Copenhagen, Denmark

(Post from Thursday, 7 March 2013)

Getting to Greenland for this trip was quite the journey! However, I should give the disclaimer that it was entirely due to my own choosing. Last summer, I traveled to Greenland via the Iceland route, as most Americans would, and spent a few days in Reykjavik before going on to Greenland. This time, I wanted to travel to Greenland via the Copenhagen, Denmark route to see what the Europeans tourists experience. I have never been to Copenhagen, but I heard so much about it in conversation last summer. And Denmark, in general, seems to be an important part of many Greenlanders’ lives because they studied here, or have friends and family here, or moved from here. So I wanted to be able to say that I have experienced some of it, too.

As keeping transportation costs low was important for me, I booked a really cheap one-way flight to Copenhagen, but the consolation was that I had to make 2 stops – Washington, D.C. to Boston, Massachusetts… to Reykjavik, Iceland… and finally to Copenhagen. It did add considerably more time to the trip, and perhaps a little bit of concern about making quick transfers and whether my bags would check all the way through, but in retrospect I preferred it. I was quite happy to have the breaks and be able to get up and move around after so much sitting!

I arrived to Copenhagen at 1:30 PM yesterday, Wednesday 6 March, after approximately 26 hours of traveling. I was smart and actually forced myself to sleep on the flights even though it was like going to sleep at 5 in the afternoon for me! Last year when I took the red-eye from the US to Iceland, I did not sleep a wink and consequently got quite sick from sleep deprivation.

I am staying in a really nice little boutique hotel – Bertrams Hotel Guldsmeden in Vesterbro. It is such a lovely place with great service, free Wi-Fi, and a delicious breakfast… and the canopy bed is like heaven! Not to mention, it is perfect walking distance to everywhere I need to go. It is just fantastic – like staying in somebody’s home, really!

I should mention that in addition to having never been to Copenhagen before, I have also never been to Europe before! So this was a first for me in many ways! I suppose many people wonder why on earth I would want to travel alone to a new country – a new continent even – all by myself. But really, since I grew accustomed to the Danish language and culture while in Greenland, when I arrived in Copenhagen I felt very comfortable. I think it would be a much different experience if I knew nothing about the place. For holiday, I would, of course, prefer to travel in company with others, but when it is ultimately a business trip, you can always use that as the “cover” for why you are all alone in a foreign country.

Yesterday, I went to Nørreport and the student metropolis area to visit with the Ace & Ace Productions crew who film the Taste of Greenland series for Visit Greenland. They gave me the grand tour of the office, and we also went for coffee and a bite to eat. It was nice to see them in their ‘natural habitat’. Now I really feel like I have a full understanding of the Taste of Greenland series from witnessing the raw filming on location, to seeing their home base in Copenhagen, to seeing the final product on TV and DVD. It really is quite special for me to have been able to foster a relationship with the crew because it is their filming and handiwork that virtually single-handedly sold me on Greenland! A tourist said to me a few days ago, ‘When you see Greenland, you either love it or you hate it,” and Ace & Ace’s cinematography definitely made me love it!

For dinner I went to a restaurant called Falernum on recommendation of the hotel front desk. It is a cozy little wine bar with Italian-inspired food, and just around the corner from the hotel. I was surprised to find the place fully packed on a Wednesday night, but I think that must be the European lifestyle. They are not so squeamish as Americans (or Washingtonians) are to go out on weeknights for fear of having to wake up extra early to sit in a few hours of traffic!

Today, Thursday 7 March, I did a grand citywide walking tour – over 10 miles / 16 km in total!

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I had a meeting in the Amager Øst area, so I made the 4-mile walk from Vesterbro in the brisk Scandinavian air J Once I got out of the city center, it was a very residential area, and the streets were interesting because they are all named for countries of the world. On the eastern coast there is a man-made beach with a clear view of wind turbines and some new business and residential development, so the area is up-and-coming it seems. Then I walked 3 miles to Christianshavn, where the Copenhagen office of Visit Greenland is located, to do some work in preparation for traveling to Greenland. The area is very quaint with cobblestone streets and canals for days, and bakeries around every corner, but again, I suppose that is the European way! After work, I walked 2 miles toward Østerport and Kastellet past all the royal palaces and up toward the famous The Little Mermaid statue, and then went back a little more than 1 mile toward the student metropolis. My feet were most thankful for a rest at that point! I actually had planned to walk a few more miles to and from Nørrebro as well, but I thought that might be too much…

