Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Greenland 2008 - Tasilaq

By East Greenlandic standards, Tasilaq is a megalopolis. Over a third of East Greenland's 6,000 people live here. Compared to Kulusuk, Tasilaq is a bustling, modern metropolis with everything one could need and desire. There's a post office, hospital, two functioning ATM machines, a couple of supermarkets, a football field, a disco/bar and a tourist information center. Perhaps more importantly, for travelers at least, there's a couple of places to stay and a nice network of local travel agents willing to arrange a variety of adventure trips. These include kayaking, iceberg safaris, helicopter rides, hiking & camping, whale watching ,etc. In peak season accommodation does get fully booked up so I was lucky to find a place at the Hotel Angmagssalik. The hotel had several trips going daily so I managed to join one of their iceberg cruises.
Robert Peroni at the Red House arranged a spectacular boat trip through the Sermiligaaq Fjord all the way to the Knud Rasmussen Glacier. This was a truly fascinating journey through tantalizing icebergs and ice-choked fjords. We saw several whales along the way there and back. A pair of humpbacks swam peacefully around our boats as we all gawked and took photos, on the way back one particularly enthusiastic humpback whale put on a truly stupendous show, dancing around the surface with its arms and flipper, leaping out of the water in spectacular fashion. The glacier itself was nothing short of breathtaking. There was also an abandoned US military base scattered with rusty barrels, cranes and military vehicles, etc. In all my travel experiences, I'd probably rank the Knud Rasmussen Glacier expedition somewhere in my top ten, as it contained pretty much everything you could ask for in a truly authentic Arctic adventure. All that was missing were some polar bears!
For more photos of the trip, check here:

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