Monday, 24 August 2009


Upernavik has it's own unique appeal. Like almost all of the cities, towns, villages and settlements in Greenland it is built on the edge of the sea. You can see most of Upernavik from the water as it rises steeply up from the ocean. Perhaps part of its distinctiveness comes from the wonderful museum with the beautiful paintings and other artwork and artifacts on display, or maybe it was the interesting cemetery with the old grave site and a little higher up, the new grave site.
It is sort of an in-between size. We had visited villages with less than 50 people and towns with more than 5,000. the population of Upernavik is ~ 1500.
Most of us paid our respects at Navarana's grave (the wife of Danish explorer Peter Freuchen). She passed away in 1921. The new graves were formed with concrete and were decorated with hundreds of plastic flowers. Some of the graves were very old indeed with the graves being composed of a pile of stones as was common throughout the Arctic. You could peer between the cracks in the stones and see bones from Upernavik residents of days long gone by. One of the graves obviously held two people. We wondered what life was like during their time.
At the dock it was business as usual with a group of local children watching the Polar Cirkle boat activity.
We wrapped up our day in Upernavik by inviting the town choir to the ship where they entertained us with their terrific harmonies and traditional songs.