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.