Greenland from six miles high!

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One of the advantages of the polar route between Europe and western North America is that on the westbound flight you generally travel during daylight.  The route takes you over southern Greenland and on a good day the view out your window is spectacular!  You'll see part of its massive icecap, with thousands of square kilometers of mountains, ice and snow, and dozens of sharply defined glaciers.  It's a unique view, almost like flying over another planet.  Sadly most people have their shades closed and miss this spectacular scenery, napping or watching their video screens instead.

 

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(Greenland's mountains, snow and glaciers)

 

In the past few months I've had the opportunity to sit by the window on this route without a wing or engine blocking my view.  Not only did I have a clear sunny day but unusually clean windows.  The photos in this post are representative of what my wife and I saw for the better part of an hour.

 

Of course, there's more to Greenland than ice and snow, though obviously there's enough of that.  Small communities of rugged individuals are found on it's shores.  And there is a growing base of tourist activities, mostly available during it's short summer.  I hope to visit Greenland from sea level one day, probably by a cruise ship.  It makes sense to approach it by sea as most towns are on the coast and have very limited accommodations.

 

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(The rippled ice of a Glacier is apparent)

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Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

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The Vikings were the first to live in Greenland - they described it as a "Green and pleasant land - with pastures and animals" Maybe when we get some serious Global Warming we'll all go back with our Cameras and the latest Frommers' Guide ....  Greenland - Land of the Surfers and the 24 Hour Sun

The world's climate has a history of change.  Ice ages have come and gone.

 

Who knows what tomorrow's weather will be, much less next century's?  But I do know the folks in Greenland would appreciate a little warming there.  As I look out at the snow in my backyard today, Canada could use a little, too.

Thank you for your comment, voyager.  I shut the shade if it's clouded over, but I still peak form time to time.

 

I shut the shade when we're over the ocean or if it's dark outside.

 

But if the flight is over a scenic place, I like to study the geography and try to figure out where I am.  It's interesting, often beautiful, and I enjoy it.  

Dark is not the end of the show.  I have seen streaking meteors flash in view.  There have been times when I could see a part of the Milky Way or had a  view of the Big Dipper.  Over the ocean, I have seen flotillas of fishing boats off of places like Newfoundland.  Even at night, you can see the lights of the boats bobbing. Once, I even saw a pod of whales in the channel off of Molokai. I peek every chance that I get.  You never know what you will see.

I agree it's a spectacular sight not to be missed and that there's more to Greenland that just the ice sheet.  2014 will see me on my 7th month-long visit in the last 9 years.  I will again hike alone from Sisimiut on the west coast to a location north east of Kangerlussuaq (something like 110 - 120 miles) and then join colleagues doing wild goose research.  By all means aim to set foot on the ground there and enjoy camping in the remote arctic landscape - being alone out there is a unique experience and allows me to re-connect with wilderness for a while.  There is a single recommended hiking route between Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut which I've done in 2007 but now I prefer to go off the track to do my own thing.  If someone wants to go hiking/camping out there and would like some tips, info etc, happy to help if you can contact me?  Just joined so not entirely sure how this site operates yet! 

Originally Posted by DrFumblefinger:

The world's climate has a history of change.  Ice ages have come and gone.

 

Who knows what tomorrow's weather will be, much less next century's?  But I do know the folks in Greenland would appreciate a little warming there.  As I look out at the snow in my backyard today, Canada could use a little, too.

If you look at the rate of retreat of Sermeq kujalleq, 2012's big thaw and recent GRACE satellite data analysis on mass loss, I think warming is the last thing they want, except perhaps for those hoping to exploit the mineral wealth.

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