They think I am joking.
In general, nobody believes me at first when I say that I have been to Kalaallit Nunaat. It sounds very exotic. Where is it? It’s actually .. emh .. the Inuit name for Greenland. When I add, then, that I went up there on my own, they look at me like I have two sets of heads. Some disappear, then, strangely. Some stay, and keep poking: are you going to see penguins? No, no penguins, as they can be found only on the other Pole. Are you going to sleep in an iglu? I wish, but no. I will be sleeping in a house, nearly 200km from the Arctic Circle. I spent nearly 3 weeks there, at the end of September 2006. How did you get up there? At last, a clever question.
They say you can virtually reach even the most secluded place on Earth. You can talk to your travel agent, or you can book a flight on the web. In order to get there, I didn’t have to do anything of the above. All I had to do was to sign a contract saying that, if I had died up there, it would have been my own fault, due to my very own decision. Exactly the kind of positive statement I was looking for in a holiday brochure! The contract was put together by a Welsh group of geologists I managed to find on the web. For a fairly small amount of money, they agreed to provide me with all the contact details of the family they used to stay with during their expeditions in the Arctic regions. I never knew whether I was their guinea-pig, or this option had been used before. All I know is that, thanks to Nick Russill and his group of geologists, I went to the North Pole. The airport, in Kulusuk, is about the same size of your living room. My flight documents were hand-written, and there was no need for an entry visa as Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. Nevertheless, I managed to get a stamp, with a bear saying something like “Welcome to Kulusuk” on my old passport.
Georg’s surname included 24 “Q” and 15 “U”, which made it a bit difficult to pronounce for an European. He was outside, waiting for me. I am sure what kind of person he was looking for. All I remember is that, his smile was always genuine. His English spanned from an inquisitive “Are you hungry?” to a more concerned “Are you scared?” to a very polite “Are you ok?”. If you think about it, these could well be the basis of our society? Another favourite of his was the term “broken”. “Broken” as in his jeep’s front window. “Broken” as his boat in the middle of sky-high icebergs. This part, though, will be told later, in the second section dedicated to Greenland, alright?
If you really want to see some really extraordinary photos, check Nick Russill’s web site here: Nick Russill web site