Ilulissat

Ilulissat Ice

Ilulissat ice

“This is it,” raves the Lonely Planet. “This is why you came to Greenland and spent all that money. Ilulissat is one of those places so spectacular that it just makes everything else pale in comparison.” Well, call me contrarian, but there are a half-dozen towns and settlements I’ll look back on more fondly. Home to a UNESCO world heritage site––the truly awesome Ilulissat Kangerlua (icefjord), choked with towering, glistening, impossibly sized bergs from the most prolific glacier outside of Antarctica–and a smothering tourist industry to match it, Ilulissat is a town where you can drop $100 for two nights of camping and a hiking map; where the Air Greenland-owned “World of Greenland” tourist office sells obscenely expensive excursions and boasts display cases full of artisanal crafts carved from polar bear claws and endangered whale species––with disingenuous signs reminding that these things are illegal to export (as if native Greenlanders are their intended customers).

Another view of the fjord

Trying to capture the ice

The ice is gorgeous; the town stinks a little. I’m sincerely glad that there are benches and wooden walkways––not everything should be wild and mosquito-bitten and miles from any town or road. But there is nowhere in Ilulissat to even get impartial information. Every “tourism office” is furiously peddling something, and people seem dizzy if they’re not buying just the right thing. The Lonely Planet is right-–Ilulissat is unmistakably suffused with a sense that “this is it,” but it’s that very quality that makes it frantic, fraught, and a little depressing. I wandered around for days, snapping photos of the ice, using other people’s enormous cameras to snap photos of them in front of the ice, and after a while I realized that part of the problem is that the photos never do it. Every one is so frustrating because it’s impossible to capture the scale or the colors, and every botched attempt makes it necessary to snap two more, to shell out for a helicopter or a boat that will take you even closer to something so massive and indifferent and impossible to comprehend. Finally, I fought the urge and put my camera away.

Rasmussen's birthplace

Rasmussen's birthplace

Here are some things that redeemed Ilulissat for me. Knud Rasmussen was born here (speaking of larger than life) and the old vicarage where he was born now houses a museum. There’s a little curtained-off corner where you can linger and watch his 1933 film Palo’s Wedding, and on the creaky top floor are the original drawings he collected from Polar Inuit during his 5th Thule Expedition––the “Danish Ethnographic Expedition to Arctic America.” These drawings are so marvelous–so modest and small and compositionally elegant. They’re like little pencil-scratched depictions of dogsleds and seal hunters atop an Agnes Martin canvas. I loved them, and how they’re displayed in a creaky old attic. They were a wonderful little escape from town.

One of the Polar Inuit drawings

One of the Polar Inuit drawings

On my way out to the airport––a long trudge with a heavy pack––an old man pulled over his pick-up even before I could stick out my thumb. He was headed to the airport to pick up his sister, visiting from Sisimiut. He was bursting with excitement to see her. He had few teeth and spoke almost no English, but we muddled through together. It couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 km. of driving, but he slowed way down to get his story out. He was a proud Sisimiut booster, raising his fist triumphantly every time he said the word. I asked him why he’d moved away and couldn’t really make straight his answer––his dogs are here and he can’t leave them. Can you take them back? Yes, but no. Do you hunt with them? Used to, but the ice in the bay isn’t what it used to be. Works at the fish processing plant now, but that’s not what it used to be either. Has lived in Ilulissat for twenty years, but it’s not Sisimiut. “Sisimiut!” he said again with a raised fist and a far-off smile. I could tell that he was slowing down to impart this elegaic message––that nothing is any longer what it used to be. But there he was, on the way to the airport to see his sister, bursting with happiness. The two sentiments kept fighting each other to a draw. It was a really nice ride.

17 Comments

Antino stephen posted on March 6, 2024 at 8:02 am

Excellent aspects as well as fine points imparted in this condensed content. Awaiting more posts such as this one.

يلا شوت posted on March 6, 2024 at 11:47 pm

While I wouldn’t call myself a crafting expert, I’m totally drawn to the idea of personalized custom patches. It would be amazing to find an online service that simplifies the design and ordering process for someone like me.

يلا شوت posted on March 6, 2024 at 11:47 pm

While I wouldn’t call myself a crafting expert, I’m totally drawn to the idea of personalized custom patches. It would be amazing to find an online service that simplifies the design and ordering process for someone like me.

