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Monday, 12 July 2010

Ice!



Ice arch

How have I managed to give you three posts about Greenland (not even counting the one about Greenlandic cake!) while barely mentioning the ice?

The Greenlandic icecap dominates the map, but when you're on the coast (as all the settlements are), you can't usually see it. There are mountains in the way.

Still, there was plenty of ice in Ilulissat. We even camped for a couple of nights within sight of the world-famous icefjord.

Camping near the Icefjord

It's hard to overstate how impressive the icefjord is. It's 55km long, about 8km wide, and is basically a mass of icebergs frozen together. I wish it was safe to hike on it!

 Ilulissat Icefjord


I also learned a little more of what it means to be a UNESCO World Heritage site. I'd always imagined it to be an international version of the "Listed Building" status we have in the UK, where there are legal protections to stop the owner from making certain types of changes without permission. Not quite. Ilulissat Icefjord is registered as a World Heritage site, and that does come with certain conditions attached, but what surprised me was the option to opt out at any time. Surely if we want to protect the heritage of the world, local administrations shouldn't be able to just change their minds? Although I suppose it would be hard to enforce any other way.


IMG_5889

We also took a day-trip by boat to Eqip glacier - an actively calving glacier where you can watch big chunks of ice falling into the sea. It was an impressive, looming wall of ice.

Eqip Glacier

If you look closely, you can see the clouds of ice dust... it's hard to photograph, but it was fun to watch.

Eqip Glacier, calving


20 comments:

LindyLouMac said...

A great cooling post for reading on a hot and somewhat humid afternoon. The photos are awesome.

M @ Betty Crapper said...

what an amazing trip. I hope you stretch out your Greenland posts for a while. I really like traveling with you via your pictures and words. Thanks.

Ashley Stone said...

wow, beautiful pics!

emma said...

wow, I am so jealous of you getting to camp somewhere so amazing. Looking forward to seeing more photos and stories from the trip!

Writing Without Periods! said...

What a life you are leading!!! And nice enough to share this all with your readers. Thank you.
Happy week,
Mary

blueviolet said...

It is really visually spectacular!

Emma said...

That looks absolutely amazing! What a brilliant trip and the photos are great!

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

That looks stunning and so majestic, how amazing! Shame I hate the cold... ;-) They're absolutely great shots, thanks for sharing. Have a lovely week, Love from London x

Tabor said...

Stunning photos! Makes you feel small and just passing through this great earth...at least that is the way is makes me feel.

Melissa B. said...

Outstanding. These certainly are Superior Snaps. Bravo!

Mama Hen said...

Rachel thank you for sharing these spectacular pictures! What a super experience you are having! I would love to take my daughter in the future on some adventures as you are having! I look forward to reading more!

Mama Hen

Angry Redhead said...

Man, Greenland is a place I do not hear about often. That first shot is amazing.

Ginny Marie said...

Those pictures are amazing! I love your camping spot! I've been lucky enough to see a glacier calving up in Alaska. Glaciers are just awesome!

Kazzy said...

Gorgeous photos. I would really like to travel more often!

Chef E said...

How cold was it in the tent at night? I love it when Discovery channel shows the ice falling into the water, so fascinating, but dangerous!

ScoMan said...

Impressive, breathtaking photos.

It's a shame about the ice around the world falling into the sea though. There'll be less and less of these structures to admire.

A Cuban In London said...

In the first photo (top to bottom) the impression I had was of two icebergs kissing. Fabulous images. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Deirdre said...

Wow, the photographs are amazing. I couldn't even imagine how beautiful this must be to see in real time.

Kel said...

Those are amazing photos Rachel! How beautiful Greenland is. Did you all freeze while camping???

Domestic Executive said...

These pictures are amazing although I had to huddle closer to the fire to take a good look.

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