The Ferry Sarfaq Ittuk. – Day 2 – Nuuk

On Friday morning, I was awakened at 7:30 a.m. by the ship’s announcement that we had docked in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.  We were going to be in Nuuk until 9:00 p.m. giving us plenty of time to explore the largest town in Greenland.

Unfortunately, we would not be alone in the town.  That wretched, massive cruise ship was also in town for the day so I predicted it was going to be chaos, and I was pretty much right on.

Local art
Local Nuuk art

So after breakfast, I made the trek into Nuuk (about a mile and a half to the center of town) only to discover that the hordes from the cruise ship had already overtaken the town center and more were on the way evidenced by the shuttle buses going back and forth between the pier and the town.  Ugh.  This was not going to be fun.

Anyway, I opted to head down to the Greenland National Museum, which was located on the waterfront, just prior to the 10:00 a.m. opening time.  Sadly, I think half the cruise ship had done the same thing.  It was brutal.

Now once I was finally able to pay the entrance fee, the museum itself was spectacular and featured a history of Greenland in each of the little rooms starting with Eric the Red’s discovery of Greenland and moving through the years to include the landing of Dutch missionaries who attempted to convert the Inuit to Christianity.

Inuit in the museum
Inuit canoe
The skeleton of the Gardar bishop
The mummies

There were displays featuring different clothing styles in Greenland through the years, different kinds of sleds and how they were made using the skin of animal, the importance of sled dogs, Inuit carvings, weaponry, Inuit jewelry  and on an on.   There was even a picture of the skeleton of the bishop in Gardar whose tomb we saw in Igaliku. The down side, the cruise ship people who could not shut up.  Read to yourself and respect the culture people.

The highlight of the museum for me was the Qilakitsoq mummies: three women and one child who were believed to have died at the same time in 1475 and were discovered together wrapped in fur.  The display provided a history of how the Inuit buried their dead, the belief in the after life and, of course, the mummies themselves.

View of a portion of Nuuk
Greenland parliament

After the museum, I hiked back up the hill to the center of town, past the parliament building (a nondescript red building) and found two shops that were selling local art and … Christmas ornaments.   I found a beautiful hand blown glass kayak with an Inuit person riding in the kayak.  Perfect.  And to top it off, I met the artist who designed the beautiful little ornament!  Still have not been shut out of a country when it comes to ornaments!

Hans Eggede the first misssionary in Greenland

After the Christmas ornament success, I then did a loop around the little local mall before meeting up with Steve, Chewie and Paulina for some lunch.  After lunch I went back down the street past the local church and then climbed up a hill for a better view of the town and a couple pictures of the statute of Hans Egede, which dominates the skyline.

Nuuk art
Inuit art

Now one of the cool things about Nuuk is that there is art everywhere – the side of buildings are painted with Inuit faces and around the center of town are beautiful Inuit carvings.  I tried to find a listing of all the public art displays in Nuuk, but was not successful so I simply kept snapping pictures whenever I came across a new display.

I ended the time in Nuuk by walking about a quarter mile to the Nuuk Art Museum.  The museum had a number of paintings by local artists as well as Danes.  It was a rather small museum so did not take me more than a half hour to go through the exhibits.  And my favourite, far and away was one of the first paintings I encountered:  a painting by Emanuel Petersen featuring an Inuit local near a stone house staring at the Northern Lights.  It was spectacular.

Painting in the art museum
Boats in the Nuuk harbour

By now it was 3:30 and I had pretty much covered all the sites.  I made one final pass through the center of town, took a quick peek in the cultural center and then decided to head back to the ferry.  My trip back took me along the harbor where dozens of local fish boats were parked, past the anchored cruise ship and finally to the end of the pier where the ferry was parked.  I was back in my cabin by 4:00 p.m.

I spent the rest of the day hanging out in the little lounge area at the back of the boat. Chatted with a few passengers and then watched from my cabin as we pulled out at exactly 9:00 p.m.  Time for bed!

Author: lawyerchick92

I am a lawyer by trade, but long to be a full time traveller. My life changed for the better when my brother donated a kidney to me on October 14, 2002.

2 thoughts on “The Ferry Sarfaq Ittuk. – Day 2 – Nuuk”

    1. Go. It is an awesome place to visit and definitely take the ferry. (Greenland is about to start pushing tourism so go sooner rather than later as two airports are in the process of being constructed.)

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