For dinner, I went to my friend Maia’s house in Nørrebro. Maia and I were both interns at Visit Greenland in Summer 2012, and while we only knew each other for about one month’s time, we had stayed in touch through Facebook. She is a fantastic vegetarian cook, and she served a spicy vegetable salsa appetizer, pasta with almonds, garlic, truffle, and cheese for a main course, and homemade licorice ice cream for dessert! She and her friends often do small “supper club” dinners where they cook delicious new food for each other, so it was really special be a part of it! I generally find Danes to be extremely welcoming and open, and it was so nice to go to a foreign country where I have never been before and feel welcome! It was a fantastic evening of seven girls sitting around a table eating good food and drinking wine and laughing!

Finally, I am back to the hotel to pack my bags and get ready to head to Greenland! Of course I am not able to sleep a wink! It is quite an odd feeling to lie here feeling like there is something else I should be doing, but in actuality, everything is done – everything is set in place for me to take this trip that the only thing left to do is get on that plane tomorrow morning! I have been thinking about this second trip to Greenland since before I even left the first time, and after so many months of thinking about it and telling people about it, it actually became a rehearsed thing I said more than something I really reflected on. Also, the last couple weeks have been so extremely stressful between school and work that I hardly had time to think or do anything for myself. So despite lying here in Copenhagen, I still have not even stopped to realize that the tomorrow I will be back in Greenland after five months of dreaming about it!

Good night 🙂


That’s A Wrap! (Taste of Greenland)

(From Friday 29 June 2012)

Today was a very relaxed day.  I did tourist interviews with cruise passengers most of the day (definitely easier than doing land-based interviews because they are much shorter) while the Taste of Greenland crew went up in a helicopter to do some amazing aerial shots of the Ice Fjord, etc.  They got to see a pristine lake on top of the glacier as well as a humpback whale very close to the surface of the water!  I happened to bump into them in the late afternoon on their way to go sailing, so I tagged along.  We went out on a large boat to go ice fishing – and by that I mean literally fishing pieces of ice out of the water with a net!  They melt it down and use it for bottled water and also for making Isfiord Vodka!

Then we drove around town looking for pretty views and filmed some quick “tourist” shots, and then the four of us had a lovely dinner at Hotel Icefiord.  I was definitely getting a little sad thinking about this being the end of the road of Episode 5 (and Taste of Greenland on the whole).  In the last ten days, I had so much fun and really felt so lucky to have been a small part of the experience!  As I said before, it was personally special for me to meet the Ace & Ace team since they produced the video that inspired me to come to Greenland, but also some of them have been friends and working together for twenty years, and you can definitely feel the closeness!  If I am sad thinking about it being the end, I cannot even imagine how everyone else is feeling!

That’s a wrap on Taste of North Greenland – Skål!

Final Night with the Whole Crew (Taste of Greenland)

(From Thursday 28 June 2012)

Today the majority of the Taste of Greenland crew left (Chris, Anders, Eskil, Adrian, Yuki, and Christine) leaving just four of us – Anne Mette, Esben, Finn and me.  So last night to celebrate our final night together as a group of ten, we went to dinner at a place called Mamartut that had a buffet composed entirely of traditional Greenlandic ingredients.  It was quite the spread!  They served lam i tomat og kanel (cinnamon lamb meatball with tomato sauce), rødfisk sashimi (raw redfish), hellefisk sashimi (raw halibut), rype terrin (grouse terrine), sæl lever (seal liver), hval i rødvin (whale in a red wine sauce), gravad lam (pickled lamb leg), tørret lammekølle (dried lamb leg), røget laks (smoked salmon), røget hellfisk (smoked halibut), bagt hellefisk (baked halibut), sne hare i føldsauce (mountain hare in a cream sauce), moskus bov med æbler (muskox shoulder with apple), stenbidderrogn (lumpfish roe), marineret terret hval (home-dried whale), marineret amassatter (pickled amassatter), and mattaq i asparges og rejer (seal blubber with asparagus and shrimp).

Dessert was presumably less traditional (tiramisu), but we changed that by returning to Hotel Arctic to have Greenlandic Kaffe!  It was extremely fun to just relax and laugh and be really loud!  One by one a couple people turned in for the night, but some others and I stayed up until probably 3 o’clock in the morning!  I would say that we were attempting to stay awake to watch the sun come up, but that’s not possible here above the Arctic Circle because the sun never goes down in the first place!

