Pokémon Go books

While visiting the local book store here in Nuuk. I came across not only one, not two, but three different books on Pokémon Go.

Now I didn’t know what I was to expect. But I always imagined that the new technology would lead to less books. 

But here we see how wrong I could be. There’s apparently atleast 3 written books on a phone based app which is all about being active and exploring. 

I never looked into the books, but I bought an English crossword puzzle for the oldest daughter of one of my colleagues,whom  had a birthday that same weekend. 

I guess they switched out some of the classical titles as “the old man and the sea” and “pride and prejudice” to cater to a different audience with these Pokémon go books.

I will be forever old-school cool. 

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Post cards – something personal and oldschool

During my year(s) abroad I always made a deed out of writing postcards to my loved ones or my close friends.

I find that tagging people on pictures on Facebook just isn’t the same. Or showing the pictures to my father. 

Postcards are personal to two people, the one sending it and the one receiving it. When I write I always pick a specific postcard with a motif that the receiver would appreciate. So I can sometimes spend plenty of time choosing one. I always write a personal kind of logbook of what I’ve been doing or how the atmosphere is, and then what’s on the photography on the postcard. 

For the receiver it’s always a nice surprise to see something else in the mail besides bills and advertisements. But it also shows them that even though I’m far far away, I’m still thinking of them.

It’s also always nice to see the speed of the local post office(or lack off).

The feeling of having something from another country which was stamped and then moved through plenty of different hands to get to its destination. 

The last thing is that you just know that if any post office employees get their hands onto the post cards they will have read the post card and smiled.

Please send more snail mail postcards and not just snapchats, Facebook posts etc. 

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Visiting Iceland and their sheep

During a work trip to Iceland, my girlfriend and I was fortunate enough to have time to see some sights of west Iceland, around Reykjavík.

We flew with air Greenland from Nuuk to keflavik Airport, it was about 3/4 hours of fly time, with no service other than water and coffee. Now this was not Ryan air tickets, so we paid 4000 DKK (600 dollars) for a one way ticket. I at least expected a sandwich of sorts. 

After waiting 5 hours in line at avis/budget car, to get our rental car we could finally go to our hotel. We actually had reserved and paid to go to the blue lagoon, but because of the hold up in the airport we didn’t make it. But who needs to visit the most touristic spot of Iceland anyways, right? 

We had a reservation at Hotel midgardur centrum, which was absolutely amazing, except for the fact that our room had a big panoramic windows right next to the pedestrian path, and it was located on the ground floor. So the curtain was constantly drawn. Great atmosphere, right? 

First thing Sunday morning we got the car from the free parking spot and started driving an alternate version of the Golden circle. The Golden  circle is the 3 most famous tourist things to see in Iceland and can all be seen in a day. We decided to extend this with a trip on the old ancient main road. 

Most of the way of the Golden circle we were driving in a kind of convoy with all the other tourists. But when we entered the ancient road we were alone and could stop the car as we deemed necessary. At this time we could get out and take more photographs of the beautiful nature, without other meddelling tourists. 

The extended trip took about 10 hours and we decided to find the taco bell, which we had been looking for the day before. The reason was that I had never had taco bell and my girlfriend had tried it when she visited her aunt in San Francisco. 

We found the place and tried it. It couldn’t live up to my expectations and my girlfriend said it didn’t taste as she had remembered. 

On the last day we toured the city of Reykjavík, mostly for museums, churches and the opera house. But we were also looking for post cards and I wanted to buy an Iceland sweater or scarf. 

I had read good things about the Icelandic hand knitting association and wanted to get a sweater from them! We found the local store and after some testing and deciding on color combination and size I got one. Mind you, these are not cheap. One sweater is around 200-300 dollars. But I’m sure it will last 20-30 years. And it will only get nicer with age, as it has to set in on the person wearing it.

As I was staying for business, for the remainder of the time there my girlfriend went back to Budapest to study. So after we finished writing postcards in the beautifully lit opera house,(and having a coffee of course) we took the rental car and drove to keflavik Airport where she would catch a flight back to Budapest. This time avis/budget car was a much nicer experience. It was only 2 minutes to inspect the car and register it and they provided a shuttle the 500 meters into the airport.

Now without of a car I took the excellent shuttle service from the airport to the city center. At the same evening I had a networking arrangement for the following workshop on nuclear material in Greenland.

During the workshop I had found out that my dear friend Kristian, whom is in the Danish navy, was stationed on a ship which was docked in reykjavik. So after the mandatory dinner and drinks after the workshop one of the days, I found his ship and came aboard. We went out for a beer in reykjavik and we both went home early as we both had work in the morning.

It was purely by accident that we were both in reykjavik at the same time, but it was a nice surprise and showed once again how small the world really is. 

Thursday was the last day and I had to fly back to Greenland Air Iceland connect. This time we were flying from Reykjavik Airport. Now this is a small,  kinda domestic Airport, really close to the city.

When you live in Greenland you kinda get used to flying on a delayed schedule as the planes are almost always late because of the weather. This day wasn’t any different. as from when we get to the airport we are informed its delayed for 1 hour. Which is nothing for Greenlandic conditions. When you’ve spent 48 hours stuck in and airport with nothing but seats, you tried to be delayed.

