A sailing adventure to the abandoned fishing village of Kangeq

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We thought we’d see some gorgeous scenery and hoped to spot a whale, but didn’t expect a delightful turn of history in the abandoned fishing village of Kangeq, south of Nuuk fjord.   

The morning fog had cleared unexpectedly, and a quick text later, we found ourselves sailing in the fjord with a group of lovely friends. We had no idea where we were going, but it just felt great to be out on the water. Since we were zooming away from the centre of civilisation in Greenland, the group (sans the skipper) were a bit surprised to end up near some random houses, about half an hour’s sail from Nuuk.

It felt strange to know that we were walking around in a fishing village abandoned in the 1960s. It was built up around the cod, skipper Mikkel said. When the cod left, so did the town folk. It’s also a harsher climate there than in Nuuk, so perhaps the choice to move was easy.

Even in its prime, there couldn’t have been more than a handful of people living in Kangeq. Maybe twenty-five houses stand in faded ruins. There were signs we weren’t alone that day, though. A few hikers, another boat, some sleeping bags on top of creaky beds in the decrepit houses (probably hikers).

There were also snatches of history. Cracked cups. Rooms furnished with a blast from the hippie past. An old newspaper from 1989 called Sermitsiak. It’s the grandfather to the current paper spelt with a q, Sermitsiaq. An old church with one pew standing. Time had stood still.

What a wonderful trip. You should definitely go on a tour there if you can. And the whales will have to wait for next time…

Photos by Jonas Løvschall-Wedel and myself. =)

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10 thoughts on “A sailing adventure to the abandoned fishing village of Kangeq

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  5. This is another great post, Tanny, and the photos are wonderful. I have seen similar places in Patagonia and they are both haunting and fascinating at the same time. Thanks for writing this.

    • Thanks for your kind words! I too am always fascinated by the history of movement and abandonment. If i ever make it to patagonia i hope i have the chance to visit. Wish I could have talked to those people just before they left, to document their feelings and state of life then!

  6. Not much sign of the few houses that are being done up there. Kangeq is