Nanortalik, Greenland

2018 HAL Voyage of the Vikings

Saturday, August 18, 2018

 

“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!

We are anchored in a very pretty spot.
We are anchored in a very pretty spot.
There are icebergs floating by.
There are icebergs floating by.
This one is hung up on a spit of land.
This one is hung up on a spit of land.
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Nanortalik means “place of polar bears” because the polar bears occassionally come to town. I wonder if they ever float in by means of an iceberg!
The tenders are swiftly depoyed.
The tenders are swiftly depoyed.
It's a short ride to the tender dock.
It’s a short ride to the tender dock.
The colorful buildings are attractive.
The colorful buildings are attractive.
The buildings were simply positioned in and around the rocks!
The buildings were simply positioned in and around the rocks!
The Nanortalik Kirke was built 1n 1916.
The Nanortalik Kirke was built 1n 1916.
That red building is a supermarket and general store.
That red building is a supermarket and general store.
The food and general supplies are all jumbled together!
The food and general supplies are all jumbled together!
The pastries look pretty good.
The pastries look pretty good.
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Those rifles are undoubtedly for the Polar Bears! Note the breadmaker filling his shelves on the left!
TVs and furniture are available.
TVs and furniture are available.
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The houses are cleverly built between the boulders and they are all painted cheerful colors!
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Walking to the Hotel Kap Farval, we noted that a repainting project was underway. How difficult it must be to try painting outdoors while contending with freezing temperatures!
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Inside the Hotel Kap Farval all was warm and cozy. The restaurant was closed at this time, but they graciously allowed us to have a drink! We had the whole place to ourselves!
There were 3 beer choices at this hotel--all 3 from Denmark.
There were 3 beer choices at this hotel–all 3 from Denmark.
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So, we enjoyed our port libation at the Hotel Kap Farval before heading back to the ship.
We saw this in the driveway.  Do you suppose it's the Courtesy Shuttle?
We saw this in the driveway. Do you suppose it’s the Courtesy Shuttle?
As we strolled back to the tender dock, we spotted this quaint little old boat.
As we strolled back to the tender dock, we spotted this quaint little old boat.
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We also saw an older gentleman walking his dog–just like many retirees we’ve seen! We’ve spotted folks doing this with their golf carts!!!!
And quickly, we are back to the tender dock for the return trip to the ship.
And quickly, we are back to the tender dock for the return trip to the ship.
And we will soon say a fond farewell to Nanortalik.
And we will soon say a fond farewell to Nanortalik.

 

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.

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