The spectacle of the ice blocks on water is fascinating, especially since the “picture” changes from one day to another!
I am on the west coast of Greenland, in one of the most beautiful and, hence, one of the most popular destinations in Greenland: Ilulissat.
End of March and 15 degrees below zero (10 below, on the warmest days).
I have paid for a two and a half hour trip among the icebergs. I cannot wait!
BOAT TOUR ILULISSAT ICEFJORD
All the people who have chosen this trip are taken to the port, where we are all waiting to embark. I start analyzing all the boats around. Most of them hibernate…
I look quite the same, dressed like this:
Although I have come to Greenland with enough warm clothes for the most terrible weather possible, I have decided, last moment, to rent a seal skin costume from the town. You can choose to rent only the trousers or just the coat. And you can also rent boots that protect you at extreme temperatures. For today, I have decided to rent them all, so I am all dressed up from head to toe!
What I remember from sailing on some world’s waters is the feeling of draught, of cold that got to my bones. So, even if it is a sunny day, I prefer the “safe mode”… I even have different types of caps and gloves in my backpack. Mine, from home. Since I don’t have to carry them around, I thought I should bring them all J)).
The other people on the boat look at me in a strange way. Some did not know about the rented clothes. I have only found out yesterday about this too. Others knew, but they think their clothes are enough.
This is it, we are leaving. We are just a few people, but the boat could not accommodate more of us.
We are all on deck taking pictures like crazy. Anyway “inside”, the space is very small: just a cabin in which, at the time of the departure, there was just a man driving the boat.
We start along the coast, and we try to recognize some of the buildings of the small town and after that we sail away from the coast slaloming among the icebergs.
We are like a sorry, poor Titanic, but, at least, we avoid the iceberg…
The ice blocks are larger and larger on our path. We keep away from them because you never know when one may turn upside down because of the changing of its center of gravity and they say this is extremely dangerous (there are some people who have managed to film such turnings upside down of icebergs).
We are getting close to a huge ice wall. My face is iced too… The sun has disappeared behind the clouds and we can already feel the cold, the draught. I start taking out of the backpack the caps and the gloves.
I am all right in the seal costume, but any uncovered part of the body freezes instantly. I am lucky I don’t have a runny nose, or I would develop some sort of stalactites just like in Pestera Muierii (Woman’s Cave) J)).
Looking at “models” the nature cuts in these huge chunks of ice, I think it would be interesting to have a contest of iceberg sculptures here…
It is colder and colder, but it is nice! Unreal beauty!!! On deck there are just four other people left apart from me. Two Englishmen and a couple from the Philippines. All the others gave up and went into the cabin to warm up and drink some hot tea.
One of the Englishmen writes down something in a notebook. He has been doing this ever since we left. He looks around and writes down, then looks around again and once more he writes down things… And he keeps rubbing his fingers, not to freeze. I have no idea how on Earth that pen can still write.
I go on taking pictures and filming and I remember what the local people said: every day pieces of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier – the most productive glacier in the Northern Hemisphere – break off and they come towards the Disko Bay.
This glacier is the quickest in the world! During the last years, it has moved 40 meters every 24 hours!
It has started snowing. It snows heavily! The other four people on deck have given up because of the cold and they have gone inside. I stay out without any problems. I just go in for one moment to put on a hood under the cap, as I can feel my brain is freezing. My God, it is crowded here. I cannot see the man who drives the boat.
When I go out on the deck again, I hope to hear behind me a wave of admiration and envy from the rest of the tourists, for me being clever and choosing the seal clothes for this tour. I don’t hear anything… Well, I am sure I do not hear because of the sea and of the engine of the boat. Otherwise, I am convinced I already have a fan club! J))
As I am the only one outside, I cannot lose the opportunity to make one thousand selfies, as there’s no one in my way. I could say that I have rented the whole boat just for myself…
A modest, fisherman’s boat, passes by. The seagulls fly around trying to get their hands… well, their beaks on some fish.
I think that what these people caught now, we will be able to eat later, in some restaurant. “Catch of the day” – is an expression used a lot in the menus of the restaurants from here and from Iceland.
It is snowing so heavily that I can hardly take photos. Three seagulls sit on a block of ice, shriveling, some sort of “Keep Calm and F…k the Snow”.
On our way, an ice mountain leaves us asking ourselves: Who on Earth put that ball of ice on top?…
The truth is that it kind of looks like the cherry on the cake.
We go back to the port. I see the hotel I stay in and I try to identify my window, just to see if the cleaning lady cleaned my room J).
Soon after we go back, the sky clears and we can see a very beautiful sunset over Ilulissat.
I take off the seal and I walk around the town to see what animal I can eat for dinner… (Soon, about what you can eat around here)
I am happy as a child about the experiences I had up to now!
You can read here about the dog sledding adventure.
And about the night tour to see the spectacular Northern Lights, here.
I am getting ready for the next adventures…