Saturday, 11 July 2009


Sunny skies again! Two icons of Greenland were very much in evidence today as we hiked through town and on out to the Valley of the Winds.
  1. The Greenland Dog
  2. Niviarsiaq or Broad-leaf Fireweed.

The Greenland Dog is one of the oldest and purest dog breeds in the world. In Greenland it is forbidden to breed Greenland Dogs with other breeds. They are working dogs, able of surviving the harshest Arctic conditions and are very powerful, capable of pulling one and a half times their own weight over great distances. Greenland Dogs have a strong pack mentality. In any group of working dogs there is a clear hirearchy which all dogs respect. To make a pet of a Greenland Dog you need to establish exactly who the dominant animal is. You, or, your dog. Hiking high on the beach just outside of town we passed by several groups of Greenland Dogs. The puppies are free to roam around, but the adults are not permitted to run loose. As tempting as it was to stay and play with the puppies and to photograph grounded icebergs along the dark sandy beach, the volcanic landscape of The Valley of the Winds beckoned. Beautiful warm brown cliffs rose to our left and in the distance ahead of us. The cliffs have a stratified terraced look which is a result of different periods of volcanic activity. The warm red layers are a result of high iron content and oxidization.
Greenland’s national flower, Niviarsiaq (which means young woman in Greenlandic) is now in full bloom. Niviarsiaq is also known as Broadleaf Fireweed, Dwarf Fireweed and River Beauty. It is a member of the evening-primrose family.