Category Archives: Exploring the World

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Hinnarik Kammanilu – Greenlandic music

“Hinnarik Kammanilu” are the most popular children’s performers in Greenland. Celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, it shows that buck teeth, a melodica (one of those small keyboards you play with your mouth), an acoustic guitar, and fun songs specifically written for children will forever make you a hit with the kids.

In Australia, we have “The Wiggles”. In Greenland, we have “Hinnarik Kammanilu”.

Poster for the free concert at Nuuk Centre

Translated as “Hinnarik and Friend”, this singing comedic duo have been entertaining the kids of Greenland for 15 years. As part of their anniversary celebration, they were playing free 20-minute concerts in the Nuuk Centre (Nuuk’s shopping mall – the only one in Greenland), so of course I had to go along. Partially this was to experience the Hinnarik phenomenon for myself. And partially because the “friend” is Frederik Elsner – one of the songwriters and lead singers of my favourite band in all the world – Nanook.

I arrived to an absolutely packed house.  Standing room only, and even then, only at the back.

Standing room only!

So, I loitered at the end of their 20-minute performance while they signed CDs, hoping they would play again and I could get myself into a much better position.

Success!

Prime position for the second of the free Hinnarik Kammanilu shows

There were songs I actually recognized!

Hinnarik Kammanilu – Kamaleruit

And others that I didn’t but were truly addictive.

Hinnarik Kammanilu – Diisaq
Hinnarik Kammanilu – Kaakkukkakkit

It was a fun show 😊 and the 20 minutes flew by very quickly!

Afterwards, they met this latest audience of kids and signed more autographs.  And judging by the way the CDs were flying off the table, there will be a lot of “Hinnarik Kammanilu” playing all over Nuuk during the next little while!

Hinnarik signing autographs at the end of the free concert at the Nuuk Centre, West Greenland
Meeting the fans

I only wish I could understand what they were singing!

Hinnarik Kammanilu have a Facebook page if you want to follow along, and you can order their latest CD from the Atlantic Music Store in Nuuk.

Discover more about Greenland

Greenlandic music is a vibrant part of modern culture on the world’s largest island. You can learn more in Guide to Greenland’s Culture Lovers’ Guide to Nuuk, which also highlights how you can explore visual arts, performance arts, architecture, and amazing gastronomy experiences while visiting Greenland’s capital city.

There is also the highly practical Ultimate Travel Guide to Nuuk with everything you need to know to plan your trip to Nuuk, and the Nature Lovers Guide to Nuuk, if the outdoors is more your thing.

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Greenlandic Music – Ole Kristiansen at Katuaq Cultural Centre

Greenlandic music is some of the best music you’ve never heard of. There is a surprising number of amazing musicians in Greenland, and Ole Kristiansen – a favourite amongst locals – has been around for years. What better way to experience his music for the first time than at the Katuaq Cultural Centre in Nuuk.

I was determined to see a concert during my extended stay in Nuuk this year. While I had desperately hoped that my absolute favourite band, Nanook, would be playing – it was not to be … again 🙁

I did, however, get to see one of Greenland’s perennial favourites play – Ole Kristiansen.

I knew of his work because of the duet he sings on Frederik Elsner’s solo album – “F”. But I’d never listened to it specifically. I pre-purchased my ticket for 250DKK (about AUD$50), and decided I would just turn up and see what it was all about.

Ticket and wristband for Ole Kristiansen concert at Katuaq Cultural Center
Ticket and wristband for the concert

Support act – Jaaku Sørensen

The support act was scheduled to appear at 9pm, so I headed out into the snow storm (boy it was hard to get off the couch!) and caught the bus to arrive at 8:55pm. Uuuuummmmmmm… where was everyone? There were maybe 20 of us in the foyer of Katuaq – and an even larger number of staff, who were preparing the plastic cups of beer that would ultimately lubricate what they anticipated would be a good crowd.

Small number of people turned up to see Jaaku Sørensen - the support act for Ole Kristiansen
Where is everybody?

I felt incredibly sorry for Jaaku Sørensen who had his family, friends and a handful of us who didn’t know him making up a very small crowd in a very large space.

Jaaku Sørensen singing at Katuaq Cultural Centre in Nuuk, West Greenland
Jaaku Sørensen – solo performer

And, to be honest, he was really quite good! His primarily folk-style songs sung mostly in English deserved a much bigger audience. It seems that opening for one of Greenland’s biggest performers, doesn’t actually guarantee you the audience you might expect or deserve in Greenland. Tough crowd!

He played for about 45 minutes in total and people started to arrive during the 30-minute break before the main performance. By the time Ole took the stage – the scene was more like what I was expecting from the outset.

Ole Kristiansen on stage at Katuaq Cultural Centre in front of a large audience
This audience was more what I was expecting

Main act – Ole Kristiansen

I had an awesome position up on a ledge towards the front of the foyer with a clear view of the stage

Ole Kristiansen performing at Katuaq Cultural Centre
I had a great vantage point for the concert. A ledge provided the perfect spot for a short person like me

and the most common sight at concerts around the world these days.

Mobile phone recording Ole Kristiansen at his concert at Katuaq Cultural Centre, Nuuk
This is pretty typical at concerts these days.

From the first note, the crowd went wild. And I was very surprised by how “heavy” his music was. It was definitely within the genre of rock music, not heavy metal music, but I was expecting something lighter.

The music was really good!  Not as good as Nanook 😉, but I could see why it had everyone else in the crowd singing their heart and lungs out. I’d definitely go see him play again.

Despite really enjoying the concert, I ended up leaving at the mid-way break. I’m a big fan of Nuuk’s bus system with the exception of one point – the last bus is waaaaaay too early on a Friday and Saturday night.  Given the storm outside, it was either catch this last bus or hope to be able to get a taxi home ($$$) once the concert had finished. I was happy with the experience I’d had so ended up taking the bus. 

Ole Kristiansen and band playing the Katuaq Cultural Centre in Nuuk, West Greenland

I look forward to my next concert in Greenland! Hopefully it will be Nanook!

Discover more about Greenland

Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, is the hub for modern culture in Greenland. There is everything from music, to visual arts, to performance arts, to architecture, to amazing gastronomy experiences. Read more in Guide to Greenland’s Culture Lover’s Guide to Nuuk.

The best resource on the web if you are planning a trip to Nuuk is the Ultimate Travel Guide to Nuuk, and there is also a Nature Lovers Guide to Nuuk, if the outdoors is more your thing.

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Sarfalik Restaurant Tasting Menu – Nuuk

The Tasting Menu at Sarfalik Restaurant in Nuuk offers a fine-dining experience that allows you to enjoy a wide variety of Greenlandic produce in the one sitting. Professional chefs take the abundances of the season and prepare innovative dishes using a variety of modern techniques for a truly unique taste of Greenland.

