Monday, September 8, 2008

Ikateq

Our helicopter to Tasiilaq was early, which turned into a blessing and enabled us to not miss the iceberg and glacier cruise, that took us the the old Ikateq settlement.

The views from above were just fantastic. We saw so many icebergs and various shades of blues and browns. The beauty of nature was definitely everywhere we looked.

After we arrived to the smallest airport I've ever been to, Stefan thought we would walk to our hotel, which proved to be a horrible idea.

It was a beautiful day, but the hills of Tasiilaq are steep - seriously steep. Thankfully, someone from the hotel picked us up along the way.

We were told as we checked in that a tour would be leaving in 15 minutes and there wouldn't be any tours the next day, so we put our things in our room and admired the view, and then set off for a 5 hour boat ride around the Sermilik fjord.

The icebergs we saw were simply stunning. The small fissures, cracks, and grooves relayed the beauty of nature and made us overjoyed to be able to experience something so special.

The boat 'Timmik' was at times rocky and cold, but very well worth the experience. Each and every iceberg had it's own character, shape, and appeal.

Half way through our trip we entered a bay and docked at the side of the Ikateq village, which has been abandoned since 1999.

Our guide told us hunters do occasionally come back, but it was very empty and it appeared the people left in a hurry.

The school and church displayed things that were left behind... books, maps, markers without lids, glue sticks, and numbers for song books.

This community of only 30 people was moved to Tasiilaq, where they would have running water and electricity.

I was grateful to see some of their things and imagine what things would be like in a one room school house. Many of their books depicted nature and their familiar surroundings. I wished that I was able to read their writings.

On the window sill was a bone from a Mink Whale. We felt it's porous rough texture and returned it to its place for the next visitors to see.

We were served a light dinner aboard the boat. It was nice to have warm soup and hot chocolate. However, after dinner people didn't seem to be doing as well.

Stefan felt slightly queasy and said the back of the boat was less rough, while I couldn't sit there because the captain was smoking a stogie and one of the rugged Russian men smoked his skinny ladies cigarettes.

I went to the bow and curled up under one of their thick felted wool blankets and enjoyed the view.

Here are many more of the icebergs from our trip. They really appear as though they have been carved by hand.






We went to sleep with an iceberg right outside our window and awoke to a very early morning sun.

2 comments:

Bluefish said...

Wow. There's no word to describe the scenery.

JoernandAllison said...

Wow. You were really lucky to have arrived when you did, because that boat ride sounded like something not to miss. The opportunity to go to the village is also incredible. It is amazing to see how things were left. They simply must have made up their minds, this is it. But it seems like an incredible museum. Amazing!
It must have been so awesome to be so close to so many icebergs too. I love when nature is so overwhelming, it puts all our human dramas into perspective!