Greenland Highlights: Wednesday 1 August 2012. Hvalsø, Narsaq

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Just as Iceland isn’t particularly icy, neither is Greenland particularly green. But over here on the south-western shores, there was just enough green for the early Norse settlers to get a toehold and today we visited the remains of the little village of Hvalsø.

This tiny farming village was little more than a church and central residence with around ten satellite buildings, the church being the most substantial remnant. Historians reckon it was established late in the first millennium, perhaps 985AD until the 15th century, when it seemed most of the Norse colonists were done with Greenland. Fabulous weather meant it was a breeze to stroll around in shirt sleeves and the view across the bay was superb. A nearby farmer continued to run a small flock of sheep and his house could be seen about a kilometre along the bay.


The afternoon was a casual affair, anchored in the bay off Narsaq where the Zodiacs came out again to inspect the many bergs and growlers grounded there. Some guests set off in kayaks to explore them up close. We didn’t visit the town, more’s the pity.

Life aboard the luxury expedition ship, Le Boreal, is comfortable and even a bit decadent. With just 260 passengers (when full) the ship never feels crowded.

You can read the naturalist guides’ reports at: > expedition

Rod is travelling aboard Ponant’s Le Boreal as a guest of Travel the World

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