Onward to Qassiarsuk
After the excitement of last night’s Aurora Borealis, I was motivated to get up early and get on deck. Not usually being a morning person, I enjoyed a sunrise, which is something unusual for me. I have far more photos of sunsets than sunrises, but occasionally, it’s worth the effort to temporarily be a morning person. In fact, I am usually only a morning person while traveling because I don’t want to miss anything.
We had a bit of a preview of what would be in store today when we saw the icebergs from afar after climbing to the hill top in Igaliku. First on the agenda for the day, the boat trip to see the icebergs; this long awaited excursion energized and excited me. Having been warned to dress warmly, I donned multiple layers of cold -weather gear and also made certain that I had warm socks, something to cover my head and a pair of gloves to protect myself from the elements on this bright and clear day.
Off to Qooroq Icefjord
All geared up, I headed to Deck 2, where I joined my group. As with many activities, we split up into groups to go on the boat trip to the icebergs. Not wanting to miss the boat, I stayed on the ship this morning, but had I planned smartly, I would have gone into town on the first tender as this town is quite significant in terms of Viking history. You know what they say about hindsight.
Large icebergs and small floes stimulate the imagination as the boat brings guests up close and personal to these magnificent structures. I couldn’t get enough of the view. Our speed decreased as we cruised into a veritable punch bowl of floating ice in all shapes and sizes.
Taste and Touch of Ice
The captain cut the engine and one of the crew selected a crystalline piece of ice and began chopping it. The liquor came out and pieces of ice were placed in plastic glasses from which we enjoyed a bit of imbibement chilled by this pure, frozen water. We all gathered for group photos as we drank our refreshing beverage and marveled at the perfect background.
After slowly heading back toward the mother ship, we stopped close to some of the larger icebergs that were within touching distance. Each had such different features, some jagged, some blue and some with distinctive etched patterns. We circled within touching distance of some of these massive white sculptures. I couldn’t get enough of this landscape, but alas, my time here came to an end.
After boarding the Fram, I quickly grabbed a snack and also shed some of the extra warmth that I had worn for the chilly ice fjord adventure. The first thing that I visited in town was a statue of Leif Eriksson, son of Erik the Red, who had settled in this area and there was a Viking Longhouse in the village. Somebody had mentioned a shortcut to the longhouse from a hill.
I climbed with a few others up the hill to the statue of and then we went to explore the area in the direction of the hills in search of that shortcut.
We found no shortcut, but reached a beautiful mountain lake and spent some time relaxing there. I got nervous about our impending departure time and wanted to be sure to see the longhouse. The shortcut meant walking through many pastures and locked gates and in the end was no shortcut at all. Our small posse became experts at getting through or over these gates. We finally got out of the pasture that seemingly had no entry gate, but plenty of other gates.
We headed toward a church that we could see, but never had seen the longhouse from any vantage point. Unfortunately, the clock ticked away and we started back to the ship. On that path, we encountered some folks from the ship who told us that we had been quite near the longhouse when we were at the church, but we wouldn’t have time to go back to see it. Not seeing this was defnitely a low point of my trip. I am not sure when I will ever get back to Qassiarsuk again.
As we sailed by, I grabbed my binoculars (highly recommended on a cruise like this!) and examined the longhouse as we passed by.
Next was our crossing of the Labrador Sea. We had been hearing of bad weather up ahead and only time would tell how the crossing would be.
Neat history! The real Viking story!