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Greenland - Spectacular land of ice and mountains

During our leisurely travel up the fjord, we passed a remote village with colourfully painted houses at the base of a giant mountain. It looked like a toy village among the massive peaks. At every turn there were waterfalls, glaciers, and jagged mountain peaks. The scenery was simply breathtaking. At the end of the fjord a huge glacier, connected to the Greenland ice sheet, was calving into the ocean. We hopped into zodiacs to take a closer look at the glacier face and grab pieces of glacier ice to eat. We also had a stop to hike to the toe of another glacier that is rapidly receding. Along both sides of the fjord, glaciers that once reached the ocean are rapidly receding. The comparison between the current location of the glacier and its depiction on the nautical chart that dates back to the 1960s was shocking. Many kilometres of the glacier had melted. It was difficult to imagine the amount of ice that had melted away. Our day ended with another outing at the base of a waterfall and glacier, where we enjoyed the wildflowers and sunset, while participating in a variety of workshops. These included film making, Inuit drumming, and song writing. It truly was one of the most spectacular days of our trip. We couldn’t imagine how it could have been better. We awoke the next morning to another adjustment in our schedule necessitated by fog and uncharted fjords. Our hope had been to go to the top end of another fjord at the southern end of Greenland, before our afternoon visit to the community of Nanortolik. Instead, we ended up on an island surrounded by an incredible array of huge icebergs. The biggest draw of this uninhabited island was a natural hotsprings, that was used by the Vikings. Other signs of Viking use of the island included the foundation of a sod house. We were given a warm welcome by the town of Nanortolik. Everyone came out to see us, and there was an exchange of Inuit cultural traditions with students and staff on our trip sharing Inuit drumming and throat singing, while the Nanortolik residents demonstrated kayaking skills and umiak paddling, as well as their gorgeous traditional seal garments. As we set sail at the end of the day, bound for the Torngats National Park in Labrador, we spotted a humpback whale in the bay outside the town. A fitting end to our glorious few days in Greenland.