Arctic expedition Greenland Science

Kangerlussuaq, the gateway to the Greenland ice sheet

I barely finished my first ever muskox burger and I was suddenly sitting in a small plane, flying over the Greenland ice sheet. I was lucky to be the shortest person of our group, which granted me the front spot right next to the pilot. I opened the window and stuck my camera out, and I almost lost it because of the powerful air flow. I’ve grasped it more firmly and tried to capture the sublime scenery of the endless ice sheet.

Russell Glacier by plane

We followed the river upstream and along the glacial valley we arrived to the ice sheet, an endless mass of ice that goes as far as you can see. What more shall I say… I’ll rather let speak the pictures.

My first ever muskox burger!

My first ever muskox burger!

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A small plane by Air Zafari took us to the ice sheet.

A small plane by Air Zafari took us to the ice sheet.

We followed the river upstream, towards the glacier.

We followed the river upstream, towards the glacier.

The magnificent first view of the glacier.

The magnificent first view of the glacier.

The lakes had an amazingly green colour.

The lakes had an amazingly green colour.

The endless ice sheet.

The endless ice sheet.

Ice, ice everywhere.

Ice, ice everywhere.

If you thought that the ice is flat, it's not.

If you thought that the ice is flat, it’s not.

This is how a muskox looks like in its natural form, before it turns into a muskox burger.

This is how a muskox looks like in its natural form, before it turns into a muskox burger.

Russell Glacier by bike

The next day we decided to check out the glacier from a different perspective. We rented bikes and hit the only road in Greenland that takes you all the way to the ice. The only obstacle is that it’s a 50km return trip. My companions didn’t seem concerned by this fact and the weather was great, so I ran out of excuses.

It turned out to be a super warm day and I couldn’t regret more that I was wearing a long-sleeve black shirt and long black pants. The road started by a rather steep uphill and the fact that I had to get off my bike to get to the top was not a good sign. The next kilometres were more pleasant, we were biking along a river, the hills around were green and it was a perfect picture of Greenlandic summer at its best.

We had a break by a lake where we spent some time berry picking and the brave ones also swimming in the lake. And from there it was only getting worse. The trail soon changed from gravel to sand. It was getting harder and harder to move even at a slow speed. We reached a point where it resembled a desert… sand, sun, heat, lack of water, bikes sinking in the sand. We could already see the glacier in front of us, hidden behind small hills. It looked so ironic – how there can be a desert and a glacier at the same time?

We went on, attracted by the proximity of the glacier, but at 3pm we still had 8 km ahead of us and we decided to better head back to Kangerlussuaq. It was a bit sad not to make it all the way to the glacier, but the view was pretty good already from the road.

The river is our guide.

The river is our guide.

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It was so warm that day that I even made myself jump into the super cold water.

It was so warm that day that I even made myself jump into the super cold water.

Berry picking!

Berry picking!

There was a plane crash site.

There was a plane crash site.

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Is this Greenland or Sahara?

Is this Greenland or Sahara?

Even though we felt like in a desert, we could already see the glacier.

Even though we felt like in a desert, we could already see the glacier.

 

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5 Comments

  • Reply emi

    so beautiful … and the burger looks AMAZING!

    great blog! xo

    welltraveledwife.com

    November 7, 2015 at 22:22
    • Reply Patricia

      It was just an airport canteen, one of two places where you can have food in Kangerlussuaq, and it probably wasn’t the best burger I’ve ever had, but I was happy to try how a muskox taste because it’s something so exotic :)

      November 16, 2015 at 21:43
  • Reply Inger

    The ice field looks impressive! What an awesome adventure:) I have never had muskox burger, but I have tried bison burger. Wonder if they are somewhat similar? :)

    November 8, 2015 at 23:04
    • Reply Patricia

      A bison burger? Wow, that sounds cool too. We need to find somebody who had both to tell us the difference :-D.

      November 16, 2015 at 21:37
  • Reply Erika Bisbocci

    What an absolutely incredible experience! I’ve been wanting to visit Greenland for a long time now and have only really heard about people visiting on a cruise. I’ll have to do more research about visiting the way you did! Thanks for sharing!

    July 22, 2016 at 15:32
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