In the 2.5 months I’ve been based in Nuuk, I’ve not once been out to a restaurant or café to eat. Cooking for myself is so ingrained (it has to be after more than 3 years of traveling and watching every cent) that I usually forget that going out for a meal is even an option!

However, having written the Ultimate Travel Guide to Nuuk where I relied on restaurant reviews and the recommendations of my friends and colleagues in order to write the “Where to Eat” section, I decided that I had to go out and try one of these places before leaving. I chose to head to the top of the Hotel Hans Egede and indulge in the “Greenlandic Tasting Menu” at Sarfalik Restaurant.

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now know how much I love eating and trying new foods. For example, the Traditional Greenlandic Buffet at the Hotel Sisimiut and the Foodie Tour with Your Friend in Reykjavik were two of my travel highlights for 2018. Needless to say, I was really looking forward to the experience as Nicolai (from Denmark) seated me at a table by the window with a view to one of the well-known mountains near Nuuk – Store Malene.

Sunset over Store Malene from Sarfalik Restaurant - Nuuk- West Greenland
Sunset on Store Malene (the tallest of the peaks) as seen from Sarfalik Restaurant

Before the Tasting Menu begins

As I unwrapped the napkin from its strip of binding sealskin, Nicolai placed a “snack” down in front of me. Humpback whale with soy marinade and mustard mayo, and seaweed with a little onion mayo.

Humpback whale snack at Sarfalik Restaurant - Nuuk - West Greenland
Humpback whale with soy marinade and mustard mayo, and seaweed with a little onion mayo

Although many people would balk at eating whale, it is very much a part of life in Greenland. Mattak (the raw skin of certain types of whale) used to provide the Inuit with several important nutrients, and is still a delicacy that is served at Kaffemiks (celebrations) in modern times.

I’ve tried whale meat on a few occasions in both Greenland and Iceland and have always really enjoyed it.  This was no exception. The meat was melt-in-the-mouth tender with a subtle soy flavor. It was a great start to what I expected to be an amazing experience.

Next to appear on the table was a basket of warm bread. The white rolls had a wonderfully crusty exterior, and the malt rolls had a more cake-like texture with a rich taste that was enhanced by the salt crystals sprinkled on top. When loaded up with chive butter, keeping my hand out the bread basket was very difficult, even though I knew I had to.

Two types of bread at Sarfalik Restaurant - Nuuk - West Greenland
How to resist?!

Now for the Tasting Menu

The first real course of the Tasting Menu (no, we hadn’t even started yet!) was delivered by Åsmund from Norway. It was an Italian-inspired musk ox empanada with rosemary mayo. There had been an “Italian Takeover” of Sarfalik Restaurant during the previous two weeks by visiting chefs, and this dish was created based on what they showcased during their stay.

Musk-ox empanada as part of the Sarfalik Tasting Menu - Nuuk - West Greenland
Musk ox empanada with rosemary mayo

One of the interesting things about the Tasting Menu is that it changes several times per year according to the produce that is in season. However, because it is made up of several small portions, there is also the flexibility to mix it up when an interesting opportunity arises.  

Åsmund (who has a touch of an Australian accent despite never having worked in Australia?!) also presented me with the next dish – reindeer tenderloin with celeriac. The tenderloin was cured with sage and the half-ring of celeriac underneath it was pickled in red wine vinegar and hibiscus. Celeriac cream, crunchy sage “chips” and sprinkled dried Angelica topped off the dish. Åsmund explained that normally the celeriac cream would also have had fresh sage in it, but they were having supply issues. One example of the challenges faced by even a high-end restaurant in Greenland.

reindeer tenderloin with celeriac  on the tasting menu at Sarfalik Restaurant - Nuuk - West Greenland
Reindeer tenderloin with celeriac

The reindeer was very smooth and tender with a mild taste of jerky. Delicious! I was less a fan of the celeriac, but that’s just because I don’t enjoy the taste of wine. The cream gave me a hint of what celeriac tastes like (I’d not eaten it before) and I look forward to another opportunity to try it in its more natural state.

Next up was cold smoked humpback whale with turnip presented in 3 ways.

Cold smoked humpback whale - Sarfalik Tasting Menu - Nuuk -West Greenland
Cold smoked humpback whale with turnip

The whale was smoked in-house and had a texture more like that of raw fish than what I would normally associate with meat. Its colour was also very dark and Åsmund went on to explain that while this is a general characteristic of humpback whale meat, the cold smoking process (and lack of exposure to heat) actually makes it darker.

The turnips offered 3 completely different experiences of this root vegetable. The fermented turnips (triangles) were quite acidic and sharp, the pickled turnip (julienne) was also quite sharp but somehow had a sweetness to it too. The roasted turnip puree was very creamy and, for me, had the strongest and most recognizable turnip flavor.

My next course was bought out by Matthias from Argentina. Nicolai had told me that Matthias usually doesn’t get to do front-of-house because he is not very confident with his English. But given I speak Spanish…

The plate that Matthias put in front of me was burnt cod with Greenlandic herbs and roasted tomato sauce. Matthias introduced it to me in Spanish, wished me pleasant eating, and disappeared quickly back into the kitchen.

Burnt Cod - Sarfalik Tasting Menu - Nuuk Greenland
Burnt cod with Greenlandic herbs

The cod was perfectly cooked and the roasted tomato sauce very creamy. Like everything that had come before, it was delicious, though I was starting to worry about the fact that portion sizes seemed to be growing! I crossed my fingers I would be able to fit everything in.  And yes. I was still managing to resist the lure of the bread.

Meeting the head chef – Simon

The next person to appear at my table with an orange granatine palette cleanser turned out to be the head chef, Simon. He is originally from Sweden (the kitchen is very multicultural) and had been working at Sarfalik for 2.5 years, 1.5 of those as head chef. He was much younger than I expected and I was looking forward to chatting with him about the inspiration for and challenges of putting together a Tasting Menu such as this in Greenland.

Orange Granitine - Sarfalik Tasting Menu - Nuuk - West Greenland
Orange granatine

He returned with my main dish – musk ox with grilled sweet potato, musk ox souffle and musk ox glace – and said he’d be happy to chat after I’d enjoyed my meal.

This dish was fantastic! The musk ox was like a fine steak cooked to perfection. The glace, beautifully rich. And the elements on the plate aligned with the Greenlandic tradition of not wasting anything.  The glace was made using the bones of the musk ox. The puree and chips were made from the castoffs of the grilled sweet potato. I love this approach.

Main dish – Spring Tasting Menu

Musk Ox with Grilled Sweet Potato - Sarfalik Tasting Menu - Nuuk Greenland
Musk ox with grilled sweet potato

Once I’d finished eating, Simon joined me at my table while we waited for the dessert to be ready. He explained the idea behind the Tasting Menu – to create high quality food that works with the abundances and limitations of the current season in Greenland and neighboring countries.

