It had been decades since I’d flown in a prop plane. Everything about Greenland involves stepping back in time. The airplane, the live safety presentation (no video on board), the scale of the airport and the town felt like I’m a time traveler to a bygone era. The one aspect keeping pace with current day are the prices. This is an expensive place to visit. Fortunately for the locals many costs are subsidized by the government.
For instance, for us to helicopter up north to see the Rink Glacier costs hundreds of dollars and hour. On the other hand, the locals in the isolated settlements up North, fly for a flat rate that is less than a hundred dollars. They need affordable flights so they can pick up merchandise ordered on-line, fill prescriptions, stock up on provisions, etc. Despite being far from anything resembling a city, they have full internet and cellular phone service!
In Ilulissat, one of the larger cities, a bunch of bananas costs nearly $8.00! A not extravagant dinner of chicken curry ran us over $60.00. When you think of how far the ingredients in the dinner had traveled to get to Greenland, you understand why things cost what they do. Unfortunately I’ve been spoiled by how inexpensive food and souvenirs were in India and Kenya. Even in Russia and Paris I didn’t feel the high cost of living they way I do in Greenland.
From my hotel room I have a view of Disko Bay. The landscape – icebergs, ice floes – is constantly changing. You think these massive ice forms would be static but they drift and float out. Because there is open water, massive iceberg which are close to the coast on one day can be far away by the next. I was warned about the mosquitoes. I didn’t take it too seriously. I couldn’t comprehend how they’d survive in the chill of Greenland but they are here and they bite. Next time I’ll use the repellent offered!
The sun is high and shining brightly into my room but it’s 1am so time to draw the black out curtains and get some rest.