Instagram Email me!
I wrote a book! If you've ever wanted to learn a bit more about creating recipes, this series is designed for you. The first book focuses on cookies, because who doesn't love cookies?
Available now on Kindle.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Sounds of Ilulissat



I've just got home from Greenland.

There will be photos soon, I promise - we took more photos than you could ever have time to look at, so it will take me a while to pick out the best ones. But much of what really stands out in my memory isn't visual but aural, particularly in Ilulissat, the first town where we stayed.

A loud crack, sounding like a gunshot, made me jump the first time I heard it. Hunters in Greenland do shoot, and oh, it sounded close. My heart started beating just a little bit faster.

Remember we were sleeping under canvas much of the time; sounds reached us loudly and clearly.

It wasn't long before I realised what I was hearing: not a gun, but the cracking of ice. Even a small piece of ice falling onto the frozen surface of the icefiord would create a significant noise, amplified as it echoed in the mountains. Icebergs turning in the sea made a similar sound. Hundreds of miles above the arctic circle, this became a constant soundtrack to our lives.

I was also haunted by the howling of Ilulissat's 3,500 sled dogs - who deserve a post all to themselves, especially the adorable puppy-huskies. In the summer heat (yes, it was hot some days) they were clearly uncomfortable and sleepy, feeling out of place, longing for the snow.

Finally (for now) a man-made kind of sound: apparently, headphones haven't reached Greenland, or are certainly not popular. Day or night, you would often come upon someone with an MP3 player or stereo playing - quietly but clearly - in the street. And on the bus. And in the ferry. Private music seems not to be a concept; if you're listening, you share. Just one modern-day example of the communality of Inuit culture, which I've read so much about lately.

19 comments:

smilla4blogs said...

A wonderful and fascinating first post after your trip! Eagerly awaiting the next installment!

Tabor said...

There are so many places I would like to visit but time and economics constrain.

Writing Without Periods! said...

How great you can travel. Lovely post.
Mary

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

Welcome back! It sounds so fascinating an different from the standard "costa-holiday", really great. Look forward to the pics. Love from London x

lakeviewer said...

Looking forward to the pictures, and more commentaries. How hot did it get?

Emma said...

Welcome home! Can't wait to hear more about it and see lots of lovely pictures!

Alice Braga said...

Welcome back, Rachel. Thank you for the multisensory description. i look forward to learning more about Greenland through your eyes (and ears).

classycareergirl said...

Wow! Sounds like a wonderful trip. Can't wait to see the photos!

Deirdre said...

Welcome back!

I love your descriptions in this post. It sounds wonderful. :)

Fly Girl said...

The sound of cracking ice! That's a natural sound that would really be intriguing to hear. The howling sled dogs, not so much.

Kel said...

Thanks for all the great descriptions. I can't for the photos so I can put the visual and sounds together! :)

liliannattel said...

Welcome back. What an interesting aural picture. I'm looking forward to more.

M @ Betty Crapper said...

I hope you share puppy pictures. Welcome back.

Carrie K said...

Wow. Greenland? Really? So cool.
I had a friend who went there and said that she was in snow up to her thighs and her jeans never dried. Did that happen to you at all?
Music playing everywhere in Greenland reminds me of what I experienced in Uganda. Music on the radio was on ALL the time, everywhere. I could hear the guards playing it even all through the night.
PS Rachel, do you ever role play with your characters? Like on chat? I would love to do it with you some time.

MelRoXx said...

So glad you're back from Greenland. I'd like to go over too. Can't wait to see the pictures!

Dropping by from SITS! xxx

Kel said...

I just wanted to let you know that I added a link to your blog in my post today. You are one of my favorite "writing" blogs. I know you are a typical writing blog, but you are a writer and I love reading about your adventures!

Darlene said...

So awesome that you can travel. Sounds like a great experience.

ScoMan said...

Welcome back!

Looking forward to seeing your pics.

The ice was cracking that loudly? Wow. That would have been a scary experience.

And I couldn't picture sharing my music with other people like that. I think I need my headphones.

ladyfi said...

The cracking of ice is well known over here. Not fun when you*re actually standing on it though. So glad you got to experience the beauty of the midnight sun! It's awesome!

Post a Comment

Thanks for dropping in! I'd love to hear what you have to say, and if you leave a URL, I'll be round to visit you soon. (Comment moderation is on because the spam has become overwhelming!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...