Saturday, August 19, 2023

Qaqortoq, Greenland

Hello from Qaqortoq, Greenland!
landscape view of Qaqortoq, Greenland
Qaqortoq really needs closer up pictures to see the beauty of the colors.
colorful home on hillside in Qaqortoq, Greenlandcolorful homes on hillside in Qaqortoq, Greenland
But it didn't start out so colorful this morning. It started like this:
Even so, I knew I wanted to be on the first tender to shore so I made my way to the Wheelhouse Bar before 7 AM to grab my tender ticket. The Captain held us for a while because of the visibility but by 7:30 we were on our way. It was only a few minutes to get to shore and was almost as foggy there. 
Holland America cruise ship anchored in Qaqortoq, Greenland on a foggy day
Just us and Holland America out there
The fog didn't stop me from exploring about everywhere I could with the scooter. With no sidewalks and crazy fast drivers I had to be cautious on the straightaways, the curves, and the hills I tackled. I wished the fog didn't obscure everything but it did add a bit of Greenland-ish feeling to the day.
colorful homes on hillside in Qaqortoq, Greenlandcolorful homes on hillside in Qaqortoq, Greenlandcemetery in Qaqortoq, Greenlandlocal vendors in Qaqortoq, Greenland
Thankfully at that time of morning no one else was out and about other than the walking tour folks. I kept running into them again and again so I figured I must be hitting all the good spots.
walking tour group in Qaqortoq, Greenland
I found the oldest fountain in Greenland. After the tour group cleared out, that is.
Mindebronde Fountain in Qaqortoq, Greenland
I easily found the stone carvings right above the tender dock area. At first I thought I was going to have to climb the stairs...
stone steps in Qaqortoq, Greenland
but found the best of the carvings were on a paved path. Whew.
face stone carvings in Qaqortoq, Greenlandwhale stone carving in Qaqortoq, Greenlandschool of fish stone carving in Qaqortoq, Greenland
I discovered a church, a river, and statues.
Church of Our Savior in Qaqortoq, GreenlandBig Inuit Boot Statute in Qaqortoq, Greenlandlady sculpture in front of home in Qaqortoq, Greenland
Can't forget the flowers and road signs.
I discovered lots and lots of hills. Scooter and I tackled some and passed on others. We definitely passed on the stairs. Most definitely.
Qaqortoq, Greenlandpanoramic stairs in Qaqortoq, Greenland
When I'd had enough of the cold and fog and was already onto my backup battery I headed to the ship. I checked my photos to see where I had been and was pleased with the ground I covered. 
Looking at my health app today's number of steps (which really meant steps made while pushing a scooter up a hill) was the highest of the entire summer. Wow.

But more wow was to come. After I got back to the ship I took a verryyy long nap and woke up to this view off my balcony.
So what would used-to-be-adventurous and now-adventurous-again Deb do? Hop on a tender to get some more photos! But I didn't even need to leave the tender because bold, adventurous, spring-in-her step (hubby's words) Deb climbed to the top of the tender to get her pictures. 
Island Princess at anchor
A roundtrip tender ride for me, please. (I even parked the scooter under the stairs on deck 4 and walked limped to the tender.) And I found out there were actually mountains under all that fog.
colorful homes on hillside in Qaqortoq, Greenlandcolorful homes on hillside in Qaqortoq, Greenlandcolorful homes on hillside in Qaqortoq, Greenland
It turned out to be such a beautiful day. Even the pool deck was packed. Umm...we're in Greenland?!
Island Princess Lido deck
Oh, but the day didn't end there. On the tender ride back I had seen a little bit of smoke not far from town but didn't think much of it. Guess I should have because a couple hours later it turned into a mighty fire.
smoke from fire in Qaqortoq, Greenland
A helicopter was dispatched to help put out the fire so then I got to spend time watching a helicopter dumping water on it.
firefighting helicopter in Qaqortoq, Greenlandsmoke from fire in Qaqortoq, Greenland
You'd think that'd be enough excitement for the day. Nope. As soon as we left port we wound up with icebergs around us. It's hard to judge the size of these things but they are bigger-than-house size. They are everywhere!
icebergs in water in southern Greenland
Then there were the whales. (Sorry, no pics.) And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, this guy shows up off my balcony. 
icebergs in water in southern Greenland
Words fail me
Icebergs have been going by all evening and my crew member bud Pradnesh sent me a video of some of what we saw. Check it out!
The sun has gone down, I’m pooped and my body is shot, but tomorrow we're in Nanortalik, Greenland and I'll be there on the first tender again. See you there!
orange sunset with icebergs in Greenland
A Greenland sunset