This evening I had the pleasant surprise of having dinner with Pia, Ulrik, and Aviaja.  They are here in Ilulissat visiting Ulrik’s brother, Uffe, and his family, Sophie and Suluut.  Also, Ulrik’s parents are in town, and the whole family will go to Eqi tomorrow!  So I went over to Uffe and Sophie’s house for dinner; we had fried chicken, potatoes, tomatoes with Parmesan cheese, and cucumber salad with Tzatziki sauce.  It was nice to meet more of the Bang family, to relax with everyone, and also to see Aviaja since she will go directly to Denmark from Ilulissat and will not return to Nuuk until the middle of August!

After dinner, Uffe took us midnight sun sailing around the UNESCO Kangia Ice Fjord.  It was just beautiful to be out amidst the icebergs at this time of night.  Even though the sun is up 24 hours a day, the light does change over time – during the midnight hours, the light is much softer and more yellow golden, and it makes the icebergs really sparkle.  I kept thinking about how amazing it is that even with global warming and the sun shining twenty-four hours a day for about two months straight, the icebergs are still as big as they are.  I can only imagine what they would be like without global warming!  Pia, Ulrik, and Uffe say that they can see a change in the icebergs even from just a couple of years ago – that they were much taller and bigger!  It’s extremely scary that in only a few years they can actually see the difference!


When I got back to Hotel Arctic, I found Esben and Finn filming a time lapse shot.  I played tourist for a little bit to give them a shot of people in the patio rocking chairs and then called it a night!

Eqi Ice Camp (Taste of Greenland)

(From Sunday 24 June 2012)

This morning, the Taste of Greenland film crew, Ace & Ace, and I left first thing in the morning to sail to our next destination: Eqi Ice Camp next to the very actively calving Eqi Sermia Glacier. I should clarify that when I say we sailed I do not mean we were on a sailboat.  In Greenland, any trip is called sailing even if the boat has a motor!  We sailed northwest around the Nussuaq peninsula and made a stop at the furthest most western tip to see an ancient polar bear trap!  There would be delicious smelling and tasting meat inside the structure to lure the polar bear close.  The entranceway was quite small so that the polar bear had to wedge its way through to get to the meat.  The movement and struggle would cause a large boulder, positioned in the roof, to fall at the entranceway and trap the polar bear inside.  The structure looked like a small, square stone house, but the way you could tell it was not a house is because there were no windows, and also, the walls were far thicker than a house would have had.  They were thick so that the angry trapped polar bear could not break through.

(Note: the picture below is not the polar bear trap, but is at the same location!)

The next stop we made was near the abandoned coal-mining settlement on the east coast of Disko Island called Qulissat.  It was built in the 1920’s and had been abandoned by the 1970’s because the coal ran out, although this fact was anticipated from the beginning.  Some say that it was a blessing the inhabitants left when they did because not long after, a very large piece of the mountain directly behind the settlement broke off and toppled to the bay, causing a large tsunami-like wave to wash over the land and destroy a sizable portion of the settlement.  Forty years later though, what is left of this settlement is preserved in near-perfect condition!  A few of the houses are leaning and deteriorating, but most are still standing.  It was as if the town was empty only because everybody was out in the mine or out on the water for the afternoon!  There is scheduled to be a celebratory reunion of sorts in the settlement starting on 6 July.

It was here, in the waters between Disko Island and Nussuaq that we met a large crab boat to film with.  The film crew got shots of the boat from far away, from close up, appearing from around an iceberg, disappearing behind an iceberg, with Chris on the boat, with Chris off the boat, and shots of the entire crabbing process… essentially we spent a few good hours more or less stationary!  Around this area, we also saw a pair of humpback whales!  They blew a couple of times and did some deep dives to show their dorsal fins and tail flukes!  I, unfortunately, was unable to get a picture – with a handful of other people crowding around to get pictures and video for the show, I was definitely low man on the totem pole for getting a decent spot to stand!

After close to twelve hours on the boat, we finally reached Eqi!  The water was, well, glacial blue because of the extremely cold temperature of the water, and it was so filled with small icebergs that we had to sail slowly in order to weave our way through the maze of ice.


