This week I’m featuring photograph of an incredible iceberg from Kulusuk in Greenland. Taken by Lance & Laura Longwell from Travel Addicts Blog. I have chosen this picture because I always found icebergs a bit magical! Always find them beautiful!
Picture Story: Iceberg, Kulusuk, Greenland
So there was that time we went to Greenland. While we were in Iceland, I discovered the possibility of doing a day trip to Greenland. Yes, I wanted another passport stamp and I wanted the chance to visit another country (country collecting), but we weren’t prepared for what we experienced.
Our reason for going to Greenland was to see ground zero for climate change. No other place on the planet is changing as rapidly as this island. The glaciers are melting at an alarming rate and geological formations that have been covered in ice for thousands of years are now visible. I read about this in a National Geographic article two months before our trip and this was how I convinced Laura to go along with my plan. She thought I’d lost my mind.
We arrived on the east coast in Kulusuk, Greenland early in the morning. It was September and the temperature was warm. Global warming was in full effect and birds filled the skies. But that wasn’t the only thing flying – we found the whole island to be infested with these midge flies. We had a 2 kilometer walk from the airport into the “town” of Kulusuk. That’s 2 kilometers of midge flies.
Did I mention that the midges are attracted to CO2? The same CO2 produced by humans? That was a 2 kilometer walk with these nasty buggers flying up our noses and into our mouths. Laura was not amused and was pretty irritated that I had brought her along on this experience.
The flies eased once we made it to Kulusuk “town”. The town was nothing more than about 30 buildings – a store, a church, and two dozen houses. All the buildings were painted in bright blues, reds and yellows.
But the most striking thing were the children – kids of all ages joining adults and absolutely drunk on alcohol at 10:30 in the morning. It was Saturday – the day after the assistance checks arrived from the government of Denmark.
The town of Kulusuk is entirely dependent on government assistance since there are almost no jobs to speak of on this island peninsula (over 80% of the inhabitants rely on social assistance). It was a rude awakening.
We wanted to learn more about Greenland’s east coast. In many ways, Kulusuk shows what can happen when European colonialism fails to bring economic prosperity to indigenous populations.
In just 150 years, the indigenous islanders went from hunting-fishing in animal skins to picking up tinned foods from the local commissary. Just as the island is experiencing massive change from global warming, the islanders have experienced their own social change.
We reflected on this as we made our way back to the airport via small boats. In the bay, a massive iceberg had recently melted off the glacier and was drifting its way slowly out to sea. We took a minute to admire this frozen beauty and I took this shot.