For example, February is musk ox hunting season in Greenland, so the main today was a musk ox plate. Later in the year during reindeer hunting season, the Tasting Menu would instead feature a reindeer-based main dish. Right now, root vegetables (the staples of Nordic countries) support whatever meat is available (though this, too, will change as the seasons change), and locally sourced herbs that grow wild in the backcountry around Nuuk (like Angelica) are used whenever possible.

“The goal is to tell a story with the Tasting Menu”, Simon tells me.

A story that is dictated by the season.  A story that features local produce sourced directly from the fishermen and hunters while acknowledging Nordic influences on Greenland. A story that showcases the multicultural nature of Nuuk through the use of different cooking techniques drawn from the countries of origin and experiences of the kitchen staff of Sarfalik Restaurant.

I was very much looking forward to how the last chapter of today’s story would unfold!

Spring Tasting Menu dessert

When Simon returned, he came bearing a magnificent Chervil-based dessert. The menu describes it as the following: “Chervil and cream cheese ice cream with yoghurt crisps, liquorice sprinkles, and chervil grass”, but I prefer the story that Simon told me about it.

Nuuk Spring - Sarfalik Tasting Menu - West Greenland
Nuuk Spring

It symbolizes Spring in Nuuk. The green represents plants starting to grow and the brown (burnt white chocolate), the dirt that is slowly revealed by the melting snow. However, just like the Spring we have been experiencing during my stay, a period of warmer weather is abruptly interrupted by a cold snap, and fresh snow (the white fluff) once again covers the landscape.

Brilliant!

And delicious!

The chervil cream cheese ice cream was silky smooth and creamy with a mild flavor that was offset by the much stronger chervil syrup. The yoghurt chips were crisp and almost toffee-like, and the thyme snow (it was meant to be chervil snow, but again, supply problems) was lighter and fluffier than sherbet and disintegrated immediately upon contact with my tongue. I didn’t think anything could dissolve more readily than sherbet, but I have been proven wrong!

It was a spectacular end to an amazing meal that was further enhanced as the setting sun momentarily peaked out from underneath the cloud layer to bathe the restaurant in incredible golden light. Moments like this are truly magical.

Golden sunset through Sarfalik Restaurant on top of the Hotel Hans Egede in Nuuk - West Greenland
Golden sunset through Sarfalik Restaurant on top of the Hotel Hans Egede

Recommendation

The Tasting Menu at Sarfalik Restaurant in Nuuk is a wonderful way to try local Greenlandic ingredients prepared in innovative ways. The small portion sizes and large number of courses mean you get to taste a wide range of produce, all prepared with the imagination and ingenuity of top professional chefs. There is also the option to pair the menu with a carefully chosen wine selection.

A million thanks to Simon, Åsmund, Nicolai and Matthias for looking after me and a wonderful experience. I look forward to returning again in September to try to the Autumn version of the Tasting Menu!

Discover more about Greenland

For recommendations on where to eat in Nuuk, check out the Ultimate Travel Guide to Nuuk – the best resource on the web for those planning a trip to Greenland’s capital. It also has loads of practical information on how to get to Nuuk, how to get around, where to stay, and all the things to do once you arrive.

I have a large number of blog posts about Greenland, so feel free to read more about my experiences here on my blog.

Or, if this post has piqued your curiosity about Greenland in general, learn more about this amazing country by:

This post contains some affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Your support is appreciated!
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Australian victory in Greenland’s Arctic Circle Race

Video: Mads Fridolin Vejlby

The Australian National Anthem playing in Greenland.

Wait, what?!

Yes. Much to everyone’s surprise, Phillip Bellingham (a fellow Aussie from Victoria) beat local legend Martin Møller to the finish line of the 2019 Arctic Circle Race by a mere 3 minutes and 18 seconds.

This 160km, 3-day event near Sisimiut is widely renowned as the toughest ski race in the world. Greenlander Martin Møller has won it for the past several years and it was a very close race to be beaten by such a short margin over this distance!

Phillip explains his strategy for the race at breakfast on Day 2.

Video: Mads Fridolin Vejlby

And it proved to be a good plan, as the deciding factor ended up being a sprint to the finish line between Phillip and Martin.

Video: Mads Fridolin Vejlby

One of the reasons the Arctic Circle Race is so tough is because Sisimiut is surrounded by very mountainous terrain. Another is because participants have to camp out with minimal equipment for 2 nights, preparing their own food and taking care of themselves. You need a strong mental attitude to be able to cope with this on top of a grueling day on skis in cold temperatures!

Unfortunately I wasn’t in Sisimiut to see the race for myself. However, I do know the terrain around Greenland’s second largest city as I spent over a week there last year hiking and exploring the area during the Summer. It is a spectacularly beautiful part of the world as the following drone footage courtesy of Mads Fridolin Vejlby shows.

Video: Mads Fridolin Vejlby
Music: Nanook

Congratulations Phillip!

Are you coming back next year to defend your title?

Discover more about Greenland

I have a large number of blog posts about Greenland, so feel free to read more about my experiences here on my blog.

Or, if this post has piqued your curiosity about Greenland in general, learn more about this amazing country by:

This post contains some affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Your support is appreciated!



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Greenlandic Beer Tasting at Godthaab Bryghus

Yes, there is such a thing as Greenlandic Beer. Godthaab Bryghus is the largest brewery in Greenland and it is possible to do a tour of their facility if you are visiting Nuuk. Even if you are not a beer drinker, it is a fascinating insight into the logistics and workings of a small brewery in a remote part of the world.

Beer label - Godthaab Bryghus brewery in Nuuk - West Greenland

I have tried beer once in my life. After just one sip, I screwed my nose up and chased what was supposedly the best beer in Bolivia down with some Fanta. How on Earth could anyone actually enjoy drinking this stuff?!

Given this history it might seem like an odd decision for me to arrange a tour of the Godthaab Bryghus (Greenland’s largest brewery) while I was in Nuuk. The lengths I go to in my research to create The Ultimate Travel Guide to Nuuk for Guide to Greenland! That being said, I did round up some friends to share the experience with me, figuring that they could give me their impressions of the beer so I didn’t have to try it for myself.

We were met by Jörg – a master brewer from Germany – who promptly poured us each a glass of “Classic”. After all, what is a brewery tour without a beer in your hand!

First beer tasting on the Godthaab Bryghus brewery tour - Nuuk - West Greenland

Loaded up, Jörg started to tell the story of how beer is made and the differences between the various types.

Brewmaster at Gothaab Bryghus explaining the process of beer making - Nuuk - West Greenland
Talking hops and grains

How to brew beer

It is a fascinating and complex process which makes for an interesting and time-critical job when your brewery is not automated.  That’s right. Jörg must monitor temperatures and keep track of timing manually to ensure the brew doesn’t “over-cook” and become a bad experience. Given it is just him and one other person involved in the production of the beer – it is a good thing he loves his job!

