I was thinking, what better time to tell you about my trip to Greenland than the winter season? Of course, my visit to the world’s largest island was during summertime, but even then I had the chance to enjoy the beautiful nature combination between green grass, flowers and the white ice fjords.
As probably many of you know, Greenland is located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and it is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark. Regardless of its closeness to Canada, it’s kind of a part of Europe overseas. Arriving at the island is an interesting story. Air travel is extremely important in Greenland since there are generally no roads between settlements. The first airports there were built by and for the United States defence and later were adapted for civilian travel. So when I arrived I had to catch a domestic flight to the capital city Nuuk. Unfortunately, the weather was really bad so I was stuck at the airport. I had two choices to stay the night at the local gym or to stay at the airport. I thought that the airport sounds much better because the bar was opened till 2 am and it serves booze and food. So what more to wish for in a situation like this. The next morning I was at the first flight to Nuuk with a little bit of hangover.
With its edgy architecture and gourmet restaurants to the street art and sculptures adorning Nuuk’s outdoor canvasses and creative spaces, it’s a really satisfying experience for every traveller. Nuuk’s friendly residents welcomed me with warm hospitality and rich traditions. The city can offer something for every type of traveller, from whale-watching to art-shopping. But first I wanted to discover more of the town. My walking tour took me to a historic church, town hall, the parliament building and the site of the city’s first settlement.
The nature surrounding Nuuk is pretty spectacular. That’s why I climbed up to the lookout at the colonial harbour. From there I could see the whole city spreads picturesquely before me. This is also the best spot from where I could catch the midnight sunset over the water.
Exploring the towering cathedrals of ice
One of the best things to do in Greenland is the boat trip. The enormous icebergs of the Ilulissat ice fjord are beyond impressive. The very best views of the island are from the deck of the boat. So my next adventure took me on the board of the ship that is used by the local post to deliver all kind of mails and packages and stops in almost every little coastal city and village. Coastal sailing in Greenland is a spectacular nature experience through and through but was also an opportunity for me to get close to the Greenlandic culture. As an honorary tourist on the board of Sarfaq Ittuk, I had a special window on the Greenlandic world.
Dining alongside Greenlanders in the communal café and taking in the same magnificent view from the upper decks. On this trip, I explored some beautiful village sights along the way. Like Ilulissat, The town is next to the sea filled with icebergs from the most active glacier in the world, Sermeq Kujalleq.
Dog sledging in Greenland is the most traditional way of transportation during the winter. Besides being a means of transportation, it is also great fun. The flaw of visiting the island during the summer is that I didn’t have the chance to try a dog sledging, but at least I could see the beautiful dogs, resting and enjoying the sun. There were over than 6000 dogs in the city alone.
Another great experience was seeing one of the wonders of the sea, the famous humpback whale. To experience these giants of the sea at close range is almost a spiritual experience. Sealing among this iceberg forest on cold water and seeing the free-swimming of the whale is an image that I would hardly forget.
Because the majority of Greenland is covered by permanent glaciers, the seafood dishes takes a big place at the traditional cuisine. In the fall when is the salmon season they have a special celebration and feast with various dishes with salmon. From all of the traditional food, I was most impressed by the musk-ox, which is delicious but smells horrible. Greenland is also famous for its shrimps and it’s one of the biggest exporters in the world. The local delicacy is the seal meat and caribou deer meat.
If this article was interesting to you, maybe you would like to check up the story of my trip to Alaska. Check it here.
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