Qaqortoq, Greenland

2018 HAL Voyage of the Vikings

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Qaqortoq is South Greenland’s most populous town and it may be “one of the most charming and attractive towns in all of Greenland!”  So said “What’s in Port.com.”  We found many things to be quite charming:  the carved artwork in the stone cliffs along with the sculptures all around town; the pastel-colored buildings; sealskin gloves; the many hand-crafted wares in the souvenir shops.  We shopped the supermarket and the local version of Ace Hardware.  We walked the Tundra.

The colorful colonial buildings date back to 1775 when the town was founded.  The church was built in 1832.  Currently, there is a cultural project underway: “Stone and Man” consisting of 30 different motifs that are chiseled into the rocks and stones of the cliffs.  They follow the path up the hill.  Atop one of the cliffs is the Qaqortoq Hotel where we had a very tasty lunch accompanied by the local brew (Jack’s Ale).

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Downtown Qaqortok as seen from the ship. Don’t you just love those colorful buildings! Greenland is mostly brown, craggy and treeless. The joyful paint provides a touch of whimsy and brings a smile to your face!
The MS Rotterdam anchored in Qaqortoq.  We tendered into port.
The MS Rotterdam anchored in Qaqortoq. We tendered into port.
The Qaqortoq wlecome center and gift shop.
The Qaqortoq welcome center and gift shop.
Looking at the tender dock and the MS Rotterdam in the bckground.
Looking at the tender dock and the MS Rotterdam in the background.
Qaqortok tender landing area.
Qaqortok tender landing area.
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“Stone & Man” Outdoor Gallery. This art project takes the viewer all around town to not only enjoy the artwork of Nordic craftsmen and artists, but to see and explore the town itself.
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Stone & Man: this project was conceived and initiated by Aka Hoegh, a leading Greenland artist in 1993. By 1994, 18 Nordic artists had carved 30+ sculptures throughout the town.
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This charming cottage with the bell at the roof line may have been the grade school. The bell above the front door is the giveaway!
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This is Town Square. And that fountain was installed in 1925. It is the oldest fountain in Greenland.
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That brown-roofed building behind the fountain is a market selling everything from fresh donuts and coffee to frozen appetizers along with rifles and ammunition and knitting supplies.
The fish maket is across the street and across the stream from the fountain.
The fish maket is across the street and across the stream from the fountain.
The Qaqortoq Cultural Museum.
The Qaqortoq Cultural Museum.
Frelserens Kirke built in 1832.
Frelserens Kirke built in 1832.
Walking along the tundra.
Walking along the tundra.
And a stream runs through it!
And a stream runs through it!
A view of the town as we walk back towards the ship.
A view of the town as we walk back towards the ship.
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The people on the far left are lining up to board the tender back to the ship. The large blue building above is the Qaqortoq Hotel with a Cafe, Steak House and Bar.
Qaqortoq Hotel
Qaqortoq Hotel
Nice little eaing and drinking areas in the hotel.
Nice little eating and drinking areas in the hotel.
The local brew.
The local brew.
Having the end of day libation.
Having the end of day libation.
MS Rotterdam preparing to depart Qaqortoq, Greenland
MS Rotterdam preparing to depart Qaqortoq, Greenland

 

I’m not going to say much about the Viking presence in Greenland until later in the cruise.  The narrative flows better from Scandinavia to North America because that follows the timeline of the Viking age.  We will follow the Viking progression when we leave Rotterdam and begin the homeward journey.

And now, we’re headed to Reykjavik, Iceland.

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