Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Ahhh, the Q's.

Ah the Q's.  So many Q's in Greenland. Qaqortoq. Qassiarsuk. Qooroq. Qeqertarsuaq. Illoqqortoormiut. Well, we don’t actually go to Illoqqortoormiut which is a relief because I can hardly spell it, never mind pronounce it. Today though, we had a really lovely time in Qaqortoq and Qassiarsuk and many of us we went to Qooroq as part of an excursion.  At 08:00 the sun was shining and and it was already 10º C when we pulled alongside the small pier right in central Qaqortoq.
As soon as the ship was cleared quite a few groups of people quietly began to queue on the quay for their various excursions.  Some people set off to the Upernaviarsuk Agricultural station, while others gathered for hikes, or to join a Keffemik, or to visit the Great Greenland Tannery.
For most people it was their first opportunity to actually set foot in Greenland. Sure we had been cruising in Greenland waters for more than a day but that’s not the same thing as stepping on terra firma. I’m sure it was a moment that they won’t soon forget.
Many people in Qaqortoq were wearing their national costumes as there was a conformation in the morning and it was also a religious holiday.
By the early afternoon the temperature was hovering around 17ºC.  Many people were strolling about in short sleeved shirts.
At 12:30 everyone was back on the ship and we waved goodbye to our friends in Qaqortoq.  The sun continued to shine as we cruised down a long narrow fjord.  We had planned on delivering a couple of lectures during the afternnon but it was such a nice day we thought it a better idea to get everyone outdoors.  Lectures cancelled!  Everyone get outside and enjoy the sunshine and scenery with the Expedition Team! And they did!  Who wouldn’t?  The decks were crowded with people sunning themselves and enjoying the great scenery. It was a quintessential day for cruising!
Shortly before 17:00 we quickly dropped anchor in front of Qassiarsuk.
The landscape seemed practically luminous as the setting sun cast a warm glow to the lush green country side.  This part of Greenland is very much farming country.  Sheep were grazing in pastures and farmers in tractors were busy in their fields.
Here too there were various excursions to choose from. there was the Erik the Red settlment walk.  There was a hike between two fjords and there was a really nice boat trip to the Qooroq Icefjord.

Statue of Lief Erikson
There was nothing but happy smiling faces as everyone had ample opportunity to explore to their hear’s delight on this, their first full day of landings in Greenland!