If memories were suitcases, ours would already be bulging from what we have seen and experienced on this trip to explore the Arctic. We will need to find more room in those suitcases because today’s memories will certainly not be left behind.
Ilulissat is one of Greenland’s major cities (pop. 4600), and the port is a busy place. The word Ilulissat means “iceberg” in the local language, which is appropriate for a city that is next to the Ilulissat Icefjord. That fjord is the liquid conveyor belt that transports the endless supply of glaciers and ice produced by the Jakobshavn Glacier. The amount of ice coming down the fjord to the sea is a mind-boggling sight. At the mouth of the fjord, a shallow area traps the largest bergs and keeps even the smaller bits from escaping. As a result, the fjord is tightly packed with a jumble of ice. The large bergs stuck on the bottom create a wonderland that we explored in local boats with guides.
To see the fjord itself, most of the guests took the opportunity to walk out to the edge of the fjord and get a view from the cliffs.
Getting to shore involved a short Zodiac ride through the small harbor. Small boats and large fishing trawlers were busy loading supplies or unloading the day’s catch.