We didn't have particularly concrete plans for most of our time in Greenland; we booked arrivals and departures with very little thought of what we'd actually do in between. However, the one aspect of the timing which we did plan carefully was to make sure we were in Nuuk (Greenland's capital) for the National Day celebrations on June 21.
We found a schedule in the tourist office: the day was kicking off with a procession through the streets at 7.30am. The starting point was an hour's walk from where we were staying. Have I mentioned lately that I'm not a morning person...? I'm really not. But I'm even less of a person-who-misses-the- National-Day-procession-just-because-she's-sleepy, so I got up absurdly early and off we went into the grey Greenlandic morning.
In keeping with the tiny size of the city, it was a tiny procession. When we set off from the town hall there was hardly anyone there who wasn't carrying a flag or playing in the marching band, and though we picked up a few more en route, it was a small enough affair for us to feel we were really part of the action.
Don't you just love the colourful beaded designs of the women's costumes?
We processed to the Colonial Harbour (the heart of the old town) where we were due to have a canon salute, speeches, and singing. Each canon blast made me jump out of my skin even though I was supposed to be expecting it - goodness, they're loud.
As we'd arrived, sheets of paper were given out with the lyrics to the National Anthem (in Greenlandic, of course). The choir's conductor was an enthusiastic and energetic man, and when he encouraged the audience to join in with the singing, we felt we really ought to give it a go. Thankfully, Greenlandic is written pretty much as it's pronounced - but I have no idea what we were singing about.
Then, while the Greenlanders filled the cathedral for a two-hour service (everything takes a while, since it has to be in Greenlandic and Danish), we went back to bed for a little nap.