Intro to Greenland
It is something to fly north on a clear day. We saw icebergs, Baffin Island – with snow capped mountains and then crossed Davis Strait. Flying over Greenland was amazing. Closest to the coast it was quite barren. Rocky ranges of mountains plunged down to fjords. In some the water was blue, others a turquoise green. As we got closer to the airport we saw some green on the hills.
Not a tree in sight. We followed the fiord to the airport at Kangerlussuaq. What a thrill to land there. Our plane was so big we stopped fairly far from the terminal and had to be bused to it.
Once we went through immigration we drove up a winding and at times steep dirt road to go to the area where muskoxen graze. We passed over a river heavy with silt. The water rushed through a narrowing and plummeted down to a lower part. A raven sat on a post surveying the land below. There is nowhere to hide – even bushes are barely 6 inches high. We stopped fairly high up with a view that went on forever – no trees to block it. The main sound was a light wind. The air was so clear – a pleasure to breathe. We hiked for over an hour – leisurely – stopping for photos and just to admire the view. In the distance we could see the edge of the glacier, shining in the sun (it was about 16C). Someone spotted a muskox and we were able to look at it through a scope. As some people hiked nearer it suddenly bolted. I didn't know it could move so fast. They look large, but apparently weigh only about 300-350 kg. The herd here was introduced from northern Greenland. 27 animals were brought here in the 1960s. There are now about 25000 in the herd which is scattered over a wide area.
Everywhere you look you see rock. It is actually part of the Canadian Shield – the same rock we will see in Baffin Island – some of the oldest in the world. Some of it is polished by the glacier's retreat – amazingly smooth – polished by the silt the glacier pulled with it. Some of the surface is smoother in one direction – the polishing happening in the direction the glacier was moving.
A bumpy bus ride through the terrain – with some wild flowers and many boulders, and then our first view of the ship – the took us to the dock where we put on our life jackets and got on the zodiacs – lovely to be on the water. And then onto the Clipper Adventurer.
We sailed out the fjord with towering cliffs, rocky landscapes (see photo at the top).
Here's a view from our porthole.
More photos at: Flickr