Fire & Ice – Qaqortoq


Monday, July 19, 2010

Beautiful day in Qaqortoq (aka “QuackQuack”) Greenland

Today we reached Greenland, and our first port in this exotic country was Qaqortoq. A lot of folks on the ship started calling it ‘QuackQuack” because not many people can pronounce it.  The day started with us in overcast seas, but as the morning progressed it looked like it might burn off, and we were lucky, it did!

Shortly after breakfast, the Captain announced that the first ice could be viewed off the ‘right’ side of the ship, which happens to be the side of the ship we’re on, so we have a perfect view of it.  There are photos of it in the “Fire and Ice” album.  A little while after that, the captain again came over the announcement system to let us know that a whale could be viewed on the other side of the ship, so we grabbed my camera and ran upstairs one floor and out to the back of the ship, where we arrived just in time to watch the whale spout a couple times before we passed it.  We were not able to decipher what kind of whale it was, we only got a peek.  We stayed up there for a while longer looking for other wildlife and were treated to a dolphin, and a large group of what looked like sea lions or seals.


The first iceberg sighting!




Large number of seals or otters – we couldn’t tell

As we got closer to where we would dock for the day we saw more icebergs and got more photos.  At one point a helicopter buzzed around the ship and the pilot waved at us. (We saw that same helicopter later on in port).


Iceberg – sort of shaped like a house.


Another view of the iceberg shaped like a house. There was a seal on the backside of it.


Helicopter that buzzed by


Rocky shorline


Another iceberg! We were pretty excited to see these – took too many photos of them…they are beautiful!


Another angle on the ‘house’ iceberg – with pretty clouds and mountain peaks in the background.


Wow! More icebergs! (grin)

Soon we arrived and they unloaded the Tenders.  The clouds had burned off completely and it was a sunny, beautiful day.  The water was calm and it was a short tender ride to shore.  We were greeted by an Inuit man who was chanting in his native language.


Bundled up and riding in the tender


Inuit man – singing to us as we arrived


Such colorful buildings!


We learned the color of the building originally indicated the vocation of the resident


Another iceberg! This one had residents!

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We wandered around town for a couple hours, taking photos of things we thought were interesting and then we decided to head back to the ship.  We stopped by the gift shop and purchased a couple of trinkets and I saw a beautiful wool blanket that was made from Greenland sheep’s wool.  The lady at the counter said it was hand made. It was beautiful, and it was also what I thought a very reasonable price, so it’s now gracing our cabin.  Adam humored me but I think he was encouraged by the large number of people admiring it on the tender ride back and all of them said that it was a really good price.  I think this is going to be a family heirloom for many years.  It will be one of the first special items I will store in Mom’s hope-chest.


There were icebergs in the harbor – one of the workers on the boat was trying to break it apart


Folks lining up to go back on the ship.


It was a busy and productive looking harbor


Greenland Daisies!




People had interesting things (we think this was a birdhouse?) at their homes.


Most homes had nice balcony or yard areas where they could gaze out to sea.


Little boat in the harbor


These kids were cliff diving and swimming in the cold water


Jumping into the water…brrrrr!


More local flowers


Nice stairways to climb up to the higher elevations


Our lovely ship in the harbor


Heading up one of the stairways


A school house


Oil tanker?


This guy was waiting outside the market


Looks expensive!


Post Office


Interesting place to park a car!


Adam =)


Carvings on the side of the hillside


Close up of some of the rock carvings



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We shared stories with our table-mates at dinner and are back in our room for a quiet evening.  Last night we stayed up very late, listening to the very entertaining “Piano Man” in the piano-bar, and I played around a bit on my favorite penny-slot machine.  There is a character on the machine that is what I think an ‘enchantress’ but Adam said she looks a little like Felicia Day, so I talk to it and ask Felicia to be good to me and let me win. *grin* So far it seems to work fairly well.

Tomorrow we have another Greenland port, and this time it will be an early one, so we need to get an early start.

Go to Fire & Ice – Day 6!