Brewmaster at Gothaab Bryghus explaining how beer is made - Nuuk - West Greenland

We very quickly realized just how small the brewery is when Jörg led us in to the “old cellar” with the fermentation tanks. We’d now seen ¾ of the operation!

Here he explained the process of fermentation and how holding the beer in the fermentation tanks for a longer period delivers a better taste. At Godthaab Bryghus, they hold the beer in the tanks for up to 3 weeks, compared with the more standard 1 week at larger breweries.

Fermentation tanks at the Gothaab Bryghus brewery in Nuuk - West Greenland

After 2 weeks, he removes the yeast from the tank and tests to see if it is still good to use for the next brew. In a large brewery, this would be done by sending it off to a lab. But here – it comes down to Jörg’s discerning tongue. He simply tastes a sample of it.

From the fermentation tanks the brew is piped through a filtering system before it is ready for distribution. It is here that the brewery calculates the tax owing using a mechanism attached to the inflow to the filter.

Tax calculation and filtering system at Godthaab Bryghus brewery in Nuuk - West Greenland
The dial surrounded in blue calculates the tax owed by Godthaab Bryghus on their beer. It is based on quantity produced

The other feature of this particular room was the impressive distribution system that delivers beer directly to the tap in the many bars and restaurants attached to the brewery.  3.5km of tubing must be cleaned every 2 weeks. You can probably guess who does that as well!

On tap distribution system for beer at the Godthaab Bryghus - Nuuk - West Greenland
All the tubing in this distribution system needs to be cleaned regularly

By this time, we were about 20 minutes into the tour and it was time for a new beer. This next beer was the “Classic” flavoured with Angelica – a herb that grows and is widely used in Greenland. Given my motivation to try anything local … how could I not try this?!

Trying my second beer ever

I asked for the smallest amount possible, held my breath, and took a sip.

me trying my second-ever beer at Godthaab Bryghus in Nuuk - West Greenland
I’m not grimacing too much… Thanks for the photo Mark!

Huh! You know what? It wasn’t actually too bad!

No, I wouldn’t choose to order it. And the dryness of it was strange to me, but I certainly made it past the first sip this time around!

Experimental Beers at Godthaab Bryghus

From there we headed into the “new cellar” where Jörg explained the portable, rapid cooling system they use to keep beer up to the masses at large events. We also we got to pour our own Pilsner directly from the tanks!

Pouring our own beer from the fermentation tanks at the Godthaab Bryghus in Nuuk - West Greenland
Nola has the action down pat

He also talked about their experimental beers – small brews that are initially tasted internally within the company. If the experimental brew passes the taste test and there is the general feeling that it might sell well, they will make a small run of it to see how it goes. This is how the Angelica Beer started out. But they have also experimented with lemongrass, blackberry and other flavours as well.

The current experiment was ginger-spiced beer, and of course we had to try this!

Beer spiced with ginger - an experimental beer at the Godthaab Bryghus in Nuuk - West Greenland
That is a piece of ginger floating in the beer

The Verdict on Godthaab Bryghus Beers

In the end we tried 4 beers on the brewery tour. Here are the verdicts:

Classic

Mark: Classic is just that – smooth, easily drinkable and tasty

Nola: as the name says – the classic beer as we know it. However, I think this one was milder

Angelica

Mark: unique, like Greenland. A round, robust flavour with I think would go really nicely with a robust meat and mashed potatoes.

Nola: it was heavier, dark and had an aftertaste. The hops were not so obvious

Pilsner

Mark: sharp and snappy with a long crisp aftertaste

Nola: light and tasty, and I think you could call it a lady beer

Ginger

Mark: fabulous gingery smell and a light taste. More of a beer with ginger than a ginger beer – refreshing

Nola: modern with little taste confusion, because you don’t expect ginger in a beer

Mark Favourite: Angelica
Nola Favourite: Pilsner

Round 4 at the brewery

And my verdict? Well, to be honest, they all kind of tasted the same. The ginger-spiced one was a little sweeter to my mind but didn’t taste much of ginger (Jörg did say it had only brewed 3 days and needed another week or so) and if I had to pick a favourite – it would probably be the Angelica. But there wasn’t much in it.

Recommendation

Even if you don’t drink beer, the tour of the Godthaab Bryghus in Nuuk is a fascinating look behind the scenes of a small brewery and offers a quick introduction to the beer brewing process. Jörg does a great job of explaining everything and clearly loves talking about beer and his brewery.

Make sure you ask him about why they don’t generally export their beer and the challenges the Danish breweries Tuborg and Carlsberg have in preparing their beers for sale in Greenland. The logistics of living in Greenland will always fascinate me.

Time: ~1 – 1.5 hours

Cost: 125DKK (~USD19) per person including 3 beer tastings

How to book: ask in Daddy’s Bar whether it would be possible to arrange a tour

Discover more about Greenland

If you are planning to visit Nuuk, the best resource on the web is the The Ultimate Travel Guide to Nuuk. Along with practical information on how to Greenland’s capital, how to get around, where to stay and where to eat, it also offers a complete rundown on things to do in this small but fascinating city – including this Brewery Tour.

I have a large number of blog posts about Greenland, so feel free to read more about my experiences here on my blog.

Or, if this post has piqued your curiosity about Greenland in general, learn more about this amazing country by:

This post contains some affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Your support is appreciated!
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Qoornoq settlement in the Nuuk Fjord

Abandoned in the 1960s as part of the Danish government’s G60 program, the small settlement of Qoornoq has found a new lease on life as a Summer getaway for the families of its former residents. Exploring this small village on a boat tour from Nuuk offers a wonderful 1/2-day trip into the Nuuk Fjord from Greenland’s capital.

The weather was not looking brilliant as we rounded the 3 sides of Nuuk to start our journey up the Nuuk Fjord to Qoornoq.

Looking out the windscreen of our boat towards Sermitsiaq mountain with its top lost in cloud - Nuuk - West Greenland
The top of Sermitsiaq is still just visible

And although some of my travelling companions decided to brave the cold for a brief period, we spent most of the journey inside the warm cabin of our Nuuk Water Taxi, chatting and watching the spectacular scenery slide by through the large windows.

Passengers sitting outside the warm cabin (top) and inside with the captain (bottom) - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
We didn’t last long out on the front deck of the boat (top). It was lovely and warm inside the cabin though (bottom)

Fortunately the clouds were high enough that we could still see the peaks of most of the mountains, and the overcast day created a more subdued feeling than the bright sunshine I enjoyed on my first trip up the Nuuk Fjord. Perfect really for exploring an abandoned settlement.

