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galeforce9

Route of the Vikings Live on Board

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Beautiful iceberg shots thanks Chairsin. I’ve enjoyed reading about the Greenland ports on this cruise that I’ve yet to visit and dreaming that maybe next year I’ll be there!

 

What were your port times in Nuuk approximately please? Did you book the private tour before arrival?

 

I’m glad you’ve managed to get out and go hiking. It’s nice to get away from it all and enjoy the silence or the sounds of nature.

 

The weather looks like it’s improving for you as well.

 

Have you bought any local craftwork?

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My abiding memory of Nuuk and all the other towns in Greenland was the utter desolation, the wind-blasted faces and grimness of the people and, above all, the extraordinary Soviet-style blocks most people seemed to live in. Greenland was quite a shock. (And they voted to leave the EU.)

 

36344365764_6225d3cfb9_z.jpgGreenland by UltraPanavision, on Flickr

Edited by Fletcher

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Gale force

We were in Nuuk from about 8 until shortly after 11 PM ( this was fortunate because it enabled us to comfortably have dinner out at the Patio grill.) Our private tour was arranged in advance with Nuuk Water Taxis.

 

Hiking in Greenland often means your on walking less on a path and more between two locations over boulders, boggy land or occasionally cleared firm dirt. The lake hike we did was the exception wherein it was more of a true trail.

 

Weather has been glorious since we started up the west coast. Days warm up enough that once we get walking we start peeling off the layers. Most days party sunny to sunny and calm seas.

 

One thing I keep forgetting to mention is the bugs. Certainly it was not something I ever read about in connection with Greenland in my research. I didn’t even think to bring my Head net. Fortunately in our first port of call they had some for sale in a shop and we bought them. It looks like they are a type of mosquito. But biting doesn’t seem to be so much an issue as they swarm around your head. Funny to watch passengers walking around town waving away the bugs. They are not present in all spots and if you keep moving or there is a breeze they are less of an issue. But if you have a net by all means bring it. They ship does have bug spray for passenger use but I have not found it very effective.

 

As to crafts I’m afraid I’m not much of a shopper though I have occasionally taken s look at what the local worm have made and offer for sale. Yesterday I did purchase a pair of polar bear earrings.

 

Fletcher I’m afraid I done see Greenland as you do. Yes it is clearly a hard life but frankly this is the life these people know. And for the most part the people we have met have been all smiles and helpful. As everywhere the children are running around playing and laughing. Would I want to live here - no. But I have not found the place depressing at all.

 

 

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Gale force

We were in Nuuk from about 8 until shortly after 11 PM ( this was fortunate because it enabled us to comfortably have dinner out at the Patio grill.) Our private tour was arranged in advance with Nuuk Water Taxis.

 

Hiking in Greenland often means your on walking less on a path and more between two locations over boulders, boggy land or occasionally cleared firm dirt. The lake hike we did was the exception wherein it was more of a true trail.

 

Weather has been glorious since we started up the west coast. Days warm up enough that once we get walking we start peeling off the layers. Most days party sunny to sunny and calm seas.

 

One thing I keep forgetting to mention is the bugs. Certainly it was not something I ever read about in connection with Greenland in my research. I didn’t even think to bring my Head net. Fortunately in our first port of call they had some for sale in a shop and we bought them. It looks like they are a type of mosquito. But biting doesn’t seem to be so much an issue as they swarm around your head. Funny to watch passengers walking around town waving away the bugs. They are not present in all spots and if you keep moving or there is a breeze they are less of an issue. But if you have a net by all means bring it. They ship does have bug spray for passenger use but I have not found it very effective.

 

As to crafts I’m afraid I’m not much of a shopper though I have occasionally taken s look at what the local worm have made and offer for sale. Yesterday I did purchase a pair of polar bear earrings.

 

Fletcher I’m afraid I done see Greenland as you do. Yes it is clearly a hard life but frankly this is the life these people know. And for the most part the people we have met have been all smiles and helpful. As everywhere the children are running around playing and laughing. Would I want to live here - no. But I have not found the place depressing at all.

 

 

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Thank you, have loved reading your posts and pictures.

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After 6 ports in row it was nice to have a sea day yesterday to catch our breath and organize my photos.

