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This is the Arctic

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    Later I was to see the ice from new vantage points…
    …and for a short time the sun emerged .

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        But this is the photograph with which to end. Soon after I took it, I had, as it were, replaced that lone blue-clad figure, looking back to where I had come from.

        Then I walked into that image, and venturing among those meringue-like peaky white hummocks of ice I was, for the most memorable of moments, entirely alone.

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          Re: This is the Arctic

          Fantastic photography of the patterns of nature, if that is a term I can use. Glaciers and fjords, patterns in stone... so beautiful to see, study, and photograph - naturally!
          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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            Re: This is the Arctic

            Well I went through the whole discussion and I'm impressed and in awe at your talent, Cecilia. You have a gift for seeing, but you also have a gift for making us see, and like many said I felt like I was on the trip with you. And of course now I'm longing for the ice... Stunning, stunning pictures.

            I've been interested in a trip to Greenland for a while (although it seems to be almost as expensive as Antarctica...) but I have mixed feelings about the trips offered by Hurtigruten so I'm interested in your experience. My main concern is the interaction with the locals. Of course local people, their culture, their life, is what makes this region of the world so special. But I'm always worried that the brief interaction with them, during a few hours in a touristic journey, will be artificial at best (and at worst, voyeuristic). It probably doesn't compare (I hope it doesn't) but I found terribly awkward and uncomfortable the stop to take a mandatory picture of the "sami man with a reindeer" on the way back from the North Cape excursion in Honningsvag. But then I understand that tourism is probably a good income source for these communities. It's a delicate balance and I wonder how Hurtigruten is treating it. Fram's blog is not helping me much in that regard (but your travel report is. I see nothing but respect in your words and pictures).
            Last edited by Sarnia; November 6th, 2012, 15:17.
            MS Lofoten April 2006, March 2012, Feb 2013. MS Polarlys Dec 2010. MS Fram Feb 2009, Sep 2011.
            Upcoming : MS Fram Dec 2013, MS Lofoten Sep 2014
            My travelblog : http://voyageterremer.blogspot.com. Hurtigruten, Antarctica, Svalbard, Norway (and other places...).

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              Re: This is the Arctic

              Hello,
              I've only had little time to browse this extensive thread so far and I am also impressed. I will for sure look at it in a more detailed manner later.
              Sarnia, I share your feeling about being "voyeuristic". On my recent trip to East Greenland, I did not feel comfortable when we stopped for a few hours in Ittoqqortoormiit. I did not take any photos of people for example. Things were organized in the village for us to see (school, dog feeding, visit of elderly home ...) but I did not go. If I had been on a trip with a small schooner ship I would probably have. But with a group of 100 or more, I don't feel at ease, that's it. I just strolled around the streets and did hitchiking to try and see a polar bear that was in the area with the locals instead... In a way, I was glad that in East Greenland there was almost only nature to see (sometimes I even think we as tourists we shouldn't be there, so...).
              Well that is only my may of feeling things... I'm looking forward to having C view of things too.

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                Re: This is the Arctic

                Originally posted by PanjiS View Post
                I'm looking forward to having C view of things too.
                In the meantime I have read (extensively) her discussion & pictures about Greenlanders in the "People of the World" section which I think gives me plenty of food for thought on this matter (and again, I can only convey to Seagull that I see nothing but respect and care in her approach of the people).
                MS Lofoten April 2006, March 2012, Feb 2013. MS Polarlys Dec 2010. MS Fram Feb 2009, Sep 2011.
                Upcoming : MS Fram Dec 2013, MS Lofoten Sep 2014
                My travelblog : http://voyageterremer.blogspot.com. Hurtigruten, Antarctica, Svalbard, Norway (and other places...).

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                  Re: This is the Arctic

                  Only a quick reply for now as I have to go out. I’ll return to this interesting discussion later, but meanwhile just to make sure you find your way to a related and relevant thread:- Greenlanders

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                    Re: This is the Arctic

                    Ah I see we must have pressed Post Reply nearly simultaneously, Sarnia, for my last post crossed with yours! So now that you have seen the Greenlanders thread, and maybe PanjiS has also had a chance to see it too, I hope it may have actually already adressed and answered the issues you raised.

                    For sure, PanijS, the west coast trip is more “people” than the near total emphasis on “nature” in East Greenland. I note what you said about size of groups ashore, and that you might have joined those arranged visits in a small group from a smaller ship than Fram. Perhaps I should make it clear that one isn’t doing things in a huge group. It isn’t as if being in a group is required by the imposed safety regulations regarding polar bears in Svalbard, or extreme snow and ice conditions and number ashore restrictions in Antarctica. At the smaller settlements in Greenland you are more or less doing what you like on your own. At a briefing on the ship they may indicate some particular places of interest that will be open such as a small museum, church, school or whatever (and in that respect it is quite similar to how I described that last afternoon of Nordstjernen’s trip in Norway at Nordfjordeid). People were very much wandering about on their own or with just a few others, perhaps dropping in to the suggested places or perhaps not. One might find a few people casually chatting with one of the expedition team of lecturers about some point of botany or history or whatever, or hanging out with the ship’s photographer. At larger places like Illulissat there were in addition extra cost optional excursions such as local boat trips or guided walks or hikes.

                    The most organised meeting with local people was in Itilleq, and I described the “kaffemik” earlier in this thread, but again there was no compulsion to participate. For me it actually felt less contrived than I had expected.

                    Since Fram began spending part of her northern hemisphere summer in Svalbard, the choices of itinerary for Greenland have varied year to year, and next year doesn’t include the longer trip to the far north that I did.

