Friday, 30 July 2010

Greenland Air

Our charter flight landed at the Kangerlussuaq airport at about 3pm.  Indeed, most international flights to Greenland utilize that airport. It is the gateway to Greenland.  The small town is very utilitarian looking. That's not surprising.  Originally it was a United States air base called Bluie West 8.  It was built in 1941 at a time when Denmark could no longer ensure Greenland's supply and security.   

Kangerlussuaq is situated at the head of a 160 km Fjord of the same name.  Kangerlussuaq means the long fjord.  Go figure.  

We were met at the airport by some of the Expedition Team from the MS Fram.  Before long we piled into a bus which took us to a small harbour in the middle of nowhere.  Really.  A quiet, lonely road wound through an austere, rocky landscape and then suddenly, the road ended and there was the fjord.

And there lay the ship.  Our new home away from home.  At dockside we were given a quick briefing by the Expedition Leader Anja Erdmann on Polar Cirkle Boat procedures and how to put on our life jackets. A brisk two minute boat ride brought us to the ship.  We were quickly checked in on deck three, issued I.D cards and room key cards and then escorted to our rooms.  

Soon it was time for dinner but where was the dining room?  There are always lots of people wandering around looking a little lost on the first couple of days.  But no worries.  There are always lots of crew around to point out the right direction.

At 8:30pm there was a mandatory safety drill which was immediately followed by the Captain's welcome speech.  We were introduced to the Officers and some of the key personnel on the ship including the Expedition Team.

Now it is 22:40 and Fram glides gracefully down the fjord.  It is overcast. The outside temperature is about 9 degrees celius.  There is a light breeze.  The sea is calm.    The fjord rises steeply on both sides of the ship. It is peaceful. 
The air is pure, fresh, clean.  Greenland air. 
There isn't cleaner air anywhere. Breath deep.
Relax.  Your Greenland adventure begins!