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jorgesanchez Narsarsuaq - A travel report by jorge
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Narsarsuaq,  Greenland - flag Greenland
6062 readers

jorgesanchez's travel reports

The greatest Island in the World

  25 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4
Greenland is the greatest island in the world. Only for this reason every traveller should visit it. Furthermore, the tickets from Copenhagen are not expensive for the foreigners (locals pay more!).


Inuits dances in Qaqortok
Inuits dances in Qaqortok
I had the following two options of travel to Greenland via Copenhagen (you can also fly there from Iceland): flying to Narsarsuaq, in the south, an old US airport used during the Korean War, where there are around many interesting little towns, or flying to Kangerlussuaq, near the capital Nuuk, where there is an original hotel made entirely on ice, the Igloo Village. I considered the two possibilities. Both looked interesting. But it was May, very cold, so finally I determined to fly to the south of the island. The flight over the island is breathtaking. You see glaciers, fiords, mountains, etc. I was told that the 85% of Greenland is frozen all year round. Narsarsuaq is a small village with only 200 inhabitants in care of the airport. There is only a hotel (expensive) and a covered stadium that they always leave open 24 hours with the heating on, just in case somebody drunk needs shelter in the night or to prevent an eventually attack by bears. Apart from a trekking to a glacier nearby, there is nothing to do in Narsarsuak. I decided then to discover the south. There are no roads between the villages or regular ferry services. Practically all the inhabitants of Greenland (60.000) have motorboats in the same way that in Western Europe people have cars. Therefore I practised hitch hiking. You do not have to wait too long to get a ride. Practically the first person passing by will stop his motorboat to take you wherever he goes, and even will invite you to drink beers on board. They took me to Narsaq, a population of 2000 persons, and encouraged by the easy way to get rides hitch hiking, I resolved the next day to continue discovering the south. I boarded another boat (for free, including beers!) to Qaqaortok, further in the south, a town with about 3500 inhabitants, and I liked it so much that I determined to make it my base to organize little daily trekkings around.

Favourite spots:
panoramic view of Qaqortok
panoramic view of Qaqortok
In the streets of Qaqortok there are many artistic sculptures made on stones, like totems, and a nice museum devoted to the expeditions to the northern part of the globe. In front of the airport, in Narsarsuaq, there is a monument dedicated to the Japanese traveller Naomi Uemura, who reached the North Pole in 1978 alone, with dogs, and some years later crossed Greenland in 100 days from north to south (2600 kilometres).

What's really great:
Greenland certificate I bought in Narsarsuaq
Greenland certificate I bought in Narsarsuaq
People are very nice in Greenland but you have to respect their traditions. I was several times invited to beers and play billiard in Café Arctic. Many of them do not speak Danish, but English is widely understood. The locals do not like the word ESKIMO referring to them, what in their language means: meat eater. The prefer INUIT, which means person. Their country is called KALAALLIT NUNAAK, or Land of the People. They are fishermen and hunters, but the last times they are exploiting the minerals discovered in the island, such as gold.

Accommodations:
There are several hotels in Qaqortok, not expensive, but if you do not have much money, then you can sleep for free in front of the school, in the suburbs, where there is an igloo made on stone with mattresses inside. Early in the morning you can visit the school and have coffee for free in the machine in the main hall.

Hangouts:
Café Artic, in front of the Seamen’s Club of Qaqortok is pleasant and there is billiard. It is a meeting place to drink beers, make friends and listen to the music, usually old songs of the sixties (Credence Clearwater Revival, Beatles and the kind). Everybody is curious about you, since very few foreigners go to Qaqortok in May.
Take into account that in Greenland there is the dry law and do not sell alcohol in the supermarkets in the evenings or thee weekends, only in the pubs.


Restaurants:
The Seamen’s Club of Qaqortok has a cheap restaurant where they offer lunch for about 40 Danish crowns and you can repeat the main dish if you are still hungry. Showers in the Seamen’s club cost you a few crowns. They allow you to stay and watch TV, read a book or write your diary, even if you do not order anything.

Other recommendations:
One day among the days I travelled to a village called Nanortalik, name that means Place of Bears, and is popular among climbers for its peaks.

Published on Monday June 20th, 2005


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Mon, Feb 11 2008 - 09:23 AM rating by krisek

Thanks for sharing. I love that you have been to places I still want to visit. Your reports are really helpful!

Fri, Oct 06 2006 - 12:51 PM rating by mrscanada

Too bad you didn't go to Iceland there are more people there and more things to see and do. When I fly over Greenland I only saw it once... because the clouds opened for a minute.

Wed, Apr 05 2006 - 08:29 AM rating by ta-shy

gives me some insight to a country that's on my list!!

Sun, Feb 19 2006 - 05:29 PM rating by ehs1193

I thought Greenland was just a big chunk of ice.

Fri, Sep 09 2005 - 02:32 AM rating by horourke

I love this report.
It gives me a new insight into this land which i flew over in 1979 and which was on our copy books at school as the largest island in the world.
You have givent it character, filled it with warm people and explained its language (Inuit - i did not even know that this well known word originated in Greenland) and whetted my interest for more information.

Tue, Jun 28 2005 - 07:04 PM rating by magsalex

Good report. I only saw this place from the air.

Tue, Jun 21 2005 - 05:25 AM rating by davidx

A great report. You give me itchy feet!

Mon, Jun 20 2005 - 05:00 PM rating by rangutan

Excellent!

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