The ports in Greenland are small, very small. The Ocean Majesty docked and although she is a small ship, bow and stern stuck out considerably past the dock. Main Industry is fishing, although there are a few farmers. The Tourist industry is slowly starting to become a good source of revenue with tours going inland and trips in the fishing boats to see icebergs up close.
With a population of about 2000 in the summer time and a lot less in the winter, it is not a bustling town. But it is fascinating. Multicolored houses dotted on the hills around the harbour, located at the end of the fjord. To get there you have to dodge icebergs all the way from the entrance of the fjord to the end. There were even a few biggies floating near the dock. Luckily as the tide was going out during our call they floated away. Had the tide been coming in, one of them might have floated against the ship, delaying departure until the tide turned again.
The town had only three taxiâ€™s and no busses, so the tours are walking tours. Weather was overcast with a bit of drizzle and that is good weather for Narsaq. Population is mainly Inuitâ€™s or Eskimoâ€™s with a few hundred Danes thrown in. The latter mainly being involved in the fish processing factory and the port.
As I had no tour to escort, I went for a walk. It takes a good two hours to walk around the whole town, as it is very spread out, and to climb the surrounding hills to get a good vantage point for photos. There are some remnants of the Viking settlers village from a 1000 years ago. You will find these all along the coast of Greenland and most of them have not been escavated yet. Time is not a big thing here, and nobody is in a hurry. So one day they will get to it.
The village central heating comes from hot volcanic water again and so the electricity. It has a very nice church, not too special from the outside but very nice on the inside. Typically Danish, although I thought that the altar, the font etc. had some very Greek Orthodox influences. But then I am not an expert on churches. There was no booklet available to find the answer either.
I was intrigued by a pile of stones of the top of one of the hills. So I climbed to it only to find a brass plaque commemorating the International Childerenâ€™s village gathering in Narsaq in 1990. One of the participating towns was Apeldoorn in the Netherlands, a place about 30 minutes away from where I was born. So here I am thousands of miles away from my home country and I find that there has been an whole school class here before me. The Netherlands has only 16 million inhabitants but you canâ€™t get away from them.
A shocking experience was the price of alcohol. A bottle of wine that costs $10,– in the supermarket in England, sold here for $56,– As Greenland is part of Danmark, the alcohol is very highly taxed, to keep consumption down. Eskimoâ€™s have a problem with alcohol, something to do with their genes, and also the Danes tend to get carried away quite easily with drinking, thus the government keeps the prices high.
The ship only stayed for half a day but that was just enough to explore the town, see the church, the trading post and the small museums. It was soo very different from a normal touristy stop, that everybody was amazed. I can only advise, if you want to see Greenland, do it now, before Columbian Emeralds moves in.
Tomorrow we are in the Capital of Greenland. Nuuk.