Sunday, 21 June 2009

Uummannaq and Ukkusissat

The first groups off the Fram this morning were those people that chose to go to The Desert, just a short boat ride outside of Uummannaq. The austere beauty of this rocky landscape certainly felt otherworldly.

June 21st is National Day in Greenlandand. It is a holiday in all towns and settlements and cause for a national festival. In the morning it was a treat for us to wander about town and see local people in traditional dress, to listen to morning songs and
watch displays of kayaking skills.

After lunch many of us went on a hike to Santa’s Hut. This hike was a little more strenuous than our previous forays into the Greenlandic wilderness. Our efforts were rewarded when we arrived at Santa’s Hut. Waiting for us was our Expedition Leader Anja Erdmann with hot coffee and hot chocolate for everyone! The hot drinks had been delivered by our Polar Cirkle boats.

At 4:30 we weighed anchor and headed to Ukkusissat where we had been invited to the town hall to join in the celebrations for National Day. However it was cold and overcast - threatening rain, so we invited the local people to the Fram where we were treated to a delightful show of singing and dancing in the Observation Lounge.

After the event in
the Observation Lounge we went ashore and explored Ukkusissat. There was more music in the town hall and lots of local food for us to sample including halibut soup and seal meat. There was an explosion of colourful fireworks shortly before the last Polar Cirkle boat left shore at 11pm. What a full day. What a great day!!