Recently in the Arctic on board Polar Pioneer, Sandy Greenwood shares with us her impressions of a colourful land.
Tall and impressive with the glint of early morning sun catching the chiselled edge, one could not help but cast their eyes up in reverence. In the silence the light shifted, subtly at first, and then with a strength that beckoned us, for it was penetrating and revealing at the same time. The form rose like a giant god, still and omnipresent. We payed our silent respects and moved on in its shadow, gliding to a quiet lapping bay at the base of a reddened rock. This was kayaking in Greenland.
My first voyage to Greenland and Spitsbergen was a treat to my city-tuned eyes and a test for my office bound limbs. It’s the muted colours of the sky mixed with the carpet of earthy tones afoot that are the surprise package of the Arctic. Colour is everywhere and as the eye casts over the land and arrives at the sea it is punctuated by towering bergs all majestic testaments to the other life of reds and yellows onshore. Amongst it all I edged the Sound shores by ship, walked across hillsides cushioned in flowers, motored towards mammoth icebergs and paddled my way through ice and bobbing auks.
The wilderness is at its best here, silent snow capped fjords, valleys of ground cover, red earth mountains, waterways that play host to birds and bergs and lakes that reflect the pink and blue of the minerals that lay in their depths. It’s hard to imagine the range of hues the High Arctic generates until you actually see it. An Impressionists palette awaits your eyes when you arrive.
And what about the animals? Well sometimes you see them in abundance and other times you just don’t. They take their shifts by the sun and dance to their own personal cycles and preferences. The watching is all part of Greenland’s game of life and while you’re scanning for the elusive polar bear you can cast across to see a stealthy artic fox making its way home or glimpse a small herd of musk ox grazing on Arctic grass.
Taking to the waterways of the High Arctic is an adventure as unique as the areas winged water snails – you have the opportunity to discover the abundant array of landscapes and play ‘hide and seek and seek’ with the wildlife while having the comfort of a cosy cabin awaiting you at the end of each days exploring. And just when you think the scenery can’t get any better the wind shifts and the night sky lights up with an absinthian Aurora sky. High Arctic magic!
To find out more about Aurora Expeditions Arctic voyages, click here.
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