Category Archives: Greenland

The One With Greenland – Travel Guide, Writings & Reflection

Ilulissat Kangerlua

Four months after the epic trip of a lifetime, I am finally done with my blog posts on Greenland. The six-day journey, starting from the capital of Greenland Nuuk, to the icefjord town of Ilulissat, have been one chilling adventure of gigantic icebergs, great food and gorgeous people. Here’s the full list of all posts on my adventure in Greenland.

The One With First Impression Of Nuuk – Greenlanders are devastatingly good looking people. It was intoxicating to be surrounded by such beauty, and their surprisingly good grasp of English didn’t help my over-the-top adoration for them.

The One With A Nuuk Experience – National Greenland Museum, Santa Claus Post Office, Katuag Cultural Centre & Kolonihavn. Visiting Nuuk made me realise we often take too much for granted.

The One With First Impression of Ilulissat – This was it. This was the reason why I worked hard all those months, saved all those money, and traveled these many miles to Greenland.

The One With Icebergs Excursion At Disko Bay – A tale of midnight sun, Restaurant Ulo & the Ilimanaq. These were literally the tips of the icebergs. The drama unfolds daily in Disko Bay, with icebergs of all sizes fighting, clashing and dominating one another.

The One With Ilulissat Kangerlua – The hike To Holms Bakke. Right in front of me is the very thing I didn’t believed in. The icefjord was crammed with icebergs, some of them the size of small towns.

The One With Last Day At Greenland – There is only so much travel writings can tell you. Greenland, for all its vastness and rich details, deserves more than just a few penned words.

Click here for travel information for Nuuk (hotels, tour agencies, restaurants, attractions and the like)
Click here for travel information for Ilulissat (hotels, tour agencies, restaurants, attractions and the like)

See more of my Greenland 2013 posts:

The One With Christmas – Joy From Greenland & Thoughts On Friendships

So the postcard finally came. The self-paid mail Christmas order all the way from Greenland.

Merry Christmas from Greenland

It’s nice having mail on Christmas Eve. This card is part of the service of Santa Claus Post Office at Nuuk, Greenland. You pay some EUR7 for a post card, write in your address and leave it behind. The elves of Santa will then post it to you nearer to Christmas so that you get some festive cheer in the post.

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The One With Travel Guides & Resources To Ilulissat, Greenland

In writing up my blog posts on my trip to Greenland, I realised I dig through my travel knickknacks and compile a useful lists of tour agencies, restaurants, hotels, accommodations, and tourist attractions in Ilulissat. While I can’t vouch all these information will be accurate when you read this, but I hope this will serve as a starting point for you research into useful travel information on the beautiful Ilulissat.

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The One With Last Day At Greenland

greenland

So now it has dawned on us, the final day in Greenland. It was a brilliant morning; the sun shines, the sky blues, the spirit cheers. I have been incredibly lucky with the weather, for it has been raining for a solid three weeks prior to my arrival.

A lucky penny, I am.

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The One With Ilulissat Kangerlua – The Hike To Holms Bakke

I didn’t believe it at first.

When one of the tour guides told me yesterday how Ilulissat Kangerlua produces icebergs everyday, pushing them down into the sea, some times choking up the entire Disko Bay making it impossible for boats to pass, therefore a threat to tourism. I looked around the gigantic icebergs floating lazily around me, and I thought, well, it couldn’t get any worse than this.

Hiking Trail in Ilulissat

So today we went off to a thrilling hike from Ilulissat Kangia, which will take us all the way up the mountain to see the Icefjord. The starting point was at this old helipad at the outskirt of town, which was a snap to get to by taxi from our hotel. Plenty of tourists were congregating at the base station, so I thought, well, there’s certainly strength in number, so there is little risk hiking up a mountain in Greenland, right?

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The One With Icebergs Excursion At Disko Bay – A Tale Of Midnight Sun, Restaurant Ulo & The Ilimanaq

The Excursion to Ilimanaq

These were literally the tips of the icebergs.

After spending two years traveling down some 50 kms crashing into each other, flipping over, breaking apart and exploding into air, these icebergs were a natural wonder too big for words to describe.

