Nuuk is the capital and the biggest city in Greenland at the same time. It is habitant for about 1/3 population of the country which is 17,600 people. The city was founded by Hansa Egede in 1721 or 1728. He named the city as Godthåb (from Danish it means good hope). However in 1979 the Greenlanders changed it to Nuuk (from Kalaallisut – Naze). I personally think that the Greenlandic name looks and sounds more clearly.
My first impression
There are some modern buildings at the city centre let’s say 10 buildings. All around there are many colourful buildings and the rocks revealing form the snow. At this point to still your attention and make the contrast bigger I should rather describe that there are 10 old, scruffy and scarring books of flats. This is a place where alcoholics, drug dealers and suicides live.
In fact some of these blocks are old but there are hundreds in Poland and thousands similar buildings in the world and different people live there.
I did not see and did not hear about single suicide as well. However every foreign person that I was meeting in Greenland was asking what do I think about the suicides and alcohol problems in Greenland.
It was sad that the ones who were just coming to the country were thinking about Greenland in these categories. They were seeing the drawbacks of this country without seeing themselves problems. Maybe the problem was associated with the fact that citizens were spending their free time at the same places as „non-drinking” tourists?
Greenland is small country and there is no much place to have fun. The ones who want to catch up with their friends, dance and have a drink do not have much choice. Everyone is distracted in a few pubs where there is no option not to meet the local community.
3x 333 ml vs 2 x 500 ml
The tourists can also measure the level of alcoholism of Greenlanders by the bottles. When I was sitting at the pub in a group of some tourists I heard their comments: ’Look how many bottles do they have on their table’. The tourist table that we were sitting had even more empy bottles on it but of course from this point of view it was not as much visible.
The bottle beer in Greenland has 330 ml. The typical Greenlander usually buys 2 or 3 as he does not want to walk few times there and back (in some pubs there are happy hours) 3 little beers are 990 ml and when for example 4 people are sitting by the table there are already 12 bottles. Quite different than in other countries were there possibly could be just 4 bottles. If somebody thinks that Greenlanders have problems with drinking than how to describe the Saturday evening in England? What is more it is good that in Poland nobody has not problems with the alcohol. Thanks God.
Going back to the subject my first impression from the capital was not positive. I am not talking about the houses, the problems with the alcohol or Greenlanders’’ suicides that created my point of view. Sometimes while being at new places straight away I am having negative attitude about the place. Much often it is caused my exhaustion or hunger and then I am just angry. In Nuuk I did not like big areas between the buildings, lack of the trees, dirty snow and grey everywhere. Luckily my negative attitude changed dramatically when I ate, had a nap and breathe of the fresh air. With each day that I spent there Nuuk had more colours.
Trekikng to Ukkusisstad
When I was going from Nuuk to Ukkusisstad I walked long distance on the road. I was walking on the road side actually on the dirt snow and I was not amused to be honest. When I went on the track it was getting better. The get to the beginning of the trekking route you can take the bus number 3 and the bus stop should be 41. Unfortunately I missed all of them and both ways I had to walk, lucky me. Firstly it was quite difficult to read their bus schedule but in the end of the day I did not have any problems with it.
The mountain had only 772 metres above the sea level. Sounds like nothing but I was not able to get to its’ top. The trail was fully covered with the snow; there were no traces that were indicating the proper way. What is more suddenly half of my body was hidden in a deep snow layer. I realised that there is no much sense of going there that is why I turned back. I should have had a snow shoes with me.
I went as high as I was able to make some pictures of the city.
I think that my way to be on the top of K2 will be long… 😀 Seriously I did not even think about going to the top of such high mountain as it is not attractive for me. What I like is to stroll at the terrain like that but the mountains tops are not the most important. I care about the mental rest :).
The international meeting in Nuuk
During the Easter dinner that was taking place in the apartment of the girl that I met on the Facebook’s group „International’ in Nuuk” I could meet some international students. Some of them came here to work and only I was a visitor here. Everyone brought something to eat. What I took with me was lyophilisated cabbage stew, instant sour rye soup and plummy ‘Soplica’ (Polish vodka) that everybody liked the most. Hmm I am still thinking why :D?
During the meeting I had the best connection with two girls. We were talking the whole evening about some silly things. The whole party was taken to the pub where my new friends ascertained me to be a secret agent :D. I was laughing a lot :D. They were not able to believe that I make sandwiches as a daily routine and I can afford a trip to Greenland. My being a secret agent – sounds like fun.
However their resumes were more reliable for the secret agent than mine.
After few meetings I am sure that one of them was keeping a secret. I am the one who rather do not trust people and do not talk much about myself to others but I use my real name. One of them confessed that she provided us with unreal name. I was not sure if she was so wariness or rather paranoid or maybe both at the same time?
In spite of the ‘occupational’ reasons Mrs Y asked me not to publish her story it was too original 🙂 and because of my own initiative I will not provide any names or surnames. I am not even sure if the ones I was provided were real.
The short story of one being at the secret service for Kremlin
Mrs X has lived in five countries since now. For a few years she stopped in Georgia where she was arrested and accused of being a secret agent. She loves trekking, climbing, skiing, martial arts and yoga. She speaks 4 languages but she did not confirm the knowledge of Russian language. I was observing her. When she was standing back to me I was trying to speak a bit Russian (I remember something from my school 🙂 ) and she was reacting. What is more she was trying to figure out where the rubies were being sold and from where they have been quarried. Please tell me does not is sound like a secret service agent :)?
When you travel you can meet different people, trust me :).
My daily expenses in DKK:
- 18.50 – pickles
- 31.95 – sliced cheese
- 28.95 – 10 eggs
- 15 – cola 0.5l
- 2 – the bottle with refundable deposit. For the plastic bottles there is a chargé of 2 krones. In Poland it should be the same I think. You are not messing, you turn back the used bottle, and you receive your money back.
- 250 – a beer at the pub for me and the girls
Skiing in Nuuk
At 11 o’clock together with Anna (the girl that I met during the Easter International dinner party in Nuuk) we went together in the bus number 3 to get to the ski slope (using the same line you can get to the airport to the stop ‘41’ and from this point the trekking can be started).
My first day on skiing was not as bad – I have not broken anything but for a few times I felt down without having any serious problems. It was painful experience that did not influence the morals of my teacher and mine (some people from our Easter party joined us as well). The weather and the mood were very positive and nice. I think that my ‘perfect’ skills will force me to try skiing one more time in the future.
The day before I was unnecessary struggling when I was trying to get to the Ukkusisstad. I did not want to go to the top of the mountain but I really wanted to take some nice pictures. The view from the ski slope was nice too. I did not have my camera and it was a pity.
Daily expanses in DKK:
- 15 – the bus ticket valid for 1.5h
- 200 – the rental of the equipment – ski, shoes, helmet and sticks
- 20 – the ride to the top
- 15 – the bus ticket
- 89 – 12 pieces of sushi
- 23 – cola
- 80 – 1 beer at ‘Daddy’s’ pub – one of the most expensive