Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Leaving Nanortalik for Grundarfjordur, Iceland (July 20, 2010)

The Ocean Princess was waiting for us. This would be the start of a 3-day journey to southeastern Iceland. We were eager to return.

Note the icebergs in the background.


As we approached Grundarfjordur, we were joined by hundreds of seagulls. (I think word had gotten out about our great chef!)

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As we made our way to Stykkishólmur the Ocean Princess waited in the harbor.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nanortalik, Greenland -- More Scenes

As the shuttles from ships arrive in the Nanortalik harbor, passengers discover that it is a short walk to the center of town. Immediately on the right is a tourist office window. A very pleasant local tourism person is there to give town information to visitors. Adjacent to this small office is a tourism gift shop (and toilets). This is a very popular shop. The tourism people posted a sign which said that for $5 USD one could go on a 20 minute tour around town. Most cruise passengers were bypassing this opportunity. I took the tour in a 7 passenger van (which was very well-conducted and lasted 40 minutes).

When we asked the guide how the children got to primary school, we were told that they arrive by helicopter and boat. These are the only means of accessing Nanortalik. When the students arrive, they remain for the entire school year, returning home after several months. They are housed, fed, and given their studies by local educators. Nearby is a hospital which is staffed by Danish doctors and local nurses. The needs of the townspeople are heavily subsidized by the Danish government.

Hotel Kap-Farvel is near both the hospital and school.

This is the town's recreation area.

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Residential area.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Scenes from Nanortalik, Greenland

Since I am unable to visit Nanortalik at this time of year (Winter), I couldn't resist the temptation to show you this Wikipedia photo which gives a wonderful perspective of the layout of the 10th largest town in Greenland with a population of just over 1400 persons. Nanortalik means "place of polar bears" although the locals tell us that very seldom do they see polar bears. (All other photos were taken by me in July 2010.)

Typical home, facing the harbor.

Terrain at town level.

Memorial to fishermen.

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The ever-present summer ice, floating in the harbor and fjords.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Approaching Nanortalik, Greenland

Nanortalik is a small town near the southernmost part of Greenland. Many of the locals depend on fishing for a living. This can be quite a challenge when the harbor freezes over in the winter. Fishing for trout is popular here. You can watch the fishing technique on the 2nd of two videos if you click here.




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Nanortalik's historic village as seen from the sea.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Qaqortoq, Greenland -- More Icebergs

As we sat on the balcony of the Hotel Qaqortoq, we noticed one large iceberg drifting towards the Ocean Princess. Then we noticed a local boat travel to the ship (possibly for consultation), and return.


This is the iceberg from an open deck on board the ship.


Additional icebergs visible as we were departing Qoqartoq for Nanortaluk.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Qaqortoq, Greenland

Fish market

Obviously, this means "Do Not Enter", but I would like to know the exact translation, if any of you speak the language.

I love the quaint variety of buildings in town.

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Church bell tower. A popular gathering place for local children on the boulders.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Qaqortoq, More Scenes

View across the harbor. The long, red building houses Great Greenland, one of the largest employers in Greenland. They specialize in fur goods made from seal skins and offer a wide variety of coats, jackets, slippers, mittens, and many other goods.

Backyard cannon. If anyone knows the history of this cannon, I wish he/she would leave a comment.

Friend, Vicki, and I headed to the balcony of the Hotel Qaqortoq to enjoy some fine desserts and coffee as we watched the largest iceberg float towards our ship (photos to follow).

We resisted the temptation to dine at the Arctic Cafe, which houses this fine car protruding from the wall.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What a Difference 13 Days Make

Returning to Qaqortoq, traveling eastward, we found a lot of icebergs in the harbor and nearby areas which weren't there on our westward journey. The temperature was a lot cooler, too.



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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Goodbye to St. Anthony's, Newfoundland.

A giant ATLANTIC PUFFIN stands in the harbor area as we board the shuttle boat to return to the ship.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Moose, But Were Afraid to Ask

I understand that the Moose capital of the world is Newfoundland, according to our Viking guide, Dave. There are so many moose that they are a major food source for the natives. However, during hunting season, they all go stand on the perimeter of the UNESCO site where they are protected and laugh at the hunters. Because they are so prevalent, they are a major hazard to one's health (especially if they jump through your windshield as you are driving). The MOOSE ADVISORY site will give you all the information you need to understand and respect moose better.

To give you an idea about the size of the animal pictured at the top of this page, I will relate my personal moose story.

When I was driving the back roads of Stowe, Vermont, in a small truck, the road suddenly narrowed and I came to a stop so that I could proceed slowly in case another car was coming down the mountain. Immediately, a huge bull moose was at the side of the truck, so close that he was rubbing the driver's door. HAD my window been down, and HAD I been so inclined to extend my arm out of the window, palms up, I could have rubbed the underside of his belly. That is how big they get. As I reached for my camera, he quickly trotted off, and I missed my photo opportunity. They can move rather quickly, albeit ungainly.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

L'Anse aux Meadows

At the northernmost point in Newfoundland is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, L'Anse aux Meadows. When we arrived at the site, it was very windy and raining heavily. I had purchased a very nice umbrella in Nova Scotia (lovely blue provincial tartan), so I decided this was a perfect place to use it. One millisecond later, the umbrella was completely destroyed by the intense weather.

Viking home. Inside the warm, sod building were a group of Viking reenactors (friends of Dave)who told us the history of the area.



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