We sailed right up to the rocks at the base of Eqi Ice Camp, unloaded filming gear and luggage, and then carried it all up the hill to our cabins.  The camp is owned by a local tour operator, World of Greenland, and consists of 18 huts and a kitchen cabin.  Four of the huts are newly renovated and called “Comfort Cabins” because they have amenities like running water and electricity.  Chris got a comfort cabin, as did the girls (Anne Mette, Yuki, and I), and everybody else (Anders, Esben, Eskil, and Finn) was in a standard hut.  The standard huts are very basic, with no running water or electricity.  The comfort cabins, on the other hand, are basically just like a hotel.  Four twin beds with very comfortable linens and pillows, a small seating area with a fully stocked wet bar, a private restroom, hot running water, three electrical outlets, a private balcony with chairs covered in muskox furs… oh yeah, and not a single thing blocking the million-dollar view of Eqi Glacier!


Despite the extra amenities of these accommodations, there are two things about the location that not even luxury can overcome.  First, there are literally hundreds of mosquitos around, but some good “Mozzie Cream” (as the Ace & Ace guys call it) and a mosquito net for the head pretty much remedy that situation.

Second, since the cabins are oriented westward in order to have a direct view of the glacier, the “setting” sun shone directly through the great windows that practically take up the entire wall.  It was so incredibly hot most of the night that it was difficult to sleep comfortably.  To be fair, though, I would say that the thunder-like sound of the glacier calving all night, and then waking up to look directly at the magnificent view without even getting out of bed, 95% made up for the down sides!

Also, the group of thirteen very cute Arctic Fox that scurried around the camp left a good impression 🙂

(From Monday 25 June 2012)

Today was another cooking scene – this time to cook up the crab that was caught yesterday near Qulissat.  The film crew selected a site not far from the Ice Camp that gave a great view of the Eqi Glacier behind Chris as he prepared and cooked his Crab Risotto!  A few times the glacier calved during filming which was perfect!


The mosquitos were definitely problematic for shooting this scene because they were rampant around the camera and the food.  So what did we do?  We doused the finished plate in mosquito spray with hopes that the mosquitos would stay away long enough to take some still photos of the final dish without seeing little black dots all over the white plate!  I joked that we should do a outtake called “Taste of DEET”!

Since there were no tourists to interview in Uummannaq, and only three to interview at Eqi (one of which declined to participate), I ended up returning to Ilulissat a day early in an attempt to make up for lost time.  So while the rest of the Taste of Greenland crew took a private boat charter to Oqaatsut (Rode Bay) for the night, I hopped on the Disko Line tourist boat and sailed five hours back to Ilulissat.

To the Heart of Greenland – Uummannaq! (Taste of Greenland)

(From Friday 22 June 2012)

The fog was still pretty heavy today, but we got word that Air Greenland was running flights, so I went ahead and checked in at the airport.  As my boarding time got closer and closer and then passed, I got a little nervous that maybe I would not get out of Ilulissat, after all!  About twenty minutes after the plane was originally supposed to leave, we got an announcement that between luggage and passengers, the weight might be too much.  So all the passengers had to line up at the check-in counter to be weighed individually on the baggage scale!  Evidently we were close enough to the weight limit because we were all allowed onto the plane!  Once we had taxied and actually taken off the runway, everyone broke into a great applause!  It was one of those moments when people did not believe it until they saw it actually happen.  And away I went to Uummannaq!

I should start by saying that Uummannaq is THE most beautiful place that I have seen in Greenland thus far!  It is an island with a town of less than 1,500 inhabitants crawling up the base of a 1,170-meter tall mountain.  Uummannaq means “heart-shaped” or something similar in Greenlandic, and some people say the town is named so because this mountain has two rounded peaks that look like the top of a heart.  Other people say that many places are called Uummannaq because when hunters and fishermen return from a trip and first get a glimpse of their hometown mountain on the horizon, their hearts are suddenly filled with a warm and happy feeling because they know they have made it home safely once more!

I feel SO lucky to be able to experience this town!  Maybe it is the mountain wearing off on me, but I get a pretty warm and happy feeling being here myself!  In Nuuk, I have met a couple of people who are from Uummannaq, and they both have so much pride in their roots here.  Now having seen it firsthand, I can understand why.  I would want to be from here also!  This town – the small size, the quiet and slower pace of life, the smell of the icebergs, the howling of land-bound sledge dogs… I did not know it until now, but THIS is where I wanted to live when I came to Greenland!  THIS is what I dreamed of!


