Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Coolest Place on Earth

When they say that Greenland is The Coolest Place on Earth, they aren't kidding. In fact, it's their motto. Here's a firsthand account of that coolness factor. This was truly one of the coolest experiences of my life - walking on the massive Greenland ice cap. This particular peak is known as Point 660. You can literally cross a little water stream and on to the ice cap by stepping on this precariously put wooden plank. It was summer so we were walking directly on the surface of the ice, while being careful not to slip and fall around one of the water streams.

It's more slippery around those. In summer, the ice melts faster and creates these streams on the surface that eventually end up in one of the holes, called moulin, in the ice cap. It is suggested that the moulins enable water to reach all the way down, causing the ice sheet to slide.

At the edge of the ice cap though, it is mixed with the land, and it almost looks dirty, but it also allows one to see the structure in detail providing a contrast for the eyes.

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Sunday, January 04, 2009


Niviarsiaq, which means 'young maidens', is the national flower of Greenland. It is also found in north America, primarily the Canadian archipelago. These flowers are everywhere in summer. I took these pictures on the way to one of the glacier sites - the one that is visible over the flowers below.

It is such a pretty site. There are limited flora in Greenland because of the rock and tundra landscape. Niviarsiaq grow on whatever little land they find, even if covered with rocks.

I had a hard time choosing what pictures to put here. So here's a selection from my dozens of Niviarsiaq pictures. If you Google Niviarsiaq, you'll find several more pictures of these pretty flowers on Webshots, Flickr etc.

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