Dana Mladin

GREENLAND – flight over the glacier

Reading Time: 8 minutes

I did not want to lose anything that Greenland offers, to be more precise Ilulissat, where I am.

So I said “yes” in an instant when they asked me if I wanted to go on a helicopter flight over the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier – the most productive glacier in the Northern Hemisphere! As I was saying in a different post, this glacier is the fastest in the world: during the last years, it has advanced 40 meters every day!!!

HELICOPTER TOUR

At 10 o’clock I go to the Tourism Center, from where we, the people who wanted this tour, are taken to the airport. “The people” are ten people. From all countries. I know some of them already from previous trips…

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There are no planes on the runway, just our helicopter. A large, beautiful, red one… Dear, oh dear!J

The guide tells us what type of a helicopter it is. All I heard was that “it was used in Vietnam” and that “now it functions perfectly well”, and then I decide I don’t want to hear anything else hihi.

The helicopter has 12 places. We are ten tourists, so we are scattered everywhere. Some take the main door, others – like myself – on small lateral doors. I can say that I have a seat in the lateral lodge…

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The difference from the passengers who went into the main compartment of the helicopter and who are facing the direction of flying or they are with their backs turned to it, I, from my lodge, see everything from the lateral side. I cannot move too much, as the space here is small and I share it with an Asian lady, but I try to make a selfie. Not a very good one J.

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Underneath, we see a dream image. An impressive reality!

The two pilots show us the glacier, huge, beautiful, that stretches immediately after the mountain we are flying over now.

With all the ice we have here, some whiskey would be good too. A few trucks of whiskey J)).

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After half an hour of flying, we land on the peak of the mountain.

We get off the helicopter and the pilots start checking it.

We, the ten tourists, go all over the place, to see it and take some pictures. The glacier is very close, but the area where we can walk is limited, as we were told after landing. For our safety, of course!

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A few hundred meters away from us, there is a station that permanently records the moving of the glacier.

The two pilots show me some areas where the “landscape” is no longer as they knew it from the previous day or two! They are amazed at some of the changes generated by the movement of the huge ice pieces.

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I ask the pilot to take a photo of me. However, I find it impossible to keep my eyes open in this white décor, where light is very strong! I am always prepared for anything, but right now I have forgotten my sunglasses (I have put them in my luggage, as immediately after this tour, I go to Iceland).

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The copilot pities me and… he gives me his sunglasses! Not as a present, but just for one photo J)). And long enough for me to be able to see the landscape around.

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With all the silence around, we can hear the cracks of the ice blocks! It is a strange sound!!! “Like thunders”, the pilot tells me. It sounds just like that, just like a thunderstorm. I cannot describe the sensation. I think I’d die from fear if I were here alone…

We walk around this mountain for half an hour, we take pictures, we get as close as possible to the glacier.

The pilot and the copilot show us a piece of blue ice and they tell us that this blue ice is a “fresh” one. When they come into contact with the oxygen, they become white, like all this white ice land…

That’s it, the half hour of wandering around is over, so we get into the helicopter, to get back into the town.

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This time, we change places – this is the rule. Because when we came here I had the lateral lodge, now I sit in front, with my back to the pilots. I make a selfie with the two, without them knowing… Then I prepare my camera, my phone and the gopro and… Go, Planet!

They tell us that the way back is over the glacier and, for the greatest part of the flight, we wonder like kids looking at the ice landscape. “Frozen” is nothing by comparison…

The pilots talk to each other, noticing changes in the “picture” by comparison to the previous days.

A few times I had the impression we were not high enough to fly over the blocks of ice that look like peaks. I panic… What can I do, I am easily scared…

Then we see water. This is a sign that we are getting close to Ilulissat. I see the town getting closer and larger… I even record the landing. What a courage for someone who is afraid to fly hihi.

I cannot make a top of the experiences I had here. Each has its charm!

You can read about the dog sledding adventure here.

The night tour to see the spectacular Northern Lights, here.

The tour in a the boat among the icebers is here.

The 5 hour hiking, here.

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