Move cursor over image to see the full panorama

It took us about an hour to make our way up the fjord, and it turns out Sermitsiaq is not the only mountain with a frozen waterfall!

Frozen waterfall in the Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
This one was much smaller than the frozen waterfall behind Sermitsiaq, but still…

Arriving at Qoornoq

Our first view of Qoornoq was a string of brightly coloured houses spread out over a peninsula.

Colourful houses of Qoornoq line the fjord - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
The colourful houses of Qoornoq lining the fjord

and our landing point was around the back at a set of wooden stairs.

Our boat approaching the wooden stairs leading up to Qoornoq - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
There was no dock as such. Thue just nosed the boat into these wooden stairs and held it there while we jumped off

Our captain, Thue, dropped us off and said to be back in an hour … then headed off to go fishing for his dinner.

Nuuk water taxi in Nuuk Fjord near Qoornoq - West Greenland
Thue leaving us temporarily so he could catch some dinner while he waited for us

This early in the season (mid-March), there is nobody at Qoornoq. In fact, I was asked later in the week by a person who owns a home there about how much ice there was and where we had made our landing.

Exploring Qoornoq

It was absolutely silent as we headed our separate ways to explore this hibernating village, footsteps muffled by the sometimes quite deep snow that covered the ground.

Colourful houses of Qoornoq and a path leading through the settlement - West Greenland
A path leading through the settlement

The bright, colourful houses really stood out against the white landscape

Some of the bright, colourful houses of Qoornoq - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
I love the colourful houses of Greenland

but all were locked up for the winter.

Padlock and decoration on the exterior of one of the houses of Qoornoq - West Greenland

The cemetery was a poignant reminder that there used to be a permanent community here. People who hunted and fished and lived out their lives in this remote place.

The cemetery at Qoornoq and one of its houses set against the mountainous backdrop - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
A white landscape

It was very easy to imagine that they left only yesterday.

Unlike in Assaqutaq near Sisimiut, almost every house in Qoornoq is very well maintained and there are no derelict buildings. I could see solar panels adorning most of the houses

Solar panels on a green house in Qoornoq - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
Most houses had solar panels

and other evidence that this small village comes alive during the summer months.

Kids soccer field in need of repair, but waiting for the Summer months - Qoornoq - West Greenland
I’m sure the nets will be repaired come Summer

It was a strange feeling to be wandering around a well maintained settlement with not another soul in sight. Almost like I’d only just missed the zombie apocalypse!

Houses of Qoornoq settlement with the fjord and mountains in the background - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
It was like a recently abandoned ghost town

Unfortunately, an hour is nowhere near long enough to fully explore Qoornoq and I didn’t manage to get down to the fish processing plant, nor discover the remnants of the abandoned railways that used to transport fish wagons. Clearly I’m going to have to return for another visit, and also spend some time searching for the Norse and ancient Inuit archaeological ruins that are meant to be in the area.

Move cursor over image to see the full panorama

A fishing interlude on the way back to Nuuk

When we returned to our boat, we were all very impressed by Thue’s fishing haul. So we stopped off for 15 minutes on the way back to Nuuk to try our own luck.

Catching cod on a Nuuk Fjord trip - West Greenland
Success! Many times over

Cod fishing in Nuuk Fjord is so ridiculously easy! You simply drop an unbaited line overboard, and within minutes (sometimes seconds) you have a sizable fish! This was my second experience of cod fishing (when I went around Sermitsiaq a few weeks ago we also dropped lines in) and it is crazy how quickly you can catch your dinner!

On the return journey to Nuuk, Thue took us quite close to mountains that towered above us and dropped more than 1000m straight into the Fjord.

Detail in the mountains in Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
I love Greenlandic rock

It is an immense and rugged wilderness surrounding Greenland’s capital city and I can’t wait for my next chance to explore it further.

Explore the Nuuk Fjord by boat

If you are heading to Nuuk as part of your trip to Greenland, make sure that to head out on one of the many fjord tours available. There are actually several small settlements in the Nuuk Fjord (not just Qoornoq), so take your pick of whichever one interests you the most and go exploring.

Temporary dock for Qoornoq with the colourful houses waiting above - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
Final view of Qoornoq

Discover more about Greenland

I have a large number of blog posts about Greenland, so feel free to read more about my experiences here on my blog.

Or, if this post has piqued your curiosity about Greenland in general, learn more about this amazing country by:

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Nuuk Fjord boat tour – around Sermitsiaq

A Nuuk Fjord boat tour is a must-do for every visitor to Greenland’s capital city. Even a relatively short trip of a few hours takes you past incredible mountain scenery and may even provide you with dinner!

There is something really special about being out on the water. I’m not sure what it is, but I am always keen to jump on a boat and set sail – no matter where we may be heading. Which is how I found myself at “Tidevandstrappen” (the Tidewater stairs at Nuuk’s industrial harbour) at 8:45am for a 4 hour Nuuk Fjord boat tour.

Our boat for this Nuuk Fjord Safari waiting at the Tidewater Stairs - Nuuk, West Greenland
Our vessel for this excursion

I would be sharing this trip with a solo traveller from the US and a group of 8 people from Nunavut – Canada’s newest territory. This was a fantastic group and we had a lot fun together on our fjord adventure.

We were welcomed on board by our captain, Katarina, and given a briefing on where we would be sailing by our guide, Sebastian, as we headed out into the fjord past the colourful houses of Nuuk. Some of the hardy folk from Nunavut elected to sit out on the front deck to enjoy the bracing temperature and wind-chill of Greenland, but I stayed in the warm comfort of the cabin for this first part of the trip!

Preparing for the journey with a run through the map and heading out past Nuuk, West Greenland
A rundown of our route for the excursion (top) and on our way past Nuuk (bottom)

The Nuuk Fjord close to the Capital

On this trip, we would be exploring the part of the fjord that is closest to Nuuk. In particular, we would be circumnavigating Sermitsiaq mountain, the icon of Nuuk, which forms its own island very close to the capital.

Sermitsiaq mountain as seen from near Nuuk, West Greenland
Sermitsiaq is an icon of Nuuk

Before we did that, however, Katarina set course for Maaluto island, where Nuuk Fjord’s 5 whales are sometimes seen. Unfortunately, there were no whales on this occasion, but my imagination ran wild with the thought of owning one of the summer houses in this beautiful area. How amazing would that be?!

Summer home in a snowy landscape in the Nuuk Fjord, West Greenland
I would love a place like this!

We also found a small iceberg, and I was fascinated by how excited the folk from Nunavut were to see one. Apparently they have a lot of sea ice there in the winter, but not so much old ice like this that has come from a glacier.

Images of a small iceberg we found as part of the excursion - near Nuuk, West Greenland
Iceberg views never get old

Sermitsiaq Waterfall

The next major stop on our tour of the Nuuk Fjord was the waterfall that cascades over the back of Sermitsiaq. At this time of year (the start of March), it is frozen solid, and forms the most beautiful and colourful “stalactites”.

