03 May, 2015

Greenland travel diaries


How many places in the world are you aware of where the first step, after getting your bags off the baggage carousel and passing the tax free shop in an international airport, is a transfer on foot or with an all-terrain vehicle on a gravel road with a view to ice-filled fiords?
The towns on the east coast are much smaller, and the nature and landscape is dominating and exciting.

It is not enough that Kulusuk airport is on a mountainous island surrounded by ice-filled waters in the least populated part of the country. The airport town is not a roaring metropolis, but just a small settlement with a population of 250 people, for whom income gained from hunting and fishing is as important as any income from the airport. 
But this is probably why you decided to come here in the first place. You are searching for a Greenlandic adventure experience, wanting to meet the local population in a small community with ample room for differences.
There is grocery store in the settlement with a regular supply of food and household items in the summer time. During the winter months supplies dwindle as the frozen pack ice blocks any shipping of goods to East Greenland by boat


Kulususk is the gateway to East Greenland, and the opportunities for adventures on and around the island cover everything from cultural encounters to extreme expeditions in summer as well as in winter.
Kulusuk is both an airport with connections to Tasiilaq, Nuuk and Reykjavik as well as a settlement with a population of 250 residents on Kulusuk island

Kulusuk feels unspoiled by time. When you walk to the town, you almost feel like you could be at any point in time – even 500 years back in history

Tasiilaq, the largest town on the east coast, is only ten minutes by air from Kulusuk with an Air Greenland helicopter, or an hour by boat, if the weather conditions are optimal. You will discover that the two places together make for a strong destination with many tour possibilities throughout the year.

 Air Iceland flies to Kulusuk airport every day throughout the summer from Reykjavík, whilst Air Greenland offers an air service via Nuuk every Wednesday and Saturday. From Kulusuk it takes 10 minutes to fly the 23 kilometres (14 miles) by helicopter (Air Greenland) to the main town of Tasiilaq, which is situated on the island of Ammassalik.

I Tasiilaq, we stayed in hotel Angmagssalik, which is the only hotel there. The owner is a local there. We reached the hotel by a helicopter straight from Kulusuk airport. Then we were picked up by the hotel jeep. The owner started this hotel with one room and kept adding rooms. All our meals were included in our package as there are no restaurants outside. You do not get much vegetarian choice there. We lived on breads, pasta, etc. There are two grocery shops in town, which would be smaller than my nearby grocery shop in Delhi. You can go for a walk (you need to have proper snow boots and overalls or you can go for dog sledding
Tasiilaq, formerly Ammassalik and Angmagssalik, is a town in the Sermersooq municipality in southeastern Greenland. With 2,017 inhabitants as of 2013, it is the most populous community on the eastern coast, and the seventh-largest town in Greenland. We were told that in 2015 the population was 3000. 
The town had 2 kindergartens and third one was being made. It also had a dispensary, police station etc.
Many people did not own the houses but lived in rented ones. But if they failed to pay the rent, they could not be kicked out of the house because of the severe weather conditions, in which they would die. Hunting and fishing was the main occupation.
Below I am posting pictures of the hotel- inside and outside. The internet or mobile is very very expensive in Greenland. We were without any connectivity for two days. 

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