Sunday, 15 September 2013

Good bye North East Greenland National Park and welcome to the civilization again!

Our last day in Greenland was a day with snow and deep hanging clouds. Even it was Sunday we started our landing in Ittoqqortoormiit at 8:00am. Ittoqqortoormiit is a very isolated town at the mouth of the Scoresbysund Fjord system. In former times – before the Greenlanders got their self-government in 1979 – the settlement was called Scoresbysund. But after 1979 all towns and settlements in Greenland had to be renamed as Greenlandic became the official language. That is wonderful for the Greenlanders but a catastrophe for the rest of the world. We had to train the pronunciation again and again and it is still difficult to say it in the right way, but at least we tried.

The inhabitants of Ittoqqortoormiit offered us a special program. We could visit the church, the museum, the tourist office, we joined a dog feeding, we saw the start of a weather balloon, we tasted muskox meat and of course we tried to get the best impression of the town when we walked along the gravel roads. It was an interesting last landing in Greenland.

Back on board we were sailing for a while along the coast of Greenland until the captain turned the ship westwards over the Denmark Strait in the direction of Iceland. This passage can be very rough, but even it was windy our lovely lady FRAM behaved wonderful in the waves. So we could listen to another lecture series in the afternoon to be well prepared for Iceland.

In the evening we had a question and answer round with the expedition team in the Observation Lounge; after only 15 minutes this round came to a fast end when we heard the announcement: Aurora Borealis! Nordlys! Nordlicht! Northern Light! That was what we were waiting for. And now we got it and we got a nice and perfect one. Even it was cold we were standing for a long time on the open decks to enjoy this amazing spectacle. It was a perfect end for our Greenland season.