This was our last full day in Greenland. Although the trip had been wonderful, we were looking forward to returning home.
After so many days immersed in natural beauty, it was a shock to be back in "civilization." Nuuk is Greenland's capital and home to over one-quarter (~16,000) of the total population (~57,700). Even so it is the world's smallest capital city. Click for more population facts about Greenland.
The drizzly grey weather followed us from Ikka Fjord. Based on the various web sites and the comments of our local guides, Nuuk is glorious in good weather. In dreary weather it is simply dreary!
For our local tour buses we had city buses. They were comfortable and colorful.
The pyramidal skylights in the apartment buildings behind the bus were common. Given that Nuuk is near the Arctic Circle, the buildings need all the light they can get in the winter.
Even in the city we got to see nature at work.
These ravens were either fighting or courting. Sometimes it is hard to tell.
Our local guide told us that Nuuk has a critical housing shortage that has only gotten worse since the article at the link was written. Construction was ongoing everywhere in Nuuk, but the number of people leaving villages has risen faster than places to put them. We saw grim Soviet-like apartment blocks built years ago to accommodate entire relocated villages. They are falling apart and need to be replaced.
Newer apartment construction is more pleasing, but it isn't being completed fast enough.
In other areas, townhouse construction was common.
At least permafrost isn't a problem; most of Nuuk is built on bedrock.
At one point our tour stopped in this residential district. The guide said that the stop was included because it has the best view of the mountains, but that didn't work out too well for us on this day.
These houses are among the most expensive in the city.
I was fascinated by the foundation of this house. It is built on gabions, which I have only seen used for retaining walls. I expect they work well in this rocky terrain.
From this location we traveled to the National Museum of Greenland on the edge of the city center. We enjoyed the museum very much (especially the mummies), but headed back to the ship early to pack.
All large freight that comes through the Nuuk port is in containers. In addition to these vans, there was a similar container that held a large boat.
I'm sorry that we didn't have better weather for our visit to Nuuk. We would have spent more time out and about the city rather than returning early to the ship.
I was horrified to discover my last motion sickness patch had run out the day before. We weren't out of Nuuk long before it became clear that this would be one of our roughest days on the ship. I got some alternative mal-de-mer medicine from the ship's doctor and spent much of the afternoon on deck taking pictures of seabirds in an attempt to cope, but I finally gave up and took to bed.
Jim said that the farewell cocktails and dinner were quite good.
I was sorry to miss the farewell slide show, but I am sure much of it will be in the DVD that they send us. I was looking forward to our next fjord and still water. Luckily I slept like a log. The alternative meds probably helped a bit for seasickness (because I avoided "the worst"), but at the very least they knocked me out.
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