Saturday, July 15, 2006

Aappilattoq, Greenland I

Without warning, a massive slab of old, rotten ice begins to silently roll. Couch-sized pieces break away, and the entire mass seems to groan as it gives way. From beneath the sea rose something altogether unexpected, a brilliant sapphire gem of the deepest, most amazing blue. It's as if someone took the sky and turned it a translucent jewel, floating in the sea.

I was traveling northeast from Aagpilagtoq, toward a small tidewater glacier marking the end of a maze of fjords, this one called Nup Kangerdlua. It was the end of a long day that started with me lazily sleeping in at chez tele-frederiksdal, admiring the morning fog through the window, curled up in my sleeping bag on a comfortable bed.

There's still a bit of fog covering the mountain peaks, and as it slowly clears I'm dumbstruck that they just keep going. Enormous mountains rising straight from the sea. Vertical crags and sloping buttresses and amazing geology running down both sides of the fhord.

It's four hours to Aagpilagtoq, and I stop and shoot from time to time. I'm passed by three speedboats along the way, but otherwise have the world to myself. It's sunny and with the wind at my back quite warm. I find a small iceberg graveyard in a protected cove where I stop to add gas. Lovely, surrealist shapes carved into the stranded bergs.

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