Sermitsiaq's frozen waterfall near Nuuk, West Greenland
Frozen waterfalls are just as beautiful as flowing ones

We watched in amazement as Katarina nosed the boat into the rocks at the base of the waterfall and Sebastian jumped out (in tennis shoes!) to gather ice from the waterfall for us. Given how much trouble I have just walking around Nuuk on the ice, it was an impressive display of mountain-goating!

Images of Sebastian collecting ice from the base of Sermitsiaq's frozen waterfall - Nuuk, West Greenland
Sebastian doing his best mountain-goat-on-ice impression. It was seriously impressive to watch!

Our reward – ice that doesn’t get much purer than this.

pure ice in a sealskin glove
Pure ice in a sealskin glove

The views around the back side of Sermitsiaq are just as impressive as the view of Sermitsiaq itself

Views of mountains behind Sermitsiaq, near Nuuk, West Greenland
The mountains around Nuuk are spectacular – and not just Sermitsiaq!

and what better way to take some time out and enjoy the scenery than to do a spot of fishing!

Fishing in the Nuuk Fjord

Sebastian and Katarina set us up with a couple of hand-lines, each of which contained 3 large hooks.

Images of fishing and the fishing apparatus used - Nuuk fjord safari - West Greenland
No bait. Just 3 hooks on a line.

And within 30 seconds of dropping these unbaited hooks over the side, we had our first fish!

Person catching a fish on the Nuuk Fjord Safari - West Greenland
Success!

It was incredible how these cod would bite at anything. And so quickly! Such a contrast to going fishing with my Dad in Australia, where we usually sit in a boat for hours to catch absolutely nothing at all. Don’t worry Dad, it is about spending quality time, not really about the fishing for me. But you should definitely come to Greenland to go fishing… 🤣

We pulled up lines about 15 minutes and 7 fish later, and moved a little further along to sit under Oriartorfik – a very impressive 1030m sheer cliff that falls straight into the Nuuk fjord. The fish-finder was going crazy

Fish finder showing lots of fish, on the Nuuk Fjord Safari, West Greenland
Plenty of fish down there!

and again (and unlike in Australia) the fish were biting at nothing. Several of us even managed to pull up 2 fish at a time!

Success!

This was my first experience of using a hand-line. And although it is very easy to spool out the line, it really is a 2-person job to bring it all back in – one to pull on the line itself, and the other to wind the line back onto the rack so it doesn’t end up in a tangled mess on the floor.

Image of two people fishing - Nuuk Fjord Safari, West Greenland
One person to pull the line in. One person to wrap it back around the spool.

We’d caught about 20 fish and were very proud of our seafood haul before we decided to call it quits and head back towards Nuuk. After so much bracing fresh air and excitement, we spent most of this return journey inside the warm cabin, drinking tea and coffee and admiring the views through the large windows.

It was nice and warm inside and we still had great views. The bonus was tea and coffee!

Views of Colourful Nuuk

The entrance to Nuuk harbour is on the opposite side of the city to the main fjord, which means we had a wonderful opportunity to see the Old Colonial Harbour and the colourful houses that contribute to the moniker – “Colourful Nuuk” from the water.

Views of the colourful houses of Nuuk and the Colonial Harbour, Nuuk Fjord Safari -  West Greenland
The colourful houses (top) and the Old Colonial Harbour (bottom) of Nuuk

It was an amazing trip into just a small portion of the world’s second-largest fjord system and the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning 😄

Explore the Nuuk Fjord by boat

If Nuuk is part of your itinerary for Greenland, you have to head out on one of the many fjord tours available. Even a short one such as this is an amazing experience and offers really beautiful views from the water.

Nuuk, the wash of the boat and Sermitsiaq in the background, West Greenland
Until next time Sermitsiaq!

Discover more about Greenland

I have a large number of blog posts about Greenland, so feel free to read more about my experiences here on my blog.

Or, if this post has piqued your curiosity about Greenland in general, learn more about this amazing country by:

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Helicopter Scenic Flight to Sermitsiaq Summit – Nuuk Fjord

Taking a helicopter scenic flight over the Nuuk Fjord is one of the highlights of a visit to Greenland’s capital.  But did you know you can make your flightseeing experience even more awesome by landing near the summit of one of the highest mountains in the area?

I LOVE helicopter scenic flights! With air travel so common these days, there is something exotic about being in a helicopter.  So you can imagine that I jumped at the chance to take a flight over Nuuk and the Nuuk Fjord system when the opportunity arose.  The added bonus – we would actually land near the summit of one of the tall peaks near the capital!

Preparing for take-off

There were 5 of us on this adventure to the high wilderness around Nuuk. Our pilot, Jonas, met us at Nuuk airport and led us out to our waiting aircraft. There he pointed out all the safety features of the aircraft as well as the things not to step on or touch … good to know!

Preparing for take-off on the Nuuk Fjord summit flight to Sermitsiaq Mountain - Greenland
Preparing to take off. Very important to know what you can and cannot touch!

The 5 of us bundled into the small AS 350 Eurocopter without disturbing anything we shouldn’t. It was a bit of a tight squeeze in the back with 4 of us rugged up in heavy duty puffy jackets and ski pants, but we jigsawed ourselves until we were all clipped in and sat back to enjoy the ride.

Pilot and passenger in the front of the helicopter preparing for takeoff on the Nuuk Fjord Summit scenic flight - Greenland
Starting up

Scenic flight to the summit of Sermitsiaq

On the Helicopter Summit Flight the pilot has a choice of two mountains – Kingittorsuaq (one of the “deer antlers”), or Sermitsiaq – Nuuk’s iconic neighbour.  The destination for the day depends on weather conditions, but I have to admit I was really excited to learn that we would be heading for Sermitsiaq.

Sermitsiaq – straight ahead of us

It is a very short flight that had all of us sweeping our heads back and forth trying to take in the spectacular views in every direction.  One of the many great things about a helicopter flightseeing tour is that the windows tend to be larger than in a plane, allowing you to see much more – even if you are in the middle seat like I was.

Views from inside the helicopter as we flew towards Sermitsiaq mountain on our summit scenic flight near Nuuk, Greenland
Views out the different windows of the helicopter as we made our way towards the mountain

After passing by the western edge of the mountain, Jonas started searching for an appropriate place to set the helicopter down.  He decided upon a small, relatively flat area below the summit and used the helicopter itself to ensure our landing spot was secure.

Flying towards the western edge of Sermitsiaq mountain with the blue Nuuk Fjord far below - Greenland
The deep blue of the Nuuk Fjord curving around the base of Sermitsiaq

As we came in the first time, the rotors blew some of the snow out of the way.  He then “landed” using the helicopter skids to compact the snow, and then lifted off and backed up to see exactly what his chosen landing place looked like.  He repeated this three times before he was satisfied and we made the final landing. I have to admit the adrenaline was pumping while all this was going on!

