“The settlement of Greenland was probably a result of population pressure in Iceland. Greenland was discovered accidently by a storm-driven seafarer around 930, but its hostile, ice-bound appearance excited little interest until Eric the Red, a man with many enemies, rounded Cape Farewell some time around 983, looking for a safe place to spend his exile from Iceland, and discovered the ice-free eastern fjords. By this time, all the good land in Iceland had long been settled. Many latecomers, like Erik himself, were living on marginal land, so there was no shortage of potential settlers willing to emigrate to Greenland.” The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings, by John Haywood (Penguin Books 1995.) And so, they came. But the town itself did not garner prominence until 1797 when a permanent trading depot was set up.
In Greenland, there are no roads connecting the towns. All transport is by plane or boat. Also, a tourist will never understand the Greenlandic language. It is called Kalaallisut, which literally means, the Greenlanders language, and it is not spoken anywhere else! Such was the case for me as I listened to a local making a purchase in the supermarket—not a word did I understand. But, fortunately, the Greenlanders are pretty conversant with English.
This is a pretty small community, so there aren’t too many photos. But I hope you’ll get a feel for what its like to live in this northern clime!
And now, we are sailing back to North America. Our next port is St. Anthony, Newfoundland where we will take an excursion to L’Anse aux Meadows—the only confirmed Viking settlement on the North American continent.