 

Our third Greenland port was Maniitsoq - also referred to as the Venice of Greenland because it is a series of small islands connected by bridges. While the bridges were more “functional” than decorative on the plus side at least throngs of tourists you encounter on the Rialto Bridge were absent. cdea1b92bd856ec47d8aeeaffbe1da59.jpg

2f518462bf62bbb17723dc5d510049b4.jpg

What made Maniitsoq extra special for those of us lucky enough to stumble onto it was the first day of school ceremony.. To celebrate this event the young ones who are starting school for the first time all dress up - many in the traditional costume colorful ensemble for girls and white anoraks for boys. There was quite a festive atmosphere as the entire families turned out to escort the children. We had been told by our lecturer on Greenland that we should request permission before taking photographs of any of the local people and I did not feel comfortable approaching anyone in the school courtyard.. But later in the day when I was at a viewpoint looking out over the water we were joined by a mother, older son and little girl in costume. They had come up to where a whale jawbone sculpture had been erected to take photos of her. I started talking to the mother and asked if I could take a photo of her daughter and she luckily said yes. fbe937df5573395b84d34fa6f1f2cbfb.jpg468f7f43bba3e9b3727ecf553fce0b99.jpg

 

 

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Chairsin,

 

Thanks for the photos. How wonderful to be part of a special school year event, the little girl looks lovely and also with her brother.

 

Julie

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How special to get to view a ceremony that happens just once a year. What an adorable little girl. I hope she has a wonderful school year

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Thanks for your kind comments. Hopefully my photos will show that while having good camera equipment helps you can still take good pictures without a fancy camera. And yes, we were lucky to be there to see the children - much different than seeing the static costumes in a museum. Sadly many of our fellow passengers got off the tender, walked around and took a superficial look at the town, saw little of interest and went back to the ship.

 

Our port the next day, another nice weather day, was Sisimiut. (BTW, one of the Trivia bonus round questions this cruise was to correctly spell the name of our six Greenland ports of call - I’m trying hard to get them right here). In Sisimiut we surprisingly docked which made things much more convenient. We first headed to the nearby hill where a museum and a couple of historic churches were located. Then we headed past the town to try to find a short hike. As we came to a small lake surrounded by boggy soil we observed a couple of dozen local women running down the adjacent rocky hill loaded with filled plastic bags. It turns out they had been collecting mush rooms and indeed we saw quite a variety of them on our walk. 52e27d825f291d68ed16ce3e06cb581a.jpg

 

However the real treat on this day was the amazing sunset that last for well over an hour. We were in the Observation Bar after dinner and were mesmerized by the show. c24d11a553a6d48fca06fc9f4ad7f701.jpg

 

 

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Sadly we are only here anchored in the harbor until noon. It is merely a stop for the immigration authorities to clear us into Canada. We did have a beautiful sail in last night.

 

 

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Well Chairsin, thank you for your reports on Greenland. I certainly would like to join the second half of the voyage to see more of Greenland. In the meantime I’m enjoying a coffee in my new Greenland mug purchased in Tasiilaq.

3b687176fde4ac9688f6ee1968d0e634.jpg

Here are the bone carvings I bought:

4fe47a3e1ba26111fecc376244769037.jpg

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Sadly we are only here anchored in the harbor until noon. It is merely a stop for the immigration authorities to clear us into Canada. We did have a beautiful sail in last night.

 

 

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I saw you leave...and waved

 

 

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Just started to go through my DSLR photographs from my “proper” camera, rather than my phone! Here’s a puffin at Sumburgh Head, Shetland Islands.

 

IMG_0818.thumb.JPG.f3fd290eb7032642edfbee2a38ae46b6.JPG

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Thanks Roxburgh. You’ll see I like puffins from my avatar! I took that one in the Farne Islands, Northumberland on a windy day.

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36d93272d21c8403503375046b115f28.jpg

Now attached with the mountains button (it’s reappeared) not the paper clip, so it’s actually visible on desktop view. Don’t know what’s happening to the photo attachment function on here!

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Today I finally have the time to catch up and finish the ports of Greenland.

