“On my second trip, I went to have dinner at Restaurant Rowing Club, which is about six kilometers from Kangerlussuaq. It was fascinating to look out of the windows on my way there, and I saw a reindeer, which was cool. I went alone to the Roklubben. They were so nice and welcoming, and I had a good chat with the waiter and driver about seeing the northern lights. I was really excited to see the northern lights,” Chanett says.
“Luckily, the Rowing Club is so secluded that there’s not much light around, and so there were just northern lights. So I went outside where the sky was clear, and it was so beautiful! I’m not lying; all kinds of colors were dancing in the sky in different shapes. I was so excited that the whole party that was inside the restaurant came out to look, and even the kitchen staff came out to look too!”
“I couldn’t hide my excitement at all because to me, it’s not normal to see the northern lights. I think even some of the people who live up there were thinking, “no, it’s not normal to see the northern lights.” So it was very nice that my excitement rubbed off on the others and we stood out there together and experienced it.”
Beautiful – and Cold – Dog Sled Ride
“I was out dog sledding in Kangerlussuaq when I landed in February. It was amazing. I booked the ride before I booked the ticket. It was very important for me to experience a dog sled ride.”
“First, I was driven down to where the dogs are. And there was that thing where you could hear the dogs barking and howling. It’s like what you’ve seen on TV about people going dog sledding. That’s exactly what you experience: a lot of dogs barking, just ready to get out and run.”
“It was -31 degrees Celcius, but because there was also wind, it felt like -41 degrees Celcius. Luckily, they had sealskin clothing I could borrow. My trip lasted 1½-2 hours, and that was plenty. This was February, and it gets warmer later in the winter. I was wearing a lot of clothes. Three or four layers. Three sets of mittens and three layers around my ears. My face wasn’t covered, so I actually got a little frostbite on my nose and cheeks. I could feel it the next day; I was peeling a bit on my nose. But that’s how it is,” Chanett says.
“It was twice as cold as inside a deep freezer, and I was out for an hour and a half, so yes, it was cold. But you forget it’s cold because it’s so beautiful. And it’s so unique to get out on a dog sled ride. But you have to be aware that it’s a bit of a different experience. The dogs are fed, and then we’re off. And they’re actually pooping while they run,” Chanett laughs and continues: “They’re trained to do that. You don’t stop just because they have to go. ‘Smells a bit here,’ I thought. And then I could see that the dogs were taking turns to do their business,” she says, laughing again. “That was an experience too! And they were so cute, the dogs. I got to pet them. I was a bit worried if they were wild dogs, but you could pet these. I wasn’t scared at all. It was also a good musher I was with. He kept his dogs under control, but he also said that they were semi-tame,” Chanett says.
Qoornoq in Winter
From Kangerlussuaq, Chanett flew to Nuuk to see her friends. “From Nuuk, we sailed to a deserted settlement called Qoornoq. There we were allowed to go ashore and walk around. It’s deserted, so that day, we were the first to go there and set footprints. I wasn’t wearing snowshoes, so I fell through when I walked. There was at least 50-60 cm of snow when you walked, so you could easily fall through and stand in snow up to your thighs. It wasn’t a problem, though. I had a walkie-talkie with me from the boat, so he would have come to help me if I got stuck. It’s one of those fascinating things: Nature rules in Greenland. You’re just a dot in the landscape. Nature sets the framework. You have to respect it, that’s for sure,” says Chanett.