29 April, 2015

Dogsledding in Greenland

Dog sledding in Greenland is the most traditional way of transportation during winters. We were transported from the tiny airport to our hotel in a helicopter. Arctic temperatures and several meters of snow are no match for the natural impressions and cultural twist that will warm your soul while dog sledding in Greenland. There’s something about experiencing Greenland’s majestic landscapes from the perspective of a dog sled. Maybe it is the slower pace that gives plenty of time to take in all the impressions or maybe it is the combination of sled dogs panting plus the rhythmic beat of their large paws, a sound that is suddenly magnified against a backdrop of pure silence.
Enjoying this fascinating experience of man and dog working together in nature does necessitate a small tolerance for chilly temperatures, but Arctic fanatics are not the only ones that can take pleasure in dog sledding. Dog sledding is, no doubt, a classic way to experience Arctic nature, but what the unsuspecting visitor does not know, and what is unique about dog sledding in Greenland, is that a heavy dose of Inuit culture comes along for the ride. Dog sledding helps tell the story of how Greenlanders adapt to the robust environment that surrounds them. Contrary to other Arctic locations, dog sledding in Greenland is a way of life, by choice if not by necessity. Living in and off of the nature is central to Greenlandic identity, and therefore when you are close to the nature, you are also close to the Greenlandic culture.
Our concern was that we did not want to participate in anything that was cruelty to animals. Our doubts were put to rest when we saw the owner/driver playing with his dogs. You can see that in pictures where the dogs leap on him and plays with him. Also a pup was given to me to hold and take care of. The mother had her watchful eyes on me. She even came and petted her pup. 
The energy level and endurance of sled dogs is unmatched, and it seems the command ‘Go’ is completely unnecessary as they are constantly in ‘Go’ mode!

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