The pictures probably speak for themselves, the tiny pocket of South Greenland that I visited was phenomenally beautiful. I’ve posted a few pics in the Greenland album (blog and facebook), if they make it look like there was no one around that’s because there really were very few people about. I went to 3 places: Narsarsuaq (pop 150), Igaliku (pop 30) and Qassiarsuk (pop 89). I hiked alone mostly, seeing no one for 4 or 5 hours, it really was fabulous, such peace, time to think or not think simply hike and see and be.
I am getting carried away, this post was meant to be about the people I met, for I was not completely alone. Tourism in Greenland is not really an industry, but a steady trickle of folks do make it through, coming for a variety of reasons. Mid sized tour groups from Denmark, smallish groups of Spanish folks coming to hike and kayak, and lone travellers such as me coming from the English speaking world (at least this is what I experienced). There was also a German film crew at my last hotel. Anyway the small numbers of people making it to Greenland means that you’re sort of thrown together, find you have much in common and end up chatting to each other more than you might in a more densely populated tourist destination.
The people I met brought me an equal amount of joy as the amazing scenery, here is a brief description of them…
Torben and Mimi – Father and daughter from Denmark, forester grows Christmas trees loves Georgia, works with a guy who has two families one in Scotland the other in Denmark (Simon from Harris) Mimi- daughter, studying weaving/textiles degree lives in Copenhagen. Came to see Greenland, visit a friend and go hunting
Andrew – from Shropshire, children’s doctor, semi retired, fly fisher, erudite, passion for learning, came to fish
Dennis and Alexander – Father snd Son, Canadian, from Toronto (son is 14, father is older (65) and is a health care Professor along with his wife), travelled the world, cultured, interesting, Son is mature beyond years and is interested in photography
Barbara – Australian, hiker extraordinaire, 66, divorced, much travelled, ex-policewoman, inspirational, hiking Greenland, Iceland and Switzerland for 2 months in this trip alone, very fit, very well travelled, loves animals. We hiked 19 km or so together.
David – Greenlander, I spent 3 hours chatting to him over coffee at his house whilst he was watching to see if any more visitors woukd come to the Brattahlid reconstructions of Eirik the Red’s house at Qassiarsuk. We discussed personal journeys, history, philosophy, politics, language and thought. I have profound joy at meeting such a beautiful kindred spirit, such things he has experienced, such a beautiful intelligent mind. Dark hair, deep brown skin, green eyes. 21 but wise through years of thinking. Gorgeous gorgeous human. I sincerely hope that he finds peace and puts his brilliant mind to good use. He could be a great leader, an inspiration for 21st Century Greenland. Hiker, Philosopher, Politician, Intellectual.
To cap it all, while David and I sat talking a sea eagle flew past the window, such a happy day.