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South Greenland - Dag 16 : Qaqortoq

It was initially foggy and cold in the morning but the weather quickly got better. Walking was easy and the view over the ocean very nice. I passed several enormous icebergs and after a few hours entered into Qaqortoq. The first building I passed looked like a youth hostel, you know like the one I would pass if I would take the wrong and much longer road into Qaqortoq...

icebergs in greenland
Iceberg in greenland
blue iceberg
Qaqortoq
qaqortoq

After a nice walk through Qaqortoq I arrived in the village center. Because there were only 3300 inhabitants there was not much to do. A bunch of kids came up to me to shake my hand. I passed a souvenir store and figured I should buy a few. There were only 2 kinds. The first were statues carved out of reindeer antlers, but those were >140 euros each. Secondly there were semi circle shaped knives which the Greenlandic women traditionally used to skin seals. I needed something light that would make it through customs. I bought socks for my sister and underwear for my dad, both in the Greenlandic flag of course. For my mom I got something that was either nougat or soap, I guessed she would find out quick enough :).

 

For myself I bought a fridge magnet as that was the lightest souvenir I could find. Meanwhile there suddenly entered dozens of English people from a cruise ship that had just arrived, but more about those later. First I needed to find a supermarket. After successfully navigating through half of Greenland I now had difficulty finding a supermarket in the middle of a village. Fortunately I found one eventually. The kids were also present again. They were jumping around and shouting like I they had never seen an outsider. I shook al their hands and then bought as much food as I could carry. Outside it was pretty cold but I had work to do. After 1,5 hours of non-stop eating I was pretty full. I still had 4 kg of fresh food and drinks left which I would carry for the following day

Qaqortoq's church
center of qaqortoq

Now something about the English and their cruise ship. Those were let loose an hour before and had stormed the souvenir shop. In the village center were now literally more English than Greenlandic people. They all took pictures of the same church and fountain and then sat down on a bench. OK, that was exactly the same as I had done, but instead of actually seeing anything in Greenland they already had to return to their ship 2 hours later. That seemed a really strange way to travel. I get that it's nice to be on a luxurious boat, and can understand that you then actually want to go somewhere as well, but to travel several thousand kilometers to only explore a 300 meter radius of a country is insane.

 

If the owner of the ship is smart he should just recreate Qaqortoq somewhere in England and sail there, nobody would know the difference. Anyway, it was time to get going again. When I got up and closed the hipstrap of my backpack I nearly threw up because I had eaten so much. I needed to climb for quite a while to get out of the village. After a few minutes I suddenly needed to go to the bathroom more than I had ever needed before. In the time it would take to explain a random Greenlander that I wanted to use their bathroom it would probably already be too late. During our cycling vacations Bart and I had optimized a strategy for peeing in places where that was not socially permitted, like in parks. You just had to pretend you weren't peeing, for example by walking around or pretending you were fixing your bike. I'll spare you the details but I am glad the people there had a lot of grass and dandelions in front of their houses.

qaqortoq
qaqortoq

Because of the the toilet business I had accidentally taken a wrong way out of the village. I now had to walk a few kilometers along the coast before getting back to the route. There turned out to be huge boulder fields which meant this detour added at least 1,5 hours to my trip. I heard polar foxes underneath the rocks but couldn't see any. The following day I would mostly walk back over the same route I had followed today, which I didn't mind as walking was easy and the view nice. I hoped the weather would remain nice.

qaqortoq bay
camping near qaqortoq