The edge of the world: Greenland, part 3

Our trusty guest pen Anna’s adventure in Greenland continues!

Geo caching is a brand new sport for me so obviously Greenland is as good a location to start as any! There was a Geo caching enthusiast in our expedition and one of the caches was located atop the Palasip Qaqqaa mountain (544 meters), so that’s where we needed to go.

There was a marked trail to the top but we needed to stray from it from time to time on the account of it being covered in snow here and there. The bottom of the mountain was your typical fell landscape with its twigs and creeks. The top was tor all the way.

We decided not to rush it and took in the scenery, taking long lunches and rests. A few people from the expedition turned back before the summit so we enjoyed a glass or two of bubbly to celebrate this crazy adventure.

Once we got to the top, the view was breathtaking.

A 360 degree panoramic view of the sea, the fjord, the fells and the city. Words can’t do it justice, let me tell you!

The sky was menthol blue and icebergs floated in the turquoise ocean surrounded by a beautiful snow-tipped mountain frame.

We just stood there in silence, taking it all in.

We had no trouble finding the geo cache, which contained a trade item. The walrus in the cache came with us back to Finland and ended in a more local geo cahe in Kelvenne island of Päijänne.

After hiking back we had lunch. And what kind of a lunch. They called it the House Plate and it contained all sorts of dried fish and meats. I love a good meal and I’m particularly curious about local specialties. But I have to admit, I couldn’t bring myself to try whale or seal meat.

The inventory of the local markets was interesting, to put it lightly. They had a whole seal in the freezer. For sale.

Our hostess also informed us that in the northern areas of Greenland, they still enjoy bird meat that’s been rotten inside a seal’s carcass, which in turn has been buried in the ground. I personally would’ve probably left such delicacies untouched…

It was time to say goodbye to the town of Sisimut and continue towards Ilussat. On the next night we stepped on board a ship that would take us on a 12-hour trip between the icebergs all the way to the Jakobshav ice field near Ilussat. The ice field is another Unesco World Heritage Destination.

The town of Ilussat is the world’s third largest conurbation and it closer to an actual city in size. Most cities don’t have roads leading out of them because there’s no such thing as a highway network around here. Cars are pretty much exclusive to driving around within city limits, since you take a boat or a plane to reach other towns and cities.

The second, much more worrisome quality about towns and cities, is that there’s no sewer system. At all. Everything gets drained into the ocean and/or into nature.

We made ourselves at home in our accommodation and took a look around the area. We’d go see icebergs the next day.

Close to the fjord there were a few hiking trails with spectacular views of the ice field. You know the feeling when Mother Nature takes you by surprise with all of her beauty and your jaw drops and your heart hurts and you can’t find the words and you just feel so small?

That’s exactly what happened. The different shades of the ice field, the sounds and the sheer size of it all. Not to mention the silence. Is there anything better?

Our journey was slowly turning to an end. This trip will stay with me for a very long time. But at the same time I’m exceedingly worried about the effect city building and climate change will have on this beautiful place.


Anna Laakso calls herself a numerically middle-aged hiker who fuels on nearby locations and dares to venture farther from time to time. The fellowship is completed by the Cartographer and Paw Patrol.



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