Sights of Disko Bay

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The One With First Impression of Ilulissat

This was it. This was the reason why I worked hard all those months, saved all those money, and traveled these many miles to Greenland.

ilulissat1

The iceberg-studded Disko Bay was certainly a sight to behold. It was drizzling when we arrived, but that didn’t dampen our spirits upon seeing the town of Ilulissat and the enchanting Disko Bay. The icebergs were a bit dirtier than expected, but hey, I can’t expect everything to be pristine white, right? These monstrosity of nature were thousands of years in the making, and I am certain it will continue to enthrall me for many years to come.

Inside Air Greenland!

Today was very much spent on the road, getting in and out of town. The flight experience from Nuuk to Ilulissat was very comical. Long story short, we were two of the six passengers onboard on an direct flight into town.

Restaurant at Hotel Icefiord, Ilulissat

After a somewhat uninspiring meal at the restaurant of Hotel Icefiord, where we will be putting up at during the entire time we are in Ilulissat, we are ready to call it a night and be rested for the big adventure tomorrow!

See more of my Greenland 2013 posts:

The One With Travel Guides & Resources To Nuuk, Greenland

In writing up my blog posts on my trip to Greenland, I realised I dig through my travel knickknacks and compile a useful lists of tour agencies, restaurants, hotels, accommodations, and tourist attractions in Nuuk. While I can’t vouch all these information will be accurate when you read this, but I hope this will serve as a starting point for you research into useful travel information on the beautiful Ilulissat.

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The One With A Nuuk Experience – National Greenland Museum, Santa Claus Post Office, Katuag Cultural Centre & Kolonihavn

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.

Day 2 at Nuuk, Greenland

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.

Day 2 at Nuuk, Greenland

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.

Santa Clause Post Office at Nuuk, 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?

Katuag Cultural Centre Cafe

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.

Kolonihavn at Nuuk, Greenland

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.

Kolonihavn at Nuuk, Greenland

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.

Kolonihavn at Nuuk, Greenland

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

Day 1 at Nuuk, Greenland

At first I didn’t realise if we were flying over Greenland. All that I can see out of my 20-seater propeller plane was vast expanse of whiteness. Is that cloud, or land mass? Or more accurately, (gasp!) snow-covered land mass? Turned out that it was the latter. I was witnessing, for the first time in my life, the unbelievable large continent of ice this far up north of earth.

Day 1 at Nuuk, Greenland

It was incredible, not only by how dwarfed I felt, but also how vulnerable I was flying this high up in a small plane. But soon enough, the flight ended and we landed in the smallest airport with the shortest conveyer belt in the world. There was no security to speak of and I almost volunteered myself to take my luggage directly from the plane’s cargo compartment.

Kolonihavn at Nuuk, Greenland

First impression of the people – incredibly nice and friendly. And I do mean it. Everyone we met spoke to us with great sincerity and seemingly enthusiastic to help. Much later on I realised that’s properly they find us intriguing; we look like one of them, only much Asian.

For Greenlanders are devastatingly good looking people. A definite cross between Caucasians and Asians, many of the people we saw here spotted blonde hair with cherubic, white skin, yet slanty, dark eyes. It was intoxicating to be surrounded by such beauty, and their surprisingly good grasp of English didn’t help my over-the-top adoration for them.

Day 1 at Nuuk, Greenland

Nuuk is the capital town of Greenland, and by any standard it was the smallest country capital I ever visited. Though I didn’t realise then, Nuuk town is a mix of the old and new, the traditional and modern, the local and the colonial, and it is not always pleasant.

Day 1 at Nuuk, Greenland

But against the backdrop of snow-capped mountain, candy-coloured dainty houses and icebergs drifting lazily across its surrounding sea, there is a magic in the air that is almost tangible to the touch.

Day 1 at Nuuk, Greenland

Liping made an excellent, excellent choice with our accomodation. It is a large apartments with plenty of space and look out to the sea, I can see icebergs – icebergs! – out of the window while I sipped on my Nescafe – Nescafe! – and type this.

Charoen Porn at Nuuk, Greenland

A quick word about our dinner that night. Charoen Porn was my choice as it was indeed recommended by many guides and even some locals, but I was left decidedly underwhelmed by the food we experienced that night. Though probably not the wisest decision to go for set menus for the two of us, the Greenlandic sushi was certainly a first, where I get to taste whale meat (a delightful cross between beef and chicken) and whale skin (blubbered skins that tasted like crunchy pork neck).

What will tomorrow bring?

See more of my Greenland 2013 posts: