Cruising Prince Christian Sound Again.
Cruising in this sound at the southern tip of Greenland is one of the world’s best experiences possible on a cruise ship. And this is the second time we’re doing it in the past couple of weeks. The mountains rising directly out of the azure water were the focus of our attention all morning and until mid-afternoon, when we returned to the open ocean. Glaciers, snow fields, rushing waterfalls, green plants visible on every non-vertical surface, massive rounded-over rock faces, seams in the rocks at all different angles, the occasional iceberg, and one spouting whale kept us enthralled. We passed a weather station and one small community (130 inhabitants) nestled among the boulders at water’s edge and those are the only humans who live here. Today was a beautiful, cold, but mostly sunny day, but the winters here are brutal. We don’t get why anyone would willingly live here, but I suppose they have their reasons. Denise spent most of the day outside on the deck in the cold, taking pictures for us.
We anchored in Nanortalik’s harbor this morning, and our position gave us a panoramic view of this town and its surrounding islands. Similar to our passage yesterday, we were looking at mountains rising directly out of the water and lots and lots of rocks. Nanortalik is another small town with colorful, mostly wooden houses, a few warehouse-type buildings (community center, 2 grocery stores, tourist information center), a few containers stacked at the harbor, and some fishing boats at the dock. After leaving the tender, we chose to walk to the right, following the road around almost to the helipad and then turning left up the hill, where we found a nice-looking “Hotel,” what seemed to be a school and playing field, and the police station (Politi). It was a bracing walk because the weather was cold and not sunny, but we got to see a residential neighborhood – houses are jumbled together, seemingly placed at random with respect to each other and to the street. The unique feature of their landscaping was the multitude of boulders which surrounded the houses. Some were almost as big as the dwellings, and their presence must have actually defined where the houses could be built. The streets are paved and in good enough repair. Sidewalks are an afterthought. We saw many people out and about; many were children of all ages. The older people whom we encountered seemed very friendly: they always returned a “hello” with a word and a smile.
We had been told that a community organization was giving a concert for the tourists, but we were too late to hear it, so we stopped in at the community center and ended up giving the ladies present a $20 bill as a donation. While there, we talked a few minutes to a youngish couple who were sitting by the door. Turns out, she was born in Greenland, he’s a Dane, they’re married, and they’re taking this trip to Greenland together so she can see her roots. Talking to them was the highlight of the day. Our last stop was at one of the two grocery stores in town. We looked around a while (like Walmart, it has something for everyone), bought a case of water, and walked back to wait in the tender line.