Landing near the summit of Sermitsiaq

What an incredible place!

Helicopter landed near the summit of Sermitsiaq mountain near Nuuk, Greenland
Wilderness helicopter landing with the summit of Sermitsiaq in the background

We only had a short time on the mountain, so Jonas helped us make the most of it by leading the way to the best viewpoints.

Walking towards the edge of the mountain with the helicopter in the foreground - Sermitsiaq Flightseeing near Nuuk, Greenland
Exploring the upper slopes of Sermitsiaq

It was a little challenging making our way through the knee-deep snow

Deep bootprints in the snow on Sermitsiaq mountain on a scenic flight - summit landing near Nuuk, Greenland
We often sank to our knees in the deep snow

but the rewards far outweighed the effort, with panoramic views over the Nuuk Fjord

Panorama of the Nuuk Fjord leading down towards Nuuk on the helicopter summit flight, Greenland

Move image over cursor to see the full panorama

and grand views back towards the helicopter and summit of Sermitsiaq, which reminded us just how small we are in this world.

Red helicopter is dwarfed by the summit of Sermitsiaq mountain near Nuuk, Greenland
An amazing landing spot

It is amazing how quickly 25 minutes passes when you are in such a location, and all too soon it was time to head back to the helicopter for our return to Nuuk.

Returning to the helicopter with Sermitsiaq summit in the background on a flightseeing tour near Nuuk, Greenland
Time to head back

Flying over Nuuk

Rather than heading straight back to the airport, the scenic flight takes you on a full circle around the city so that you can see it from all angles.  It was so interesting to see how spread out Greenland’s capital is, and I loved how the houses added a dash of colour to the blue-grey and white landscape.

Nuuk, the capital city of Greenland, as seen from the air approaching from the west
The entire city of Nuuk

No matter the angle, there is no denying that Nuuk is located in a truly spectacular place.

Nuuk from all angles as we fly past on the summit scenic flight to Sermitsiaq Mountain, Greenland
Different angles of Nuuk city – with Store Malene and
Kingittorsuaq (top) and Sermitsiaq (bottom) in the background

Then, an hour after we took off, Jonas had us lined up along the runway for our approach into Nuuk airport.  He set the helicopter down onto its small wooden towing platform with barely a bump – such is the skill of Air Greenland pilots.

Coming in to land at Nuuk airport from a helicopter scenic flight, summit landing on Sermitsiaq mountain, Greenland
Approaching Nuuk airport

A helicopter scenic flight for the adventurous

This was by far the best scenic flight I’ve ever done anywhere in the world!  

The opportunity to do a wilderness landing high up on a mountainside is a unique experience, and the views from near the top of Sermitsiaq are truly stunning.  There are several flightseeing tours available from Nuuk and in other places in Greenland, but if you are looking for something more than just your typical scenic flight – I highly recommend the Helicopter Summit Flight from Nuuk.  

And just because I love it – here is a 270 degree panorama from the our wilderness landing on Sermitsiaq.

270 degree panorama from the our landing spot on the Nuuk Fjord helicopter summit flight - Greenland

Move image over cursor to see the full panorama

Million thanks to Air Greenland for this incredible flightseeing experience!

Discover more about Greenland

I have a large number of blog posts about Greenland, so feel free to read more about my experiences here on my blog.

Or, if this post has piqued your curiosity about Greenland in general, learn more about this amazing country by:

This post contains some affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Your support is appreciated!
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First day in Nuuk

My travel schedule for 2019 is very much centred on Greenland. Those of you who have chatted to me in the past 18 months know how obsessed I am with the place, so I was very excited to be able to collaborate with Guide to Greenland for this trip.

I actually started blogging for them after my first trip here in 2017 and you should definitely check out that blog for more stories from Greenland from yours truly!

My apartment is up on a hill in the suburb of Qarsaalik – out near the University and the airport.

Looking up at my apartment from the bottom of the snowy hill - Nuuk - Greenland
Looking up at my apartment block from the bottom of the snowy hill

While this might sound like a million miles away from the city centre, given how small Nuuk is (it only has a population of 18,000 people), it means I have about a 3km walk to get to town.

On my first morning, I headed out from home at 7:30am … well before the Sun had risen. Rather than walk down the road (which initially heads in the wrong direction), I followed some locals straight down the steep snowy slope that passes behind the Recycling Centre and ends near a part of Nuuk Harbour.

View down the snowy hill near my apartment block - locals leading the way to the harbour - Nuuk - Greenland
Locals leading the way down to the road that runs along Nuuk Harbour in the pre-dawn light

Fortunately it wasn’t too slippery, and I managed to make it down without falling! Still testing out my snow legs!

I asked Maps.Me to show me the best way to walk into town, and set off following its trail of blue dashes.

Maps.Me screenshot showing the walking route from my apartment into Nuuk
This is apparently the best walking route from my apartment into Nuuk

This led me along a convoluted route between apartment buildings that were absolutely silent in a world muted by snow. I’d never really experienced something like this before, and I was surprised at how much a thick layer of snow changes the soundscape.

Dark images of walking between apartment buildings on my way to work in Nuuk - Greenland
It’s quite dark when I walk in to town at the minute and my trail leads me through blocks of apartment buildings

The centre of Nuuk is relatively flat, and when I visited here 2 years ago I didn’t really venture too far beyond that. However, walking in from the suburbs quickly had me reassessing my view of Nuuk – it is quite a hilly place and there are staircases everywhere!

My route into town led me up and down several staircases, with this 240-stair monster providing an incredible view over the harbour.

View of Nuuk Harbour from the top of one of the many staircases in the city

Move cursor over image to see full panorama

Looking carefully at the end of the straight road heading through the above panorama, you can see the next staircase I was heading towards leading up the snowy bank to a passing bus. This is the last staircase on my walk into town (which is just behind the hill), and there is another amazing view back down over the harbour from the top.

View of ships in Nuuk harbour
View of ships in Nuuk Harbour from the top of the staircase

The offices of Guide to Greenland are very close to the center of town and really lovely inside.

Exterior and interior of the offices at Guide to Greenland - Nuuk
The road leading to the offices of Guide to Greenland (the light blue building to the left) and the Nuuk Center (the tall grey building on the right) of the panorama. The middle and bottom images show the great setup of the offices

My station is the one over in the corner with a vinyl copy of Nanook’s latest album right beside me on the windowsill 👍👍 No, I didn’t put it there. It was there when I arrived 😂

Image of where I'm working from at the Guide to Greenland offices
Eeeeek! A Mac! And I swore I’d never use one again… I do very much like what is keeping me company on the windowsill though!

