Our first and only full day in Nuuk began in earnest. We woke up at dawn… then again, dawn is relative here in Greenland. It is hard to quantify what is day and what is night when the sun is still shining at ten p.m., and after a brief darkness spell the sky turns bright once again come four a.m.
And then we were out of the door to visit the National Greenland Museum, where we learned much about the history of the Greenlandic people. In fact, the museum seems to be the only place you can learn about the history of this country. Unlike other European nations, where you can glean its past and culture while exploring the place itself, much of Greenland’s history has been erased with foreign colonialism, Christianity “war” and harsh climate. It is impossible to connect the disparate Nuuk with its illustrative past… save for the immaculately curated exhibits at the museum.
And that was a shame.
Further to our dismay I realised our Lonely Planet was far from being helpful. The world famous Nipisa Restaurant was closed during the entire duration while we were there. Its location has moved from the Maximut Pub to above the Nuuk tourism office, which was also gone by the time visited, replaced by the cheerful Tour Greenland.
The Santa Claus Post Office was also somewhat diminished, reduced to a Christmas postal service, while the picturesque postal post was moved to Illulisat. Or so we were told.
With so many changes afoot in Nuuk, how can anyone be prepared for a trip here?
But there were some upside, of course. Disappointed though we were that the boat trip we booked was cancelled due to insufficient tourists (in the height of summer, no less!), the extremely friendly tour operators told us many nuggets about getting around Greenland, including one of their favorite cafe in town, located at the Katuag Cultural Centre. The Greenlandic tapas was to die for. And so was the waitress, whom wasted no time in telling us that the music played over the stereo was of a Greenland singer, which was her friend.
Everyone knows everyone in Greenland, it seems. I am not kidding. You should hear our cabbie yesterday.
And then we walked around the Kolonihavn. From certain angle Nuuk looks like the postcard-perfect European town, complete with a statue of its famous Norwegian conqueror and possibly the only stone house in the region, yet one can’t help but notice the sad state of development and housing in this town. Perhaps I was a little cynical, coming from developed cities like Singapore and Hong Kong.
For the locals certainly didn’t seem to mind the hardship they must be enduring. In fact, they are enjoying the great summer weather, which at 10 degrees or so was “warm” by the local standard, so much so that we could help but smile at the children’s laughter and friendly nods from the adults.
Visiting Nuuk made me realise we often take too much for granted.
See more of my Greenland 2013 posts:
- The One With First Impression Of Nuuk
- The One With Travel Guides & Resources To Nuuk, Greenland
- The One With First Impression of Ilulissat
- The One With Icebergs Excursion At Disko Bay – A Tale Of Midnight Sun, Restaurant Ulo & The Ilimanaq
- The One With Ilulissat Kangerlua – The Hike To Holms Bakke
- The One With Last Day At Greenland
- The One With Travel Guides & Resources To Ilulissat, Greenland
- The One With Christmas – Joy From Greenland & Thoughts On Friendships
- The One With Greenland – Travel Guide, Writings & Reflection