It was an unforgettable adventure to experience Greenland and its iceberg wonders first hand. The hike, which was in late July, was relatively easy and the weather treated us kindly with sunny skies and calm winds. We experienced unspoiled nature like we had never seen before in a company of arctic wildlife and good friends. This was the Icefjord trek.
The flight departed from Reykjavik’s domestic airport and the flight to Kulusuk, where we were headed, took about 1 hour and 30 minutes. The approach to Greenland is quite a sight. First, you notice the drift ice on the ocean, and then the majestic mountains rise from the sea. Kulusuk airport was built in 1956 as a part of the US defense system, but the US left its post in 1991. The airport building itself is small but friendly and going through customs was a breeze.
On a beautiful day in early August, we were on our way to Greenland from Reykjavik Iceland. Greenland is Iceland’s closest neighbor and some say you can even see a distant glimpse of East Greenland on a clear day from the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland. To visit Greeland had been a dream for many years and finally, the dream was about to come true.
Kulusuk is a small town with houses in various colors. Our accommodation before our camping trip was in one of those houses.
Next morning, the sun shining bright, we headed to the small harbor where a boat waited for us. With all backpacks on board and supplies for the next few days, we headed out to the Ammassalik fjord. With clear skies and almost no wind, you could almost “smell” and “touch” the silence. When we headed out to the ocean the colors also became clearer where hues of blue and white played together.
We took land on a beautiful rocky shore which was no problem at all with our skilled skipper and mild seas. For the next 4 days, we camped and enjoyed being totally in the middle of nowhere leaving all of our troubles behind. The hikes we did were stunning with amazing peaks all around. The afternoons were spent preparing dinner in our kitchen tent and discussing the day’s adventures and what lay ahead.
When this island adventure came to an end the boat came back to pick us up and moved us to a new location. The plan was to sail further in the Ammasalik fjord, camp there for one night, and hike the next day over to the dignified Sermilik fjord. To take land was again a breeze and the campsite by a small lake was breathtaking. After a good night’s sleep, we woke up early and headed in a westerly direction towards Sermilik fjord. Being from Iceland the vegetation of birch, brushes and moss reminded us of our home country as well as the birdlife where Plover, Rock Ptarmigan, and Snow bunting are prominent.
To see the Sermilik fjord with its abundance of icebergs in the afternoon that day was probably the greatest experience we enjoyed the whole trip. After the camp had been set up we enjoyed dinner under clear skies and watched the huge ice icebergs linger on the ocean. Occasionally they broke apart with loud thuds that could be heard from afar. At the same time, a lone Raven came and gave us a visit, his call sounding bright in the stillness of the evening.
It’s unreal to wake up in a surrounding like this and have early morning coffee in the company of icebergs, no interruption at all except an occasional small bird – if you call that an interruption. After these precious moments, our hike continued along the Sermilik fjord where stranded icebergs and beautiful landscape mesmerized us. At one point we even tried to catch fish but had no luck. Maybe we just lacked the right bait.
Our hike was now coming to an end. We headed back East towards Ammasalik fjord where a boat picked us up and brought us back to Kulusuk. In Kulusuk we enjoyed a really nice end of the trip dinner and flew back to Iceland the next day. But before the flight, we had a walk around town and visited a small but highly interesting privately owned museum of the Kulusuk and Ammassalik area as well the local Church which was built in 1908 from the ruins of a stranded ship. It is one of the most unusual churches I have visited and is a must-see in Kulusuk.
A dream had come true. We were back home with wonderful memories of Greenland with its icebergs, clear skies, ocean, majestic mountains, and friendly people.