Short Trip to East Greenland in Photos

I thought I might compile several of the photos from our recent east Greenland trip here in one place. Each links to a larger version in EarthPhotos.com‘s Greenland Gallery.

The first two are southeast Greenland on the approach from Toronto to Keflavik, Iceland. Much closer than when you’re lucky enough to glimpse Greenland on a clear day from 10,000 meters on a trans-Atlantic flight.

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From Keflavik International you transfer to Reykjavik city field for an Air Iceland flight to Kulusuk, east Greenland. The main city on the entire 21,000 kilometer coast of east Greenland is Tasiilaq (hardly a proper city really, with just over 2000 people). Trouble is, it’s on an island without enough flat space for an airstrip. So you take a helicopter or speedboat across the Ammassalik Fjord. Here is an iceberg from the speedboat, along the way.

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It is a short walk into town, and these sled dogs are there to welcome you.

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Here are a few photos of Tassilaq, beginning with icebergs in the tiny bay beyond town. I’m guessing that once they’ve floated in they stick around for a while. Once they have floated into the mouth of the little bay, what are the odds they will soon find their way back out?

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And finally, a multiframe panorama with a wider view.

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A little stream flows through town from what they call the valley of flowers. This is where the town cemetery is, row after row of mostly unmarked white crosses. Follow the stream up the hill and you’re rewarded with this fine view back across town.

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The workshop Stunk carves all manner of bones, tusks and antlers – seal, reindeer, ox, bear, narwhal – into figurines, necklaces and the like.

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Here, a narwhal tusk is roughed into shape for carving.

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And this is a result of Stunk handiwork, a tupilak, a sort of shamanic fetish carved from seal bone.

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This is our new friend Hans, proprietor of Stunk, with his much-loved daughter Paula. Hans was kind enough to host us in his home, a real honor.

Hans&Paula

It’s not every day: Here is new inventory for his shop on Hans’s front porch, the humerus bone of a polar bear, given to him by a friend.

Humerus

These skins do not necessarily have anything to do with the bone on Hans’s porch. They are hanging on a line all the way across town.

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After having taken the speedboat on the way from Kulusuk airport to Tasiilaq, we rode the helicopter back to the airport. Here are some of the views. In this top one, Tasiilaq is on the little bay in the center. If you click to enlarge the photo you’ll see Tasiilaq town on the bank on the left.

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This is sort of a first pass at the Greenland photos we brought back. I’ll be going through them all this fall and posting more to the Greenland Gallery at EarthPhotos.com. And this trip will be included in my upcoming book about travel in the north, which will cover Svalbard, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, maritime northeastern Canada and Finland. Working title is Out in the Cold. Watch for it, and see my other two books.

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