I need to start off this months blog by apologising for the plethora of images you'll be wading through after my blurb.......but, it's not every month we head off to such a beautiful location as Denmark and Greenland. Now that you've been warned it's time to settle in for a catchup on our travels.
Our trip to Denmark and Greenland was set in motion in December 2016 and at times it felt like the 1st August would never get here......but get here it did and, unfortunately, all too soon it and the trip had passed. Funny how these things can take forever to arrive and then be over all too soon :-(
The journey from NZ to Denmark passed pretty smoothly, other than a mad dash in Zurich as we got held up in security courtesy of a camera attachment clip that the security staff seemed quite determined was some kind of dangerous weapon. Sods law was at play here as this was the only transit in the whole trip that was going to be tight on time. A mad dash from one area to another and we joined the queue boarding the plane bound for Denmark. The decision to dash up the stairs with a few kg's of backpacks instead of following the crowd on the escalator will still go down as one of my less popular decisions......there were a lot of stairs!
A taxi ride from the airport in Copenhagen to our hotel turned into an impromptu guided tour as our driver gave us a running commentary on where we were and the various sights. Unfortunately, a difficult to comprehend accent along with broken English and our very tired brains meant that we completely missed most of it. I do, however, remember Nyhavn with its beautiful brightly coloured buildings by the waters edge and being pleasantly surprised at just how close to this area our hotel would turn out to be.
Thankfully when we got to the hotel mid morning our room was ready. After that long journey a shower and short nap, especially the shower, were most definitely needed! Mid afternoon and we were walking the streets of Copenhagen marvelling at the architecture, friendly locals, amazingly warm weather and enjoying our first amazing food in one of the bars off of Nyhavn. Our host was definitely a local character!
The next five days before getting on our plane bound for Greenland would see us enjoy a range of wonderful Danish food, visit lots of cathedrals, palaces and other tourist spots as well as getting absolutely drowned in one of the heaviest rain storms I have ever encountered. The rain was that heavy and persistent that it was pushing water through the umbrella!
All to soon our time in Denmark came to an end and we were on the next flight into Greenland. 
The first view of the expanse of the icecap (covers approximately 90% of the country) is jaw dropping. Greenland is also very large, 8 times the land area of New Zealand but a population of more than 4 million less people! In 2013 the population count was just over 56,000 people making it the least densely populated country on earth. 
I could probably wax lyrical enough here to fill a book about how stunning and surreal the landscape is, but, this is supposed to be a summary of our travels so I'll just cover a few highlights and let the pictures do the talking.....apparently each one should save a thousand words ;-)
Standing on an ice-cap and looking across at a seemingly endless sea of ice is something I will never forget. 
The hospitality of the people is amazing. They are not yet really set up for tourism and yet they make you feel so welcome. 
With very little wind and incredibly dry climate it feels remarkably warm even when it is only 10 degrees celsius outside.......as the wind picks up you do notice the chill off of the ice-cap though!
The impact of global warming is having an effect in a most unexpected way. Arctic mosquitos now have a much longer active season and as a result grow larger, stronger and faster than ever before, are more prolific and have less food to go around.......they are horrible and persistent. Thankfully the use of a mosquito head net keeps the things off of your face.....not much of a fashion statement but definitely needed!
The icebergs are huge and so artistic. This is like nature having her own sculpture gallery with an ever changing display of exhibits. I purposefully included boats and birds in some of the images to try and give some sense of scale.
The last week of August has been spent getting over the trip, collating memories into videos and helping out our friends with their farm. With a considerable amount of images taken on our trip and then the fun of editing them all I really have not felt inclined to pick my camera up since we got back. Today though we are back on our journey around the South Island of New Zealand so no doubt it will not be long before I am seduced by the beautiful landscape we know as home and a selection of new images will be ready for you next month. 
Until then, I hope you enjoy this small collection of images from Denmark and Greenland.

Sat in Changi airport I became fascinated watching the other people slide by on the moving walkways.

Our first afternoon walking around Copenhagen enjoying the architecture and people watching

Tourists abound in Copenhagen all mesmerised by this beautiful city

One of many stunning churches around the city

Roskilde Cathedral was well worth the train journey to get there.......even if we did get totally confused working out which train to get on and the one person we decided to ask for help turned out to be from Sweden with even less idea than us!

One attraction definitely on the list in Denmark was Frederiksborg Castle. This stunning piece of architecture is huge and took up a whole day of exploration. Revamped in the last few years by the Carlsberg family it is a destination enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. 

One of many jaw dropping rooms in the castle.

I would not fancy being the gardener responsible for those grounds!

