Tasiilaq and the Flower Valley – East Greenland

My original plan was to do boat transfers between Kulusuk and Tasiilaq – and that’s what I’d booked in advance.  However, a few days before my arrival in East Greenland, the company I was trekking with suggested it might be safer to book the helicopter transfer, given the large amount of pack ice still in the area.  Which is how I found myself on a Bell 212 helicopter at lunchtime.

Helicopter transfer - Kulusuk - Tasiilaq - East Greenland

It is only a 10-minute flight from Kulusuk to Tasiilaq and fortunately the weather was mostly clear for some awesome views of the ice and mountains in the fjords.

Views from the helicopter transfer - Kulusuk - Tasiilaq - East Greenland

Aerial view of Kulusuk (top) and Tasiilaq (bottom) as well as views of the ice and mountains in the fjord

Got another upgrade at The Red House to be in the main building and not in a dorm room, but when I asked about hikes, I ran into an unexpected problem.

Polar Bear sign - Tasiilaq - East Greenland

Short hikes were apparently OK, but longer hikes were out unless I went with someone with a gun.   Hmmm… I hadn’t really thought about polar bears…   

Decided to spend the afternoon enjoying the sunshine and the view out on the front deck of The Red House reading a book (The Circle) and having a bit of a look around town – I’d worry about a hike the next day.

Tasiilaq - East Greenland

My second day in Tasiilaq dawned quite foggy, so hung around for a bit waiting for the fog to lift, and ended up finishing my book around lunchtime.   I then decided that I was going to brave the polar bears (they somehow seemed less frightening than the disturbingly plausible future painted in The Circle) and asked whether it was possible to do a couple of the specific hikes marked on the map without a gun.  The answer was “most likely, yes”.  Though there had been polar bears quite close to town relatively recently.  Okaaaaaaay….

Map of Tasiilaq area - East Greenland

Map of the Tasiilaq area. I did the loop around the lake to the west of town and most of the climb up to Qaqqartivakajik

Given the fog was lingering over in the next valley, I decided to hike up the Flower Valley and around some of the lakes.   Before leaving, the manager of The Red House, Robert, quipped that I wouldn’t see too many flowers in the Flower Valley that aren’t plastic … yes, the first thing you walk past is the cemetery.

Flower Valley - Tasiilaq - East Greenland

It was a really easy but lovely walk that was sheltered from the wind and passed by a bunch of lakes.

Lakes along the Flower Valley Hike - Tasiilaq - East Greenland

The views back towards the fjord on the last stretch were also amazing, though the fog was coming back in quite quickly.

The fjord from the Flower Valley Hike - Tasiilaq - East Greenland

I spent the evening ogling everyone else’s food and wishing I’d ordered dinner at The Red House.  It looked amazing, and if I come back for another visit – I’m totally buying dinner here!

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