Midsummer in Greenland


Midnight sun - somehow mystical, that word. Nowhere is it celebrated more intensively than in Greenland. A trip to Ilulissat for a summer whose days never end. Greenland - that had sounded like cold and icebergs, thick jackets, boots and freezes. But do not look for sunscreen, 30 degrees, t-shirts, vanilla ice cream and sweat. The sun is burning on my nose and the feeling for the time I have lost here 250 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle long ago. Six-year-olds stroll through the moss landscape behind the settlement at eleven o'clock in the evening, while further down the football field is filled with teenage scorers. Here only the sled dogs doze. With their fluffy white fur they lie on rocks, in the grass, on wooden boxes and enjoy the warmth.


Not only people know: every minute of sun is precious, before the dark winter comes again. It smells of fresh grass and fish. The dries here next to stockings and pants on the lines, as food for the dogs, because after all counts Ilulissat more huskies than inhabitants. "If you want to get to know everyday life, you have to go to a family," Tour Guide Silverio Scivoli had told me when I asked for rooms in his office. And with a wink, as only Italians can say, "It's also much cheaper than the local hotels." He recommended Ove, a father and daughter his wife had left. "That's what happens up here, too," added Silver, shrugging. And now I live in a teenager's room - with a Barbie poster over the bed and pink plastic guitar on the shelf. Anouk, the daughter, is rarely at home. The eight-year-old plays outside all day and sometimes comes home well past midnight, while adults sit on the balconies until the early morning. It seems the Greenlanders only sleep in the winter. You have a sun deficit, because between the end of November and mid-January, a week-long night lowers over the polar region. Somehow logical that everyone uses the light - whether for skateboarding or just sitting on a stone and sunning himself.

Sermeq Kujalleq - Glacier Fjord at Ilulissat.

Ove is also on the way, the Inuk with the round face and the almost black eyes, but I had recommended the morning tea a hike to the mouth of the glacier Sermeq Kujalleq. On strong demand only, because the Greenlanders done in the morning - nordish by nature - wordlessly his hand movements for breakfast. 60 kilometers away, Sermeq Kujalleq is one of the world's most active glaciers, with a flow rate of around 20 meters per day. It produces around ten percent of all icebergs in the world, and some suggest that the famous iceberg on which the Titanic ran was also from here.

A small hiking trail winds downhill between sled dog trails and round rocks and leads to a boardwalk, bridging marshy areas. A huge crack, as if wooden beams burst, comes at irregular intervals from the fjord. The air tastes more and more like snow. A bank on the cliffs is the perfect long-distance viewing point - there has already settled a local couple and watches the natural wonders. A huge white and meter high ice front expresses itself into the sea. Here the glacier meets the North Atlantic and calves icebergs like skyscrapers into the light blue water. Trawlers laboriously make their way through, looking small against the ice giants like tadpoles. The fjord narrows towards the sea and becomes flatter. But since most of the iceberg is underwater and runs aground at the mouth, the giants must first lose weight to get ahead. So, in the bay, so to speak, there is a jam of icebergs, waiting to melt, to be able to carry on.
If you listen carefully, you hear it tingling in the water like effervescent powder. In the melting, pieces of glacier release millions of years old air bubbles, which were trapped in the ice for a long time. They make for an impressive smell.

In fact, the nostrils open greedily, absorbing this freshness. So clear, with the aroma of snow that the lungs can not get enough. The air bubbles increase not only on land the oxygen content - the sea also gets thanks to the global warming more oxygen. This in turn promotes the growth of the plankton - good for the whales.


  1. The Scandinavian countries (including Greenland) with their very special "Nordic" light are a dream for me. Nothing like wieder again
    Your photos make you want to the north. 🙂

    • Thank you, that makes me very happy. Yes, the Scandinavian light is special. And Greenland anyway, so close to everything. best regards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. markiert. Required fields are marked with * .