Greenland Travel Log * Page 1

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For a description of the beginning of the overall trip, please see the Iceland intro page. I took round-trip flights on Air Iceland from Reykjavik Municipal Airport (RKV) to Narsarsuaq (UAK) in Greenland, beginning August 15 and returning August 25, 2006. During the 10 days in Greenland, travel was by ferry and helicopter (Air Greenland) through Narsarsuaq, Qassiarsuk (Brattahlid ruins), Qaqortoq (Julianehab), Nanortalik, the Uunartoq Hot Springs, Tasiusaq and Narsaq, before returning from Narsarsuaq to Reykjavik.

The weather was variably either cloudy and drizzling or chilly most of the time. However, upon initial arrival, it was 70 degrees F (21 deg C) in Narsarsuaq, which proved to be the warmest day in 2006 for the weather station. It was also pleasant returning to Narsarsuaq, where climate tends to be milder, since it is near the inland end of a fjord. During Summer and mild weather spells, winds over cold water keep temperatures cooler close to the open ocean.

1. Day 5: (continued) Early sight of the Greenland ice cap from Air Iceland flight. 21. Remains of the original church of Tjohilde (built 1000 A.D.), Erik the Red's wife and mother of Leif Eriksson, from the time Greenland was first colonized
2. Glacial floes of ice; streaks are noticeably curved due to ice in center of valley moving faster than ice at the edge 22. "Florence" from Grenoble, France, stands next to a reconstruction of Tjohilde's Church; Tjohilde was wife to Erik the Red
3. More Greenland glaciers and terrain viewed from the plane 23. Modern church constructed in 1936 in Qassiarsuk; the ship hanging from the ceiling is a tradition which keeps prayers in mind for sailors out at sea
4. Waters of coastal Greenland showing both icebergs and reflections of clouds 24. A modern reconstruction of the original "long house" of Erik the Red's clan
5. Part of Narsarsuaq, Greenland, near the airport; yellow rocks stand out against snow; flowers; Narsarsuaq was a US air base from 1941 to 1959. 25. A guided tour of the interior of the reconstructed long house; a fire bit runs much of the length of the building; sleeping quarters on either side
6. Beginning the "Flower Valley" hike northward from town, passing an old military buildings; the one on the right currently is used for snowmobile parking 26. Our guide demonstrates use of the sleeping quarters
7. Waterfall which feeds the town's drinking water reservoir 27. Sheep in Qassiarsuk. We found the "black sheep" of the family.
8. Flowers along the hike 28. A tour boat, the Puttut, starts its trip to the glaciers of a nearby fjord
9. Hospital Valley area (US hospital no longer remains) 29. Riding the ferry into Qaqortoq, the largest town in southern Greenland (pop. 3200)
10. Coming over the saddle between the hills and entering Flower Valley; unfortunately blooming season had ended 30. Arctic Cafe; rock band equipment was set up inside; snooker table; pizza for lunch
11. Part of Flower Valley, flanked by cliffs and a patch of trees; pale green mountain ash and darker birch. 31. The Seaman's Home in Qaqortoq; affordable and comfortable; breakfast included
12. Northbound in Flower Valley toward its other side 32. Day 7: The decorated exterior of a Qaqortoq home
13. Climbing northern end of Flower Valley, looking back over Flower Valley toward Narsarsuaq (out of view) and the fjord 33. Greenlanders often keep their dogs on front porches
14. Looking back around the "rim" of Flower Valley while climbing higher 34. Colorful house and roof coloring are common in Greenland
15. View from the top of the rim of Flower Valley looking back 35. Long boardwalk to a Qaqortoq home
16. Day 6: A curious lone cloud stands upright as I ride the ferry from Narsarsuaq roundtrip to Qassiarsuk 36. "The Gate," Lone Larsen of Sweden, 1994; one of over 30 sculptures of Qaqortoq's "Stone and Man Tour"
17. The traveler who has been guiding you through this travelogue 37. Multiple sculptors have contributed to the ongoing project of the Stone and Man Tour; "Vision-Insight" by Aka Hoegh, 1993
18. Swaths of fog and mistyness made our group wonder how much of Qassiarsuk we would be able to see; Qassiarsuk surrounds the original Norse (Viking) settlement of Brattahlid, established by Erik the Red in 982 A.D. 38. "They Came" by Aka Hoegh, 1994
19. Tribute to the Norse (Viking) heritage ("The Saga Age") 39. "Strong Encounter" by Christian Rosing, 1994
20. Leif Eriksson statue in Qassiarsuk, built in year 2000, commemorating exactly 1000 years passing since Leif introduced Christianity to Greenland 40. Day 8: Kayaks (qajaqs) in the Qaqortoq museum

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