 

Our sixth, and final port, was Ilulissat fairly far north. It is famous for being the alleged birthplace of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. Whether that is true or not it is the place from which many icebergs that later make their way toward Canada originate due to the unusual termination of the large glacier and the currents. For me what was so special was the many huge icebergs that are “stuck” in the shallow waters just off the coast creating an otherworldly atmosphere. As we pulled into the Unesco World Heritage Disco Bay I was up predawn to catch this magical sail in. My DH of course noted in the dawn light the grounded icebergs reminded him of battleships. a9ff6343d0a595ef694fc67cf963dd3b.jpg

 

We enjoyed a most perfect blue sky day here. We docked and then after a five minute shuttle drive were dropped at the beginning of the special Sermermuit walk to the old Norse settlement ruins and glacier face. For those with mobility issues it is quite accessible as the walk is all boardwalk. 75aae0abd740b8bf912c967a18480418.jpg And as special as the walk was when we reached the end of the boardwalk and climbed up a dozen wooden steps this was the unexpected view that presented itself. 1ae21e2024e83475c64cf8a82fb8e206.jpg

 

Much as I would have loved to have hiked one of the trails that led off from this area I had to head back to the ship as I has an early afternoon zodiac ride of Disco Bay booked to see the area close up. Almost immediately after heading off we rant into a humpback feeding along the edge of the glacier. Unfortunately he was quite good at playing hide and seek and this was about best image of him I captured on film. 8aabdb26febb2ff6c31fb36ad36bf25f.jpg

 

As returned to the ship I snapped this photo that gives the false impression that the ship was about to run head long into a floating iceberg. 77c86dd7efdc27102831aa88958f73d8.jpg

 

That evening no one was in a hurry to leave the Obs Bar and rush to dinner as the light was perfect to illuminate the many ice formations we sailed close to as we departed this special place to begin our journey west to the Canadian Arctic. 552819751fef7bff3481fa17be541fdc.jpg

 

 

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Galeforce, your puffin photo is just exquisite. Fantastic shot, thanks for sharing it here. by the way, I couldn't see it yesterday when you first posted it but obviously can see it now. Also can't see the photos posted by Mr Luxury on the Encore thread. Not sure if it's CC blip or what. You may recall that I had a problem seeing some of yours when you were posting onboard, although after a day or two I could see them. I can see all of Chairsin's as they're posted. Very odd.

 

Chairsin, enjoying your trip report and photos too. Thanks for taking time to post here.

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Isklaar it really has been a special voyage and I’m sure my pics and words don’t do it justice but nice of you to appreciate my feeble attempt.

 

Greenland was followed b a couple of much needed sea days. I’m not usually a fan of them but did appreciate the short break. There were the usually cooking demos, lectures, art classes etc. i especially enjoyed lectures from the Ventures team members - many of whom were with us in Antarctica a year and a half ago. There was also of course plenty of eating and drinking with new and old friends and sharing of adventures and photographs. And in spite of the gloomy windy, cold and rainy weather I managed to get in my early morning walks on deck. I figured if our Captain could do his laps in the pool each morning with the water rolling wildly I had no excuse.

 

Late the second day the weather cleared and we enjoyed a lovely setting sun sail in to the bay and at about 10PM we anchored off of Iqualiut to clear Canadian immigration. Then we reached the two days on the schedule noted as dedicated Ventures days in the northern Nunavut territory of Canada. This meant that if your had not signed up to go on one of the zodiac rides you remained on the ship. We signed up for all three - Lady Franklin Island and Monumental Island the first day and Akpatok the second. Our objective was bears and other wildlife.

 

At first light the zodiac with the expedition leader and bear wrangler went out to scope out the scene on the islands. Then rounds of passenger filled zodiacs followed with each group enjoying and different experience. Our group to Lady Franklin went out at eleven and was rewarded by a good view of a polar bear sleeping on the rocks. He occasionally moved a leg or paw and opened his eyes but seemed quite uninterested in our presence off shore. Other groups were treated to a view of him stirring and standing up. We also saw a number of groups of walrus’s, numerous sea birds - including a few puffins. b265bf4a80433510b3be86b14806f74e.jpg6a4c80dced455199389fa5958ff69314.jpg

 

I have to say we were all on a bit of a high after seeing a polar bear in the wild even if it was not one of those iconic bear on an ice floe scenes. So we were now doubly anxious for our afternoon zodiac trip. On this island there were indeed bears but very high up and far way on steep cliffs. With the naked eye and a “decent” zoom all you could see was a horizontal white line a third of the way down the rock face.. ca8c3284d6e0213f995120a674722b13.jpg Luckily a few passengers with very powerful zooms ( and this is where I must admit the equipment does benefit tremendously) not only agreed to share a couple of photos and to allow me to post them on CC. Thank you Patrick. 9fe66cc8b532ee9291f645b744948dc1.jpg That picture was the same ledge as shot with his camera.

