After a “stick-to-your-ribs” dinner of local delights, including musk ox, reindeer, cod, and halibut, it’s time to gaze at the northern lights before bed.
Our tour group celebrates boarding a two-prop plane in the morning for a flight up the west coast to the town of Ilulissat. High winds had cancelled these flights the past few days, and three nights in the “K town” is plenty. Click here for Part I
Ilulissat and the surrounding area is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Ilulissat means “iceberg” in Greenlandic Inuit language. Aptly named.
The 4,000 inhabitants share space with 1,800 Greenland sled dogs. No other breed of dog is allowed here. The dogs live to pull sleds and hunt polar bears and seals.
Mare and I walk the icy streets. Although the thaw has started, many fishing boats remain frozen in time.
The hospital in this town probably has the best view of most any hospital on earth.
Time to hike along an Ice-fjord through the Sermermiut Settlement, where Inuit people lived (with their dogs) 4,000 years ago.
Scientists still forage through remains of huts made from peat with animal skin roofs, as well as other artifacts searching for clues from the past.
Icebergs jam-up in the shallow water like a herd of cattle heading to slaughter.
The mountain-like icebergs wait patiently to thaw enough to move down the west coast of Greenland, past the east coast of Newfoundland.
In the evening, we come face to face with these monsters from a boat excursion. Wow! One can only imagine how much ice hides beneath the tip.
A kayak tour would be amazing, but we’re too early into thaw season for that. These hunks of ice be too alive right now for a kayak. Many of them have yet to flip over. They can create a tsunami wave.
Scientists from all over the world come to Greenland to record climate change from “ground zero.”
The ice melt has been occurring faster than previously thought. Fishermen benefit because they can fish year-round, something they could not previously do.
More shipping lanes have opened, due to ice melt, and reports of seismic surveys driving whales “crazy” come from hunters, who witness strange swimming behavior. Nobody knows for sure what it means.
But for now, let’s enjoy the ice and snow and this fascinating earth as long as we can!