Tuesday, 25 June 2013

See Sisimiut...

First of all you can see on the map that we have crossed the Polar Circle - southbound. But not by much, tomorrow we will gain latitude again. The fun part is that in this place Polar Circle and Equator are close to each other - but only if it comes to dogs: North of Sisimiut the Greenlandic dog is the only one permitted, for the sake of this powerful, resistant race remaining as pure as possible. 
But this is one of the rather invisible attractions of Sisimiut; the others are hard to miss: When we sail in from the hazy seas in the morning, the fog lifts and reveals the stunning beauty of the mountains that rise around this place as if to protect it. And indeed that was why people settled here in the very early times, the natural harbor offers perfect shelter against the Arctic seas.
We have the honor to moor at the brand-new pier, only finished a couple of weeks ago. From there the various groups disperse, having a city walk or even a bus (!) tour in town. Quite a large fraction assembles to tackle Palaassip Qaqqa, one of the higher mountains in the surroundings. So this blog - for once - is not about old buildings or Inuit Kayakers, but about one of the finest hikes Greenland has to offer.
At the foot of the mountain we set out to first traverse the low shrubs that are so typical for the Greenland tundra. They are criss-crossed with little meltwater streamlets, coming down from the many lakes higher up. This makes a fine drink of the purest water you can imagine.
Then the climb begins, revealing a new perspective at every corner. The mosquitoes are happy to be with us, but a gentle breeze prevents us from being eaten alive.

Higher and higher we go, until finally we reach the crest that eventually leads to the summit. And the weather is just unbelievably good. So, in spite of the demanding terrain that even ate some of the hiking boot's soles away, we have a very, VERY happy group of hikers on top of Palaasip Qaqqa, looking down on "The Place with the Foxholes" - Sisimiut.