While I wouldn’t call myself a crafting expert, I’m totally drawn to the idea of personalized custom patches. It would be amazing to find an online service that simplifies the design and ordering process for someone like me.

vozol posted on March 31, 2024 at 11:10 am

tnkas

time posted on March 31, 2024 at 11:10 am

thank youu

Mani gaumzi posted on April 6, 2024 at 1:15 am

It really nice

Shillong Teer Result posted on April 13, 2024 at 10:55 am

nice article .It is such an informative post and helps me a lot.We encourage people to come and submit their own pitches on trendy topics through our blog.

Khanapara Teer Result posted on April 13, 2024 at 10:55 am

It is such an informative post and helps me a lot.We encourage people.

آلاچیق شیشه ای اصفهان posted on April 14, 2024 at 12:51 pm

آلاچیق شیشه ای چیست؟
این آلاچیق ها، اتاقک های شیشه ای هستند که می توانند سازه ای ترکیبی از شیشه و چوب یا شیشه و فلز باشند. امکان ساخت آلاچیق شیشه ای به گونه ای که نسبت به آب و هوا مقاوم باشد وجود دارد. بنابراین امکان استفاده از آنها در فصول سرد سال نیز وجود دارد.

Sarkari Naukri posted on April 16, 2024 at 2:22 am

In India, a Sarkari Naukri (or an Indian government job) is highly sought-after. It’s the ultimate career goal, offering long-term security, good benefits, and friendly co-workers.

Toyota Hilux price uae posted on April 17, 2024 at 3:00 am

Zaman Safi FZE stands out as a top choice in the UAE for purchasing certified pre-owned cars, catering to customers not only in Dubai but also spanning across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, and Malawi. As the leading Dubai Car Dealer, we prioritize delivering excellence in service and selection.
In need of a dependable Toyota Hilux price uae at a competitive price in the UAE? Look to Zaman Safi FZE. Our range of Hilux models comes with enticing offers, ensuring you secure the best deal on this rugged and adaptable pickup truck. Whether you’re in Dubai or any of our branches in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, or Malawi, we’re equipped to meet your Hilux requirements within your budget.
Yearning for the luxury of a Toyota Prado?
Zaman Safi FZE offers competitive Prado price in uae. With a diverse inventory of Prado vehicles, you’ll discover the perfect blend of elegance, comfort, and performance, all at a price that suits your preferences. Visit us in Dubai or browse our online selection to uncover exclusive Prado deals.
For those craving the ultimate off-road adventure, explore the Toyota Land Cruiser lineup and prices in the UAE with Zaman Safi FZE. Our competitive Land Crusier price in uae ensures you’re ready to conquer any terrain with confidence and style. Whether navigating Dubai’s urban streets or venturing into the wilderness, our Land Cruiser selection delivers unparalleled luxury and capability.

در عصر امروز، بازار رقابتی پررونقی در حوزه فروش محصولات وجود دارد. برندها و کسب‌وکارها برای جذب مشتریان و افزایش فروش خود نیازمند راهکارهای خلاقانه و موثر هستند. یکی از راه‌های موثر برای افزایش فروش محصولات، سفارش و ساخت تیزر تبلیغاتی است.

يلا شوت لايف posted on April 27, 2024 at 10:40 am

Not only are our staff skilled in the art of massage, but they also maintain a high level of professionalism

jana posted on May 5, 2024 at 4:14 pm

احجز وحدتك الان في أفضل كمبوندات الشيخ زايد كمبوند بالم فالي اكتوبر زايد الجديدة، أحدث مشروعات شركة بليدج للتطوير العقاري PLEDGE DEVELOPMENT في منطقة الحزام الأخضر، حيث تلتقي الرفاهية بالهدوء والرقي بالطبيعة. يقع هذا الكمبوند الفاخر على مساحة تزيد عن 10 آلاف متر مربع، ويتميز بتصميمه الرائع الذي يتضمن 19 فيلا متميزة تتألق بأناقتها وتنعم بالراحة.

7E Certificate posted on May 9, 2024 at 12:47 pm

Thinking of selling your property in Pakistan? Hold on! The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) introduced a game-changer in 2022: the 7E certificate. This little piece of paper is now mandatory for a smooth property sale, and not having one can cause major headaches.

Irish lotto posted on May 15, 2024 at 3:32 am

The Irish Lottery, known for its simplicity and generous odds, captivates players worldwide. In the Irish Lottery, you pick six numbers and hope they’re chosen in the draw. If they match, you win! The draw happens twice a week. People love it because it’s easy to play and offers the chance to win big prizes.

Antonio James posted on May 20, 2024 at 2:46 am

Excellent aspects as well as fine points are imparted in this condensed content. Waiting more posts such as this one.

Post a Comment

Your email address is never shared. Required fields are marked *