As if the ambience of the town was not impressive enough, a midnight feast at the private home of Ann Andreasen proved that people who can change the world are not just in big cities – they exist everywhere, even in the far reaches of the Earth!  The Children’s Home has roots back to 1929, but it really started becoming what it is today in 1992.  Ann welcomes, cares for, and nurtures children from troubled homes from all around the country.  She has such a big heart, taking in these children who basically have no other chance, and she thinks nothing is unattainable.  The program has gained recognition all over the world, winning multiple awards and grants and even being featured in the soon-to-be-released movie, Inuk (see my blog post titled, “Inuk”).  For more information on the Children’s Home, see here:

Walking into Ann’s home is like walking into the coziest, most authentic museum that ever existed!  It is simply oozing with Greenlandic culture and history – beaded crafts, tupilaks, furniture made from wood and bones, artwork, photographs, polar bear skulls, furs, books, and the list goes on.  Narvhal (narwhal) tusks lean in the corners of the living room, and there is such a surplus of them that they even serve as curtain rods!

For dinner, Ann gave us a meal that rivaled a Thanksgiving Feast!  The table was set with beautiful linens, hand-beaded coasters with Greenlandic Flag designs, tall candlesticks, bottles of wine, and large platters of fish, salad, vegetables, and Greenlandic lamb soup.  As a sort of pre-feast blessing, one of Ann’s staff members, a young Venezuelan man named Ron Davis Alvarez whose aim is to use music to connect with people around the world, played Pachelbel’s Canon in D on the violin.  The music plus the welcoming nature of Ann and her staff was simply overwhelming!  And so began dinner at midnight, and it went well into the two o’clock hour!

(From Saturday 23 June 2012)

Today the Taste of Greenland film crew, Ace & Ace, shot various scenes around Uummannaq; they also went fishing for ammasetter, a sardine-like fish, with a few of the kids from the Children’s Home.  There was not a single tourist in Uummannaq for me to interview, so I was free to accompany the Taste of Greenland crew for the day!  In the morning, I went sailing with Anne Mette and Adrian to get shots of the icebergs and the town from the sea.

After lunch, Anders and I went up to the Children’s Home to clean the ammasetter that the crew had caught.  Cut off the heads, cut off the tails, snip the fins, and clean out the insides!  There were probably more than fifty fish to clean, but it went quickly with teamwork 🙂

In the afternoon, I went with Esben, Eskil, and Yuki to film Chris walking around and into the local supermarket, Pilersuisoq.  This was the first time that I had seen Chris working in front of a rolling camera, and it was great to see the show from “behind-the-scenes”!  Chris really is a natural – he did not have a script, no rehearsals… just going with it and making it entertaining.  Which it was!

The final event for the evening was shooting the cooking scene – again, this was the first one that I had seen so it was very exciting for me to see the whole process!  The site was a small hill on the outskirts of town looking out toward the large peninsula called Nussuaq.

All of the filming equipment had to be carried up to the site and unpacked, cameras positioned and focused correctly, Chris’ cutting board and mis-en-place arranged, and a fire started… the set up process took longer than the actual show!  Once everything was perfect and ready, it was quiet on the set and cameras rolling!

After the cooking scene, Ann and some of the kids from the Children’s Home came up to the site to be filmed dining on the ammasetter that they had helped catch earlier in the day.  They also brought more food and the whole lot of us had dinner up on that hill in the midnight sun!  And, just as on the first night, Ron Davis Alvarez serenaded us with his beautiful violin music while the others sang a traditional Greenlandic song!

Nationaldag (Taste of Greenland)

(From Thursday 21 June 2012)

Today was an early day.  The Taste of Greenland film crew, Ace & Ace, went on a mission to film National Day activities around town, but I think perhaps they were not as successful as hoped because of bad weather.  Also, from the looks of the daily program, it seems that National Day is not really a celebratory day but rather is much more serious and formal.  Practically the only way one could tell there was anything out of the ordinary on this day is that beer could not be sold until after kl 18.00!

Anders and I spent the morning driving around to the airport and different hotels in search of tourists to interview.  I felt a little like I was in the movie Twister or on a wildlife photo shoot – ready to hit the pavement on a moment’s notice because a rare species of Greenland tourist was spotted across town!

At lunchtime, the name of the game became “Be Ready for Anything and Go With the Flow”!  Originally, I booked a flight so that I would fly to Uummannaq tomorrow with the rest of the Taste of Greenland crew.  But in an effort to make last-minute plans to get the Royal Greenland team to Uummannaq as well, there were a few switcheroos!  So I packed all my things and got to the airport ready to fly to Uummannaq this afternoon, a day early.  Unfortunately, a great fog came in (which I later learned was quite epidemic all up and down the West coast), and it took three hours to determine that the twice-delayed flight would be cancelled all together.  I guess the Air Greenland gods were determined to keep me in Ilulissat!