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                      Re: This is the Arctic

                      Well, thank you for letting us travel along the Greenland coast with your comments and so-beautiful photos.... I can only say "wouah"...
                      You travelled so far north and saw so many things, including the sea ice, a polar bear etc. You got at the same time the remoteness of the far north and got to discover many local communities.
                      I have a practical question : about the ice fjord in Ilullisat: how far is it from the city, how can you get there if you go on your own ? I did not know you could see that kind of ice from land there ... We don't see those photos in reports / brochures much, do we ? ...
                      I might have a dozen more questions popping up later after I have integrated all this!
                      Thank you also for your comment about the size of groups and local visits too. Actually I was part of a 140 people tour and at first I did not feel at ease when we arrived in a 500 inhabitant-village (even if people could go wherever they wanted to go). ...Maybe it is because I am a lonely person who likes to be that way and I can't put myself in the Greenlanders' shoes who see a huge group of tourists arrive ...
                      Next time I'm going to Greenland, I might consider having a tour on the local coastal express outside the peak season, or go to a village and have a kind of "inuit-living-experience" sometime in the icy season... I think that will depend on budget and timing...
                      Thanks again for your inspiring reports.
                      Valerie

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                        Re: This is the Arctic

                        Originally posted by PanjiS View Post
                        I have a practical question : about the ice fjord in Ilullisat: how far is it from the city, how can you get there if you go on your own ? I did not know you could see that kind of ice from land there ...
                        It’s an easy walk you can do on your own from the town to reach the ice fjord, perhaps about half an hour to get there. You go to the outskirts of the town past the Restaurant Mamartut and along the road at the side of the the area where the dogs are kept, #294/2, and continuing along you reach an information post. From there you follow the board walk.

                        Here is a map, and the board walk is the blue route from the information point.
                        http://www.kangia.gl/en/~/media/Kang...uter-2007.ashx

                        Sermermiut is the archaeological area where you keep to the track at the bay #297/2.



                        Here is a wider view of where you go over these rocks to reach the point where I took all the photos of the ice fjord (#298 to #302). We didn’t continue to return by the red route but just cut across the blue loop back to the boardwalk.

                        Incidentally, my Greenland trip was 27th August to 10th of September, and at that time of year there was no problem with mosquitoes at all.
                        Last edited by Seagull; November 8th, 2012, 22:25.

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                          Re: This is the Arctic

                          This is amazing. Thank you for the details. I just hope I will be able to use your indications some day and see that !

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                            Re: This is the Arctic

                            I agreed with Seagull to post of few photos of my recent trip to East Greenland. It will be a complement to her exhaustive trip report of the western coast.

                            Just a few words about the trip as an introduction. The trip took place early September this year. We departed from Spitsbergen on board MS Expedition. We spent two days in Spitsbergen, crossed the Greenland sea for two days again then arrived in ScoresbySund. The initial idea was to follow the ice edge towards East Greenland. We could not go as far north in East Greenland as originally planned because of supposed drifting ice coming too far south due to strong wind. We headed direct to Scoresbysund and navigated in that fjord system for 6 days before heading to Iceland.

                            Scoresbysund is considered to be the largest fjord system in the world. There is a village there, the more remote in Greenland: Ittoqqortoormiit, with about 400 inhabitants. It can be reached by sea for two months each year. For the rest of the year, it can be accessed from an airport located about one-day by dog-sled or directly by helicopter.

                            Some wildlife can be seen in East Greenland including polar bears, musk oxen, arctic hares and foxes. Polar bears can be seen but they are supposed to be more shy towards humans than in Spitsbergen as there are hunted. Ittoqqortoormiit (also called Scoresbysund) has the right to harvest about 30 polar bears a year. While I was in the village, one could be seen in the distance on a hill. The locals were eager to go and see him (I followed them). I guess I was lucky it was outside the harvesting season and they probably had reached their quota already. I much prefered to see him alive than dead! (sorry no picture, my camera is too small and the bear was a bit far away).

                            We also had many northern lights (no picture either!). So days and nights were quite busy.

                            Here are the photos ...


                            In the Greenland sea, at one point we stopped for two hours to watch humpback whales. There were so many around the ship (about 100 the crew said - no one on board had ever seen such a thing). It is good news for the whales! It was quite impressive for me as I had never seen one before ... And it compensated the fact that we would not be able to get close to the sea edge nor to northern parts of East Greenland ..


                            And finally we reached Greenland. Big mountains were waiting for us! We just had the time to do a bit of ship cruising in Storefjorden (Liverpool land) before a thick fog came then night.

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                              Re: This is the Arctic

                              On the following morning we had our first Greenland landing in Hurry inlet. Some moutains reminded me of Svalbard. The toundra had beautiful colors in autumn. They obviously had a snow storm the week before.



                              Trees are tiny (though they are a few cms bigger than in Svalbard!)

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                                Re: This is the Arctic

                                Then in the afternoon we headed towards the nearby village. It will be the only settlement visited during the trip. For a view of the village on arrival, see my post on sailing ships #217: http://www.captainsvoyage-forum.com/...8055#post98055

                                I loved the baby dogs...

                                For those interesting in dog mushing, see the web site of a musher living there ... What a life!: http://www.garyrolfe.com

                                A hunter's house


                                I love the blue houses:


                                Difficult to imagine life there but I'd love to see the same village when there is snow and ice..
                                Last edited by PanjiS; November 10th, 2012, 22:11.

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