From Iceland to Narsarsuaq – South Greenland

After 25 years of waiting to visit, I seemed determined not to make it to Greenland!   For the second time in as many days, my brain was an hour out on timing and I went very, very close to missing my flight from Iceland to Greenland!

The first occasion was in Tehran, where I was sitting one gate over from where my flight was departing and was engrossed in writing emails.  Fortunately, it was ridiculously early in the morning and ours was the only flight leaving from that part of the terminal, so the nice Ethiad Airways man came over and asked me if I was on the Ethiad flight – and if so – well, they were going to offload me!  I was completely stricken (and must have looked so) and I pleaded with him not to do that as I had 4 interconnecting flights.  His response, “Well, you are going to miss all of them”…  But then he let me on the plane 😊

This second occasion, I had decided to catch the local bus from the Smart Hostel (fantastic hostel and dorms if you want to stay near the airport in Keflavik) so decided on a departure time in order to make it with plenty of time to spare.   Then, when I was waiting at the bus stop, I looked at my watch and suddenly had a heart-attack with the realization that it was only an hour before my flight took off!   Panic ensued, and I ended up waving down a passing car and offering them 2000ISK (~AUD$30) to take me to the airport immediately.  Fortunately, it was a lovely young lady and she did just that.  Ran into the check-in area and the lady didn’t seem anywhere near as stressed-out as I was as she tagged my bag and handed me my boarding pass.

In all my years of travelling, I’ve only gone close to missing a flight once (when they changed the gate on me and I was again distracted working on the computer) – now twice in 2 days??!!   Pay attention Lisa!

Once I was actually on the plane, the flight from Reykjavik to Narsarsuaq in South Greenland was uneventful.  The bonus was that the plane was less than ½ full so we each had a window seat 🙂  Fortunately, the clouds cleared as we approached our destination (the weather was really crappy in Iceland) and the views were incredible!   So much ice!

Views flying from Iceland to South Greenland

Middle-right picture – can you tell what is ice/snow and what is cloud?

Then, suddenly, the uninterrupted ice and snow was replaced with a glacier and mountains that lined our approach to our landing destination: Narsarsuaq.

Approach to Narsarsuaq Airport - South Greenland

The Narsarsuaq airport actually has an interesting history.  It was originally code-named Bluie West One, and was built in 1941 (along with many of the buildings in Narsarsuaq) to as a key base of operations for US aircraft on supply missions between America and Europe during WWII.   These days, it is the second-longest runway in Greenland and so several international flights (from Denmark and Iceland) land here in the high season for tourism.

Narsarsuaq Airport - South Greenland

I met the lady from Blue Ice Explorer at the airport, took possession of my book of vouchers and information for the next 14 days and headed off to the harbor to catch my boat to Narsaq.

Blue Ice Explorer vouchers and information - South Greenland

Vouchers and information from Blue Ice Explorer. Fortunately all the hostels had further information on trekking options.

There were 6 of us heading there and, given the weather was stunning, I decided to sit out on the back of the boat as we made our way down the fjord.  It did get a tad chilly, but was totally worth it for the views.

Up the fjord to Narsaq from Narsarsuaq - South Greenland

Our boat (top left) and some of the views heading up the fjord from Narsarsuaq to Narsaq

Arrived in Narsaq and was picked up at the port and taken to the Hotel Narsaq – it turns out I’d been upgraded 😊   Time for an early night (even though it is still broad daylight outside at 9:30pm) to see if I can catch up on some of the sleep I missed while travelling from Iran.  Time to start hiking tomorrow!

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