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Old 03-25-2009, 02:54 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
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Has anyone on this forum visited Greenland?

If so, tell me what it was like? In which season did you visit?

YES… I know it’s cold… I know winters are long, snowy, and icy… I know it’s not Jamaica. I know some of you think I’m nuts when I say I’d prefer to visit a place like Greenland rather than a boring tropical beach. This thread is for those who are into the cooler climes of the world.

I’ve always wanted to/dreamed of/planned to visit places like Iceland, northern Norway, Punta Arenas (Chile), Antarctica, etc… but the most intriguing for me is Greenland. Anyone???
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
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Like you I personally much prefer colder climes !

I have been to Greenland once , over 20 years ago and I am sure it has changed a great deal. I went with some Danish Scientists ( friends of my Dad) and we travelled by boat or small aircraft as there are no roads.

Greenland is huge. I mean, really, really huge.

I went there in Spring a euphemism for "not quite as "arctic" as winter but still pretty darn cold" ! the winds were incredibly high making the temperatures feel much lower with the windchill factor but we had excellent weather bar the occasional dense fog. The Fjords were still iced up and snow very deep still . Dog sledding seems the biggest activity at that time of year, including the Arctic Race.

It is a very beautiful country but very barren and stark though there is great beauty in the Fjords and mountains.

I personally really enjoyed it very much , especially meeting with various Inuit people and learning a bit more about a culture so alien to our Western Minds.

In terms of activites, pretty much everything revolves around the Natural environment, hunting, fishing, climbing, hiking , there is not too much nightlife ! Not in my days anyway. If Glacier climbing is your cup of tea Greenland is a prettygood place to be !

The Townships are all rather small and spaced out and the country is divided mostly between East and Western sectors. Being a Danish possession the vast majority of non native you will meet are Danish , mostly scientists and some government people who deal with some of the mineral wealth Greenland has.

I think Greenland has about 50,000 people so as you can imagine spread over a country the size of a continent you won't feel too bothered by urbanism in a big way. There are some interesting remnants of Viking settlements too if like me you are into that sort of thing.


http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/greenland/

Most of the people live on the Western side and the East is the ultimate in Wilderness.

I remember Ivittuut and Paamiut in particular as being lovely and an excellent place to go whale watching too. I also remember Musk Oxen and a lot of Sea-Eagles.

If you were serious about going I would go fairly soon though as the ice fields are retreating because of global warming so it might not be quite the same in a few years....

Greenland is basically a pradise for people who like to get away from it all and are fit and healthy.



I have been to all the places you mention and I must admit Chile is my favourite but Norway, iceland and Greenland certainly are very beautiful in their unique way.

http://www.greenland.com/content/english/tourist (broken link)
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:11 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
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Thanks for the reply! A great post that makes me want to go there even more. As I look at photos on Google Earth, it's that 'starkness' you mention that really appeals to me most.

As a sidenote: How long were you in southern Chile? Which cities did you visit?
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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Hi ChrisC! I helped ferry some USAF aircraft from Germany to California and Sondestrom Air Base, Greenland was one of our stops. I'd LOVE to back and see more of the country. Unfortunately, we only spent one night there and didn't leave the base. Just looking out over the fjiord that comes up to the base was impressive. Flying over Greenland and looking down on it's rugged beauty was awesome! If you go, please give us a fulll report!

Last edited by Crew Chief; 03-30-2009 at 06:25 AM..
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:07 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Thanks for the reply! A great post that makes me want to go there even more. As I look at photos on Google Earth, it's that 'starkness' you mention that really appeals to me most.

As a sidenote: How long were you in southern Chile? Which cities did you visit?
Patagonia ( both Chile and Argentina) is one of my all time favourite places and I do hope I can one day go back there though preferably in a bit more comfort as I now walk with a stick ! And South America is not terribly forgiving on the sick and infirm , in terms of wild scenic beauties and ease of access to them...


Patagonia is truly a scenic wonder and as someone socially awkward and who is a bit of loner I loved the huge empty spaces and the feeling of being able to truly breathe.

I tried to spend as little time in cities as possible and the main urbanised centre I visited was Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales , both fine , some interesting sites and a nice break from wilderness , a good place to eat something someone has cooked for you rather than what your camping stove has produced ! There are a lot of small townships , some mere hamlets but cities are not really what it's all about ! There are some pretty little towns I must admit though.

I took a year out before University and spend almost 5 months travelling around South America ( about 6 weeks in Chile and Argentina , most of the rest in Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador), then Central America and the US.

Southern Chile and Argentina are truly superb places, I would particularly recommend the Torres del Paine National Park and of course Tierra del Fuego.

On the Argentinian side Ushuaia is a good place to stand to feel you have reached a true edge of the world destination despite the urban-ish setting.

It is a part of the world where you do feel you have come to the ends of the earth and some places are just so spectacular that they dwarf anything else you have seen.


Dark and Brooding endless skies, stormy seas and a sense of other worldliness. And yet if you chose you can stay in excellent first class hotels, eat at great restaurants and enjoy a bit of luxury and comfort, sipping Chilean wines...

I was lucky enough to be able to sail a large part of the South American Coast and it is a superb way to see this wonderful continent.

Patagonia is an outdoor paradise and a perfect place to seek something wilder, and bigger. There is a mesmerising quality to it , it is hard to describe, but it does grab you by the throat and does not let go. I still have dreams about the sights and smells of it all.

Soaring above some snowy peaks in a hang-glider , canoeing on a mountain lake or simply sitting on the edge of the world contemplating life are things Patagonia offers in bundles.

And the Wildlife is not bad either ! And there are some interesting Archaeological sites too such as Petroglyphic art sites ( The Northern coast of Chile revealed some fascinating Mummies , the Chinchorro Mummies) and of course a lot of colonial sites too.

I would recommend it to anybody with even the remotest sense of adventure, it truly is a place of a lifetime. Even better if you can sail some of it though I warn you those seas are like a very angry washing washing machine so not so great if a landlubber !

There is a big tourism industry now catering to the travellers in Patagonia but my advice would be to explore a lot of it as an independent travellers, maybe not quite as luxurious or "safe" but so much more rewarding and spectacular.

Plenty of operators will cater to independent travellers so you can mix and match some of the more urbane and urban Chile and Argentina have to offer and a true wildnerness experience. The less well travelled path is often the more interesting.

I hope you make it one day, I thought it was one of the best places on Earth, then again I have never been the resrot/cruise type. Even with a walking stick I would chose a more independent trip over anything. Life's too short.

With the Galapagos Islands , Patagonia is my favourite part of South America.

Last edited by Mooseketeer; 03-30-2009 at 06:23 AM..
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