Ben taking a moment to capture of the action at Tivoli Gardens

Naturally the rooms and layout in the architecture design museum were very impressive with light naturally spilling through from one room to the next.

Nyhavn is a very vibrant quarter of the city and this small band were entertaining everyone.

Food, booze and stunning buildings........Nyhavn is a popular spot for tourists, rightfully so to!

Our first views of the icecap covering most of Greenland

Our driver who took us out to the icecap. He knew very, very little English.........but he was happy to share his seemingly endless supply of Haribo sweets........what a great guy :-)

Our first real look at the icecap we would soon be walking on.

Its not everyday you get to travel on an old yellow School Bus, unless of course you are from America. This one operated as a service to take us from the airport hotel to our evening meal.......quite an experience!

The icecap at the part we were on was a mixture of ice, white as it is frozen snow, and dirt pulled up from the ground as it makes its continuous and relentless journey to the edge

Other than the crunch of ice underfoot there was very little sound in this beautiful desolate spot of frozen waves disappearing into the distance as far as the eye could see

One of the group getting creative for an angle on photographing one of a few wild reindeer we saw on our travels

It was soo tempting to colour that nose red in photoshop ;-)

A tourist boat gives some sense of scale to the ice as it makes it way to the sea in Iliulisat.

Ice and land bizarrely had a very similar structure at times

Feeding time for the dogs which are only really happy when they are working. During the summer months they just lay around all day waiting for food. Winter will soon be here though and they will be happy pulling sleds.

I still find it remarkable that we stood on the shore as photographed hump back whales in front of massive icebergs. I was very lucky to snap this one as it came up and out of the water.

This poor puppy was so patient as this local girl kept picking it up to show all of us with cameras......the more we clicked the happier she was. Such joy in such a simple experience.....perhaps there is something to be learned in this place with a distinct lack of technology and the whole town as their playground.

A bay full of ice on Disko island.

A walk along the coastline with icebergs for company, mind boggling.

A few icebergs jostle for position as they are moved along by the current.

As the mist was clearing more and more icebergs came into view

Another monolithic ice structure

Definitely a picnic spot with a view. It was important to stay up in the breeze though otherwise you'd be bombarded by those pesky mosquitos again

This collection held my fascination for quite some time

The ferry boats came back to Ilulisat from Disko island giving me an opportunity to include the other one for some sense of scale.

The other ferry dwarfed by an iceberg

One of the more unusual shapes

Seems one iceberg is staring intensely at the other

That hole would easily have been big enough to get the ferry through

We suddenly slowed up coming in to Ilulisat as the fog rolled in and the sea was covered in ice

Light plays on the ice

As the mist cleared it left surreal vapour trails hovering just above the water

Look closely at the bottom left of the image and you will see a person walking along a path......and suddenly those chunks of ice seem even bigger!

Our guide on the walk taking a moment to enjoy the landscape for himself 

The start of the evening cruise around the icebergs started to give a glimpse of how magical the light would be

Fishing boat used for tourists to enjoy the ice

Setting sun made for some great silhouettes of the vast chunks of ice

There was so much to look at and the colour seemed to keep changing as the sun got lower in the sky

Calm seas, icebergs and the setting sun....now there's a memory 

One of my favourite images from the midnight cruise which I may have to get printed one day

Perfectly calm water on our trip to Eqi (the calving glacier) gave a myriad of small but amazing shaped pieces of ice.....I have soo many pictures of these!

We were over a kilometre away from the wall of ice which is Eqi watching as huge chunk of ice would come away and crash into water. The swarm of black dots at the base of the wall are a flock of birds disturbed by the crashing ice. 

We stayed in cabins overlooking the glacier for the night. The glacier was over 4kms away and is over 3kms across with a height of 200m at the front edge rising to 700m in the background. Climate change is having a dramatic say in this landscape though as the glacier has retreated continuously over the last 100 years and they expect that in just 15 years time it will not be visible from this spot!

An intrepid explorer enjoys the last light of the day.....which would emerge again in just a couple of hours time

A cruise ship in the bay was, apparently, quite an unusual sight but one that with the increase in tourism is likely to become one more commonly seen.

Approximately half way between the lodges and the front of the Eqi glacier our boat for the return trip makes its way to us and is dwarfed by the scenery it has come to see

The final part of our adventure gave us spectacular up close opportunities to photograph the whales in this incredible landscape

Birds soar effortlessly above the frozen landscape and our last memories of Greenland as we start the epic 60 hour journey back to New Zealand. 

Denmark and Greenland, we will miss you both, thank you for the memories.

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