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    Greenland does of course have social problems (although I did read somewhere that alcohol consumption has been more than halved over the last 20 years or so). Many problems came about with rapid periods of “modernisation”, old ways damaged before new ways could be established, and undoubtedly mistakes were made even as a result of the best of intentions. In larger towns, bright new apartment blocks in the Danish manner were constructed without anyone apparently wondering where exactly one would put the paraphernalia of hunting and fishing or tether the dogs. In the more remote areas, a well-meaning programme of providing improved education, medical and other services led to the population being more centralised in fewer but larger places. This actually contributed to unemployment and dependency, and the problems resulting from the breaking up of the extended family unit so central to the traditional social values.

    While there are for sure places in Greenland that are attractive to a tourist’s eyes, yet not completely hiding a darker side, Kraulshavn was not one of them. The apparent incongruities seen here are simply the result of a still largely traditional life. We see rubbish and assume squalor and frustration, but it is not so long ago that there was so little “waste”, little that was cast aside that didn’t naturally decompose rapidly.

    I encountered proud, happy, welcoming people here.
    You’ll meet them across in the Greenlanders thread.

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      WAOW..... I love the two pictures in post 239 and 240!

      Awesome compositions!
      With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

      Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
      Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

      Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

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        Greenland #11 – Upernavik

        Fram had travelled south through the night after that memorable departure from Kraulshavn. I woke next morning to a little more motion than we had been accustomed to, clearly evident at breakfast as people carried plates from buffet to table, testing their sea legs. Looking out I could see we had almost reached our destination, Upernavik, a small town of some 1500 inhabitants.



        Out on deck I saw the supply ship Sea Bird making quite a splash….



        …. and watched the waves breaking on a rocky headland. So I kind of anticipated what was going to happen –or rather not happen!

        And yes, after we anchored, deployed the landing stage and the first Polar Cirkel boat took to the sea, the advance party of the expedition team were looking distinctly dubious as the swell sent the ship one way and the boat another. Safety is naturally top priority for this professional crew, and it was not long before an announcement was made that our plans for the day were changing.

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          I didn’t stop to watch all this activity starboard, but walked round the decks seeing what it was possible to photograph from the ship looking towards the town. Many would consider my one zoom lens an unacceptable compromise in this situation, but I don’t think I did too badly. Indeed, watching folk struggling to hand-hold huge telephoto lenses or do battle with a tripod on the swaying ship gave me some satisfaction and a smile!

          But first a panorama…





          …before taking a closer look at the houses.

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              Houses and other buildings situated on higher ground, with a fantastic backdrop of mountains and ice.

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                I would have walked up to the cemetery, and visited the museum seen here below it below if we had been able to land.

                It was nearly time for lunch when Upernavik fimally disappeared into the distance, and I spent a busy afternoon going to some lectures that had been postponed when we made our extra unscheduled landings on previous days. The two scientists who were working on board also lectured about their work, and the ship’s photographer Camille gave a presentation, complete with her photos of our experiences so far. I think I might even have spotted myself on a couple of shots amongst the crowd of blue anoraks!
                Last edited by Seagull; April 4th, 2011, 17:11.

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                  Greenland #12 – Eqip Sermia

                  Next morning out on deck the views were getting interesting…



                  … and then they got even more interesting… even more icebergs!

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                      Fram was nearing the area of Disko Bay, and planned to visit places we bypassed on the journey north. Here’s a reminder of where we are on the map.
                      It is also worth noting that we are back in the region that Fram also goes to on her shorter cruises to Greenland’s west coast.



                      Many smaller pieces of ice have formed fantastic shapes, and I think this almost Loch Ness Monster-shaped blue one is probably my favourite!

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                        The sources of the icebergs are glaciers which calve into the sea, and we are heading for the one called Eqip Sermia.



                        As we approach the five kilometre extent of the glacier front, the scale of our surroundings is inspiring, though sometimes difficult to grasp.

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                          An isthmus of land connecting to a small hill forms a beach where it is possible for us to land.

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                            First I head up the hill, looking back at the coming and going of the Polar Cirkel boats.



                            I enjoyed scrambling around looking at the patterns of veins and folds of the rocks. This is the view towards Fram.

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                              Round the other side and from the top of the hill one can look out towards the glacier, but I preferred this photo with just a glimpse of it, and the contrasts of rocks and vegetation in the foreground.

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                                Returning past the landing place there are possibilities of walks of varying lengths and with choices of ascending to higher ground, or keeping to the level. The beaches are however best avoided, as the calving of the ice can cause a mini-tsunami. I headed upwards, turning to take this photograph which shows where I had just been.

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