I had a great day getting my bearings and chatting with everyone, and am really looking forward to my time collaborating with this awesome bunch of people!

Then, about 4pm, it was time for the walk home. Yes, the days are quite short at the minute, and that 240-stair staircase gives you quite a workout when you are heading up it!

Looking up at the 240 stairs on the way home - Nuuk - Greenland
Oh boy! The start of the 240 stairs leading up. It was much easier coming down!

It was quite dark by the time I’d reached the bottom of the snowy slope below my apartment, but I’d forgotten (didn’t think to bring) my headlamp. So time for the phone to guide the way!

Image of phone with flashlight on and my apartment in the background - Nuuk - Greenland
Walking in snow in the dark is challenging. You can’t quite make out the lay of the land … hence flashlight!

It’s always nice to arrive home, as Greenlandic houses are very well heated. You strip off in a “mud room” just inside the door before venturing further into the house.

I love where I’m staying – here’s a nice little tour of the inside.

Living room and kitchen of the apartment
Living, kitchen, walk through the hallway “mudroom” into the bedroom. I also have a small bathroom with washing machine

Yes, it is small – and the kitchen is challenging for someone who loves to cook (even though I have almost everything I need).

But it is perfect for my stay here this time and I love it!

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From Sydney Australia to Nuuk Greenland

Ask any Australian and they’ll soon tell you …

It’s a bloody long way from Australia to pretty much anywhere!

This was once again brought home to me as I awoke 4 hours after taking off from Sydney to find myself still over the continent of Australia. *sigh*

I was flying to Copenhagen on my birthday to start my 2019 adventures. This year they are primarily focused around one country. You might be able to guess which one if you’ve been keeping up with the blog posts and my obsessions, otherwise the home-made board game and birthday gift “Sah’s 40-something Travel Quiz – 2019 Edition” might give you a clue.

2019 version of the Travel Quiz made by my brother and his wife - featuring Greenland
These home-made board games are some of my favourite gifts ever! The last one (for when I left Australia 3 years ago) had a map of Latin America on it … where I would spend most of my time during that year

Toni, Bill – you guys are awesome! I love my board games! Though I think my questions were a little on the hard side this time 🤔 I really loved playing the night before I left, and I have to admit the pizza was bloody good😉

Playing my home made board game with my brother sister in law and niece  while eating home made pizza
Playing the latest edition of my awesome board game! One of the many brilliant things about this game is that the questions are specifically written for each person. Which means a 4 year old has as much chance of winning as a trivia buff!

Copenhagen is one of the two stepping stone options you have to get to Greenland. Previously, I’d always flown from Reykjavik in Iceland, but I’d never been to Denmark and it was a good opportunity to visit the Visit Greenland offices (I’d worked with them on their upcoming “Ultimate Guide to the Arctic Circle Trail” page last year), and catch up with a friend I’d not seen in 18 years!

Images from our visit to the Visit Greenland offices include the amazing building, a polar bear, dog sled and other traditional Greenlandic items
The Visit Greenland offices are in an awesome building that also hosts representatives from Iceland and Faroe Islands. There is a very cool Greenland store and museum there as well.

Well, actually, it turns out we had caught up once in that time, but neither of us had remembered it until I mentioned that I’d been to Geneva once for about 8 hours. It suddenly dawned on me that the only reason I would have done that was to catch up with him! We had both forgotten! Ah … failing memories 😧

I didn’t have a lot of time in Copenhagen, and Enzo and I spent the vast majority of it chatting. But we did manage to make it to the Lego shop (very cool), to watch Russ’ last IMAX Movie “The Story of Earth” at the Tycho Brahe Planetarium, and teach me that Tivoli is much more than just a venue that my favourite band, Nanook, play most years.

image of me at the lego shop and tivoli gardens in copenhagen
Me at the Lego Shop (L) and walking past Tivoli (R). Who knew it was an amusement park and not just a music venue? BTW the snow is fake

48 hours after arriving, I was back at CPH (Copenhagen airport) and boarding Norsaq – Air Greenland’s only jet – for the 5 hour journey to Kangerlussuaq – Greenland’s primary international airport.

First time on Norsaq
Flying towards adventure 
Nanook in my ears.

5 hours to Greenland
The land that captured my heart
And inspires me.

3 months I have there
Living rather than touring
I can hardly wait.

The above is a haiku I wrote during the flight over. I had a window seat and a wonderful view of blue skies and clouds 😀

Views out my window as I fly over Denmark, Norway and Iceland on the way to Greenland
Flying over Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

Which had turned to grey skies and snowy landscapes as we came in to land at Kangerlussuaq. This looked VERY different to when I was here last August to hike the Arctic Circle Trail!

Images of approaching Kangerlussuaq out of the window of the plane
The edge of the Greenland Icesheet (L) and turning into our approach to Kangerlussuaq (R). This latter runs up the (frozen) fjord and the airstrip is on the left-hand-side past where it narrows (you can just see it)

It was -16 degrees C when we landed and the walk from the plane to the terminal was my first taste of walking in icy/slippery conditions. Fortunately I didn’t face plant!

Passengers from Norsaq heading into the Kangerlussaq airport terminal - west Greenland
This is the biggest airport in Greenland. No, there are no aerobridges.

One of the many interesting things about Kangerlussuaq airport is that although it is the primary international airport for Greenland (due to having the best weather and the longest runway), nobody actually stays there. When Norsaq lands, there is a fleet of at least 4 Dash-8 planes waiting to transfer passengers to where they actually want to go in Greenland – in this case Ilulissat, Sisimiut, Narsarsuaq and Nuuk, my final destination for this trip.

Looking out the window of Kangerlussuaq airport. Note the several Dash-8 planes waiting (one had already taken off). Yes, the announcement is in Greenlandic, but there was an English version that followed.

Less than 2 hours later, Norsaq took off again in the direction of Copenhagen, I’d taken a picture of Kangerlussuaq’s famous sign, and I had boarded my own Dash 8 to head to Nuuk.

Kangerlussuaq Airports famous sign with distances to destinations - West Greenland
I’m pretty sure that most signs like this in the world don’t have the distance to the North Pole so close

Despite having mostly lost my voice, I spent the entire flight chatting with the person beside me. This was my second trip to Nuuk, and when it came into view 40 minutes later, I was reminded about how stunning the surrounding landscape is!

View of Nuuk as the plane flys over ready to circle back and land - Greenland
Nuuk from the air. It is surrounded by a fjord and stunning mountains

I am actually collaborating with Guide to Greenland on this trip, so Mads and Lasse met me at the airport and transported me to the small apartment that I would use while in Nuuk. It is plenty big enough for one person, has a great view, and is nice and warm. Perfect for me 😀

Panorama from the balcony of my small apartment in Nuuk - West Greenland

Move cursor over the image to see the full panorama

I’m soooooooo excited about my time here!

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