Monday, 3 June 2013

Greenland – Here we come

We sailed around Cape Farewell - the southernmost tip of Greenland - during the night and we have to say - it was bumpy, very bumpy. Some of us could not sleep and made the decision to stand up again to watch the sea from the observation lounge or any other place on the ship with a nice seat and of course a huge window; it is always helpful in a rough sea to see the horizon.
The wind was decreasing during the morning so that passengers could participate in the lectures about Greenland in the lecture halls.  
Around lunchtime we reached our first destination in Greenland, Qaqortoq. The town greeted us with sunshine. As soon as the captain went alongside the first children showed up at the pier to welcome us.

In different excursions we explored this wonderful town in South Greenland. Qaqortoq was founded by the Norwegian-Danish trader Anders Olsen in 1775 as the old colony Julianehåb. Qaqortoq is today the largest city in South Greenland with app. 3.300 inhabitants (2012) and belongs to the community of Kujalleq.
The city is famous for its open air gallery “Stone and Man”. 1993 -1994 the well-known artist Aka Hoegh started this gallery together with 18 artists from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Åland Islands. Today there are more than 40 sculptures to see in town.

“Great Greenland” Greenland’s exclusive tannery is located in town and an important economical factor for Qaqortoq. One excursion group was able to visit the tannery and learned a lot about Greenland’s seals and the problematic to sell the fur to the international market.
As we had wonderful warm weather, sunshine with some clouds, everybody stayed longer in town as expected. It was wonderful to stretch the legs after two sea days.

After dinner we had a special evening landing in Hvalsø, next to the ruins of an old church and farmhouse out of the Viking time.  The extraordinary light during the sunset created an unforgettable light over this important historical place. 

Snow- and Lapland Buntings were still singing their wonderful songs when passengers had to leave the landingside.