Anyways we make our way to the terminal, and is allowed to do some tax free shopping. This the tax free shop is small but has a nice selection. Everything is crazy expensive in Greenland so you always buy something duty free on your way back. I got a bottle of alcohol (bison grass) and some different sweets. 

We board the plane and it’s a small plane but we are also only 15 people aboard. After around 2 hours of flight they inform us that the weather in Nuuk is too bad to land, and we will fly to kangerlussuaq to land and refuel and await the situation. 

We land in kangerlussuaq and have to wait three hours, but at least it’s a nice place to get some fast food. The flight from kangerlussuaq to Nuuk is 55 minutes and in no time we land in Nuuk. 

My girlfriend and I agreed that we will return to Iceland, and take more time to see natur and sheep. 

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The National History Museum in Nuuk

After exploring most of the outdoors in close proximity to Nuuk, we decided to also get wiser on the history of Greenland.

We visited at the same time as a huge cruise ship was docking, and as the national history museum is right by the docks, it got quite crowded. 

The history of Greenland, or the “northerners” as they were called are quite long and go back many hundred years. The interesting part is that even though it’s history, this is still very much customs in todays Greenland. For example these national outfits are still made and worn today during high holidays or special life events. Furthermore they are still made the same way and with the same materials.

I’m sure that most of national outfits will be inspirational to the international fashion scene in the coming years.

The museum itself is quite big and hold comparatively many artifacts in relation  to the population. Also the museum hold a lot of information, both for the younger generation but also for the more technical crowd, whom would visit. 

We spend almost three hours there and we didn’t absorb all the information possible. I would definitely go again as it was only something like 50 DKK (9 dollars). 

If you are ever in Nuuk as a visitor, expat or local citizen it’s definitely worth a visit. 

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Boat as the primary means of transportation 

So here in Greenland there is more boats than cars. And up until a few years ago there  was only 100 kilometer of paved road.

Now, at least in Nuuk, there is plenty of paved road. But the main means of transportation is still boat.

Nuuk is secluded and you cannot go to another city except by trekking. Maybe snow mobil during winter, but I haven’t heard about anyone doing it.

When we were wanted to go on a hike we hired a water taxi to sail us behind Big Malene and drop us off. The picture is of us sailing. I’ve sailed quite a few times with the same company, but this time it was a new boat and it had seats that were placed 2 and 2, as in a rib boat. While we had some problems finding out how to put on the life vest, the people who was going in the same boat quickly helped us so we could start the adventure.

In Greenland all sailing is about speed. This boat was equipped with two high-powered engines which could make sure we were not traveling with less than 30 knots. 

It was on the middel of summer, but it still felt like minus 15 degrees Celsius when we were skipping across the water in a rib boat. Now this boat trip was only 20-25 minutes so we could last the short cold period.

Another time, my girlfriend and I took a seven hour trip to the ice fjord and the glacier close to nuuk. This time we had to wear survival suits, which had GPS, a floating device and everything. Now this was three hours one way and three hours back, in the middel of summer. However even so only our faces were left bare it was cold as hell. Within the first 5 minutes of sailing, the boat guide sped along with 35 knots across the ripple of the boat in front of us. This shook the boat in a way that my girlfriend, Michael (my colleague) and I almost fell overboard. This was quite a shock. Coupled with the limited move ability while wearing a survival suit. 

The only warm part was when we arrived at the ice fjord and were laying still in the boat. Our guide told us the ice fjord was always sunny, which let me to understand which this was where the glacier was breaking off huge icebergs, which slowly make their way out the fjord, past nuuk. 

At around 1 o’clock we had our lunch in the middle of an ice fjord with the glacier a kilometer or so away. We expected to see the some seals, whales or maybe a reindeer as the season had just started for reindeer. But unfortunately we didn’t see any, except for one curious seal who wanted to know what all the noise (the boat going 40 knots) was about.

After finishing our lunch pack the guide said that we should probably start moving back, because we don’t want to get caught in the pack of ice bergs when the tide changes. On our way into the ice fjord we had pushed a few icebergs with the boat to allow ourself access. If caught we would have to spend at least 6 hours in there. 

On our way back we slowly sail by the bird cliff where ‘lomvier’ was having the nests and it was almost like watching planet earth 2 with all the birds gathered at one place. It was both disgusting (with all the white poop on the walls) but also magical to see and hear them sing I choir.

It was a long trip back. Almost three hours by boat, and our face/cheeks were freezing. Our guide asked us if we wanted to stop in a nearby small vacation city, where people this weekend were preparing and cleaning their vacation homes.

We kindly said no, as it had been 6 hours on the move and now all we actually wanted to do was to go home and get the warmth.

The the last 10 minutes of the trip took place in a slow pace out side of Nuuk. We were able to catch a couple of great photos and enjoy the trip. Along with everyone else also returning from their vacation or fishing trip we were sailing in convoy into the Marine Harbour past the indoor swimming pool, Malik. 

Sailing is magical. But sailing in Greenland is both a necessity and magical. 

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