Saturday: Nuuk, Greenland

Friday night I stayed up late to watch the sunset and there were lots of whale spouts in the distance.  Very cool.  Saturday we came into the harbor at Nuuk, Greenland mid morning.   It was a very clear day with calm seas.  We got off the ship and onto a city tour.  There are about 50,000 people total living in Greenland and about 17,500 in Nuuk, which is the capital.  There is a mix of Danish and Greenland Inuit cultures.  Greenland has self rule, but when it comes to foreign policy and the courts system, the Denmark has control.  Most people live in apartments and as you look at the shapes and spaces, the store IKEA makes a lot more sense.

Our guide showed us both the new and historical areas.  Then Ali and I walked around, going to the mall (The largest mall in Greenland! (about 20 stores) and had a snack and coffee drink in a cafe.  We saw the Prime Minister’s house, which is right there, with no discernible security.  Nuuk seems a pretty quiet place.  It was Saturday, and a lot of stores were closed, but I do feel confident that I will be one of the only people in Arlington, VA that owns a Greenland shaped cookie cutter.

Back on the ship we had a nice dinner, sitting with the ship musician, Blair, and an older gentleman named Wilfred who had an accent that I couldn’t quite place, but it transpired that he was from Switzerland.  Alison and Blair were talking about guitars, and I asked Wilfred if he played an instrument.  He said he decided to take up an instrument in his later years and decided he wanted to honor his Swiss heritage.  At this point I raised my hand and said “please say you play the Alp Horn,” and he said “I play…the Alp Horn.  Awesome!

In the evening they had a whiskey label writing contest.  You were supposed to choose a place and write a label that incorporated the characteristics of the land and people into the description on the label.  I wanted to do something from the trip, so I entered the following for a whiskey  I said I had discovered Chef brewing in the galley:  Adventura Whiskey.  All the bolded parts are elements of our trip.

“O Can you taste the adventure?  You’ll never be lost at sea with Adventura Whiskey.  This 12 year vintage is cured in discarded zodiac pontoons.  Grains of the Canada plains are toasted over Labrador mesquite and then mixed with glacial water filtered through chert and Moravian brick.  Don’t touch it!  Everything remains untouched by human hands until a millennium has passed! You’ll reminisce about a wet landing as you splash your way through our boot shaped bottle.  You will taste early notes of maple and bakeapple, a midcourse scent of smoked Arctic char and a finishing note of cookies.  Each sip will bring newfound respect for the warmth and friendliness of this drink and you will need a sailor’s grip on your glass as you endeavor to consume the polar bear amount of excitement that each bottle holds. Don’t be afraid to start your day early with Adventura: the kick will have you saying “Good Morning, good morning!” We suggest adding ice as this will prolong the enjoyment. Strangers become friends while drinking Adventura Whiskey.”

And I won the contest!!!

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