me I never will. In fact I  think there are many Danes who have no idea of the tradition. Or perhaps they’re too busy playing “Pokemon” with their mobile phones which seems to be the latest craze with the kids in Denmark.
DSC_6271

Frederickke and Olie coming out of the Black House at Sejerø harbour

DSC_6267

Initials carved onto the inside of the door at the black house

DSC_6251

A fisherman from Sejerø shows us the little museum inside the Black House

On a more interesting note, I found the oldest building in the harbour at Sejerø, known as Det Sorte Hus or the ‘Black House’. An elderly fisherman let us in and told us it’s history. It was built in 1850 and was originally used as a sorting office for post. He then showed us a beautiful small wooden rowing boat which was built in 1900. It was a design based on a Norwegian boat that found it’s way into the harbour with three frozen Norwegian fisherman who had been lost at sea on a cold day in February. Two were unable to walk as they were so exhausted and frozen. The third went to land and found help, the locals were so impressed they began this building tradition. There were also ornate nets with cork weights hanging from the ceiling. Everything was so pretty and ornately handcrafted in the past. Now all of the fishing tackle is made with synthetic materials that don’t last as long and feel harsh on the hands. It also makes you think back to the time, when all the fishermen would sit at the harbour carefully weaving their nets and contemplating their next big catch.
DSC_6266

Old hand made fishing nets with natural cork weights hanging at the Black House in Sejerø harbour

DSC_6290
DSC_6282

Cork floats from the end of a hand woven fishing net with initials carved into them

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s