So I made my way back to Hotel Arctic, secured a couple more tourist interviews, and then joined some of the Taste of Greenland crew for drinks at Café Ferdinand.  Dinner was quite fun and delicious – we had the Catch of the Day plate – hellefisk with rice, julienne carrots, and wild asparagus in a Massamun curry sauce.

Goodbye Nuuk ~ Hello Ilulissat! (Taste of Greenland)

(From Thursday 21 June 2012)

Greetings from Ilulissat, a town in the Disko Bay area of North Greenland (Qaasuitsup Municipality) and also home to the Kangia Ice Fjord that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!  In case there is anyone who does not know the premise of this trip, I shall briefly explain it here:

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I am currently a summer intern at Visit Greenland, the Greenland National Tourism Board.  The company has many projects going on this summer – one of which is the Summer Visitor Survey (on which I am working) and another is a television documentary series called Taste of Greenland.  Taste of Greenland follows Chris Coubrough (a New Zealand chef who has found great success in the United Kingdom) as he travels and eats his way through five regions in Greenland!  The Disko Bay area is the fifth and final region to be filmed for the series.  For more information, see here:

This trip was originally planned for the Taste of Greenland project.  Chris Coubrough is here with a film team of five from Ace & Ace out of Copenhagen, Denmark – Esben Hardt, Eskil Hardt, Finn Noer, Yuki Badino, and Adrian Beard.  There is also one representative from Royal Greenland (a Denmark-based seafood provider and sponsor for Taste of Greenland) named Christine, and two Project Managers from Visit Greenland, Anders Stenbakken and Anne Mette Christiansen.  Early in June, it was decided that I should accompany the crew as the tenth member in order to help out the crew whenever necessary and conduct visitor interviews in the meantime.  So here I am!

I should also quickly preface this and the upcoming entries with the fact that getting to meet and travel with the Ace & Ace guys for the next ten days is like a dream come true!  They are actually the ones who produced the Visit Greenland “Be a Pioneer” video that was almost single-handedly responsible for me falling in love with Greenland and wanting to come here!! So it’s a little like meeting an idol!  The video can be seen here: or just search “Be a Pioneer”.

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I flew in from Nuuk (via a transfer in Kangerlussuaq) yesterday afternoon on Air Greenland.  For the Nuuk to Kangerlussuaq leg, we flew beneath cloud level the entire time, so I got a great aerial tour of the west coast from 64*N to 67*N.  I half-heartedly expected to get some indicator that we had officially crossed the Arctic Circle – a giant flag, an intercom announcement from the flight attendant, maybe a line drawn in the snow!  Alas, there was nothing… but I could detect a change in the water and ice as we headed further north, and at one point I could actually see the ice sheet in the distance which was very cool!  The color of the water became much lighter blue and almost grey because of the increase in glacial water.

After a very brief layover in Kangerlussuaq, it was back onto the plane for an hour to go the rest of the way to Ilulissat, 69*13’N 51* 06’W.  During this leg we were above the cloud cover most of the time, so there was really not much to see until we got within fifteen minutes of landing.  Here, the water returned to a darker, more saturated blue color and was filled with icebergs of all shapes and sizes as far as the eye could see.  Ilulissat means “icebergs” in Greenlandic, and you can see why this town is named such:

Once on the ground, the first thing I did was accompany Adrian and Christine on a sailing trip in order to film a local fisherman fishing for hellefisk (halibut).  We sailed in one boat while the fisherman went in his own that was specially equipped for letting out fishing lines and gutting and cleaning fish.  It was great to get out right away to see the icebergs!  Although, it was cloudy and rainy, so they were not very brilliant.

As a Royal Greenland employee, Christine had the inside scoop on the halibut market!  The fishermen’s lines can have over 500 hooks on them, making an average catch weigh in around 300 kilos (660 lbs).  With Royal Greenland paying a market price of 30 DKK/kilo (or roughly $2.32/lb), a single fisherman can earn around $1,500 for a haul that takes no more than five hours round trip!  While this sounds like a lot of money for not a lot of work, the “easy” summer season is very well earned after the much harder winter season.  In the wintertime, the fishermen have to go out on the ice with sledge dogs and cut a hole in the ice through which to fish.