Greenland – Artic Wilderness
People who love winter should be pleased by the following article. This time we take you to world’s largest island. And it name is bit paradoxical. However, in the native language of Greenland it is called Kalaallit Nunaat meanin the land of people.
But first things first. The best way to reach Greenland from Slovakia or the Czech Republic is buy buying a trip at some travel agency that would settle for you the accommodation and the flight itself. Usually there is one transfer in London and a stopover on Iceland. Then you just sit back and watch the screen in the plane and look outside form the window.
It is breathtaking when you see the mountain ridges for the first time as they rise up from the ocean. And huge icebergs or snow fields are no less impressive. Upon landing in Greenland, you ride through Eskimo villages, and you enjoy the vistas of Artic wilderness and marvelous fjords from boat. You also visit inhabited towns, islands where stand houses in typical Nordic architecture. Or you can ride dogs sleigh across white wasteland. Good weather means blossoming nature and realization why the word “green” stands in its name. You can also visit Þingvellir National Park(Thingvellir) on Iceland which is the point where American and European tectonic plates are coming apart. Interesting fact about this place is that there was also the oldest parliament in the world – Althing. Do not miss grandiose geysers or natural pools.
The best time for the visit is during the warmest months in the year – May till August in case of Greenland. During this period the temperature can raise north of 20 degrees Celsius. As Grenland is Danish autonomous region, you can speak there Danish but English as well. The Greenlandic language also exists and it developed form the Inuit languages. The capital of Greenland is Nuuk with the population of 17000 (the total population is 56000). The National Museum, one of the most popular attractions, is situated in the capital. Also, there is the Greenland Univesity. Nuuk is the very first place where the Vikings, the ancestors of the Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes, built settlements. The traces of Viking settlements are still to be found today. Disko Bay near Ilulissat town is one of the most popular destinations and it belongs under the UNESCO protection. There are also ice fjords and whales are often to be seen.
Your taste buds also would enjoy Greenland. Sea Lion’s meat is considered to be local specialty. Interesting fact about this island is that its inhabitants are citizens of the European Union however Greenland is not part of it. The island is divided into four districts. The military base Thule is also on the island and it belongs to the United States of America. Only 15% of land is iceless. The rest is covered with, sometimes 3-kilometres-thick, ice. Not even Greenland has been spared of global warming which results in frequent break off of large chunks of ice. Estimations say that had all ice on Greenland melted, water surface would rise by 7 meters.
There is world’s larges national park which is home to polar bear – the largest land carnivore. Country’s economic potential has not been exploited much (oil, natural gas) even though large mineral sources deposits are located there. Fishing is the “engine” of local economy.
Ice age still rules over Greenland. Yet nature is beautiful there anyway. The way of life of the locals is also interesting. Thanks to the visa-free regime you can see it as well. In case you like winter and change than the island is the place to be.
GPS: (Nuuk) 64°11'20.9"N 51°41'01.7"W
Text: Oskár Mažgút
Photos: Peter Barna
The capital of Denmark truly amazed me. Nordic history, interesting architecture everywhere, lots of greenery, bicyclists, cool people, great food and coffee. It is one of those cities which should serve as an example. Danes are the most happy nation in the world. In Copenhagen, I realized why it is so.
Flowers, blossoming trees, benches, small lanterns, puffy bears, and birds singing. People walk slowly along gravel paths. You can see children, grandpas, grandmas – it doesn’t matter. All are enjoying this calm place. Were there not tombs with Danish names I wouldn’t even notice that I am at a large cemetery. It rather seems the tombs were placed there accidentally.
We moved to the rhyolite hill on the opposite side. It is what remained of Leirhnjúkur crater. The land is really strange yet beautiful.
I get up at 6 already. Yesterday I forget to charge my equipment so I have to do it now. More of us had the same idea. I still ponder whether to participate in hike or not. Eventually together with drivers and other great group that we will have a rest day today.
"Working" with the elves worked out pretty well. We have a nice sunny day, although it is bit cold. Skútustaðir is one of the few towns at Mývatn lake. Our goal is a walk near pseudocraters. Local name for these strange hills, about twenty of them, is skútustaðagígar.
The night was quiet. It doesn’t rain in the morning so we have a quick breakfast, pack our tents, and set off to the Kotagil gorge after 8 a.m.
Today, not really pleasant weather starts today. It is raining cats and dogs here. One cannot see in this dense rain, so our plans from the previous day are hard to realize. The departure is postponed. Yet we still are going to get on the top of the highest waterfall on Iceland.
Last week we left crooked road of Trollstigen and set off to the unknown. Why the unknown? Perhaps because until today we have not come into conclusion where did we landed with our ferry. What is important that we had the first truly touristy day.
Upon our visit of unique Borgund Stave Church we got on the European route 16 (E16). It took us to the second largest city in Norway Bergen. There we spent a night and the following day.
Upon our visit to Bergen we moved to the capital of the kingdom of Norway, Oslo. As the day was long and difficult, we rather went straight into bed than taking a stroll in the evening city. Yet we intended to explore the city first thing in the morning.
Last time, we visited Norway’s third largest city – Trondheim. Today, we move to Dombas and then we follow a Troll road known as Trollstigen.
Ice archipelago, which lies midway between Scandinavia and the North Pole, there is hiding places perhaps more remarkable than it might seem. Mineral resources and unique geomorphological composition of local rocks and rugged landscape here attracted number of expeditions, adventurers, and in recent decades as well as tourists. Today we will look there as well.
Scandinavia is an annual destination for many travellers, who like rugged landscape, untouched landscape and water with an abundance of fish. Our journey, however, will gradually lead to the Far North, at the very edge of Europe, which already lies behind the Arctic Circle.
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