 

Later we saw a bear at the very top of the cliff - this again is courtesy of Patrick. e365264492de8f2a3d570459fb888d67.jpg

 

What a great day for us and a long day for the tireless Ventures crew who worked nonstop until after 8PM to ensure that over three hundred of the passengers had a memorable experience.

 

 

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Wonderful photos, Chairsin, and your usual fabulous descrriptions. Hope you and Mr Chairsin are having a wonderful time!

 

 

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Chairsin, galeforce, and any other photographers on this trip - I have been meaning for some time to thank you all for the wonderful pictures. So many of us really appreciate you taking the time to post them; for those of us especially for whom adventure cruising is really no longer possible (when we were fitter we did the Antarctic, and that was unforgettable) it is a real treat to travel vicariously with you.

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Chairsin, galeforce, and any other photographers on this trip - I have been meaning for some time to thank you all for the wonderful pictures. So many of us really appreciate you taking the time to post them; for those of us especially for whom adventure cruising is really no longer possible (when we were fitter we did the Antarctic, and that was unforgettable) it is a real treat to travel vicariously with you.

+1. We are doing this itinerary next year and my excitement doubled when I saw the pictures of polar bears and walrus.

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Hello to all following our Route of the Vikings 11. I am interjecting on this board in order to give fair warning to those of you planning to visit this part of the world and who may tend to have allergic reactions to insect bites.

 

Well, if this doesn’t take the cake I don’t know what does. We went for a fantastic hike in Red Bay Newfoundland yesterday up a mountain on the Tracey Hill Trail which consisted of 670 steps one way!! And yes, we did make it . . . Took about 35 minutes each way. We were all huffing and puffing a bit, but we soldiered on to the top with all its spectacular panoramic views, including that of our beloved Quest anchored in the Bay.

 

We had been previously warned of the black flies that can be very prevalent in this area at this time of year. They are small biting flies that literally chew a hole in your skin to suck blood out of you. Both males and females use nectar for energy. The males do not bite. Females have biting mouth parts made for cutting skin and they use your blood for egg development. You actually have to sustain quite a few bites to develop an intense reaction to the anticoagulants that are pumped into your system.

 

We didn’t think much of the whole thing until half way through our hike when they came out in swarms and I was furiously batting them away. Black flies have this other property, where they'll put in an anaesthetic before they bite, so you tend not to feel them, therefore it's quite easy for them to sneak up on you, which they certainly did to me. It wasn’t until we got back down the mountain that I started feeling the itching around my neck and temple . . .still completely naive about what was to come.

 

Got back to the ship and noticed all the bites, of which we counted about 30, and the inherent redness and swelling. We attended a hosted dinner that evening with 5 of our fellow passengers and by then my eye lid which had sustained a few bites was starting to really look bad. One of our dinner companions offered up some Benadryl which I readily accepted.

 

My sleep last night was constantly interrupted by the intense itching on my eyelid, temple, and back and sides of my neck. When I arose this morning and looked in the mirror I was horrified at the image looking back at me. My eyelid and surrounding tissue was so swollen I could barely see out of it. And the welts on my neck were blazing red and oozing. Egads!!!!

 

I looked like something out of a B horror movie!!!! After a bit of reading on what type of treatment might be effective, we decided a trip to the ships doctor was called for. Let me tell you the look on his face when I lifted up my dark sunglasses was almost comical in his sheer astonishment at the severity of the reaction. However, at that point I was not laughing. He proceeded to give me a cortisone injection and some anti itch cream and sent me on my merry way saying that it was going to take some time to get back to normal. I just had to wait it out.

 

So until some of this tremendous swelling subsides it looks like I will be acting like a celebrity trying to hide under dark glasses. LOL Thank God this happened at the tail end of our journey. At least if we ever come back to these parts we will know what lies ahead and be better prepared to defend our vulnerable body. Some of the others on our trek (including Chairsin and her DH) also got a few bites but their immune systems were able to fend off the allergic reaction that I encountered.

 

So now that I am pumped full of drugs I do not have much energy to do anything but write to you about this unexpected state of affairs. I may have to wear a black patch over my affected eye at our final trivia round so as not to scare the rest of the passengers. But considering this will be a dress up costume affair maybe going as a Newfoundland Pirate might not be such a bad thing after all!!!

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airtana, I am so sorry that this happened to you! It sounds just terrible and reminds me of the time I got so many chigger bites exploring an old family cemetery that I had to have a form of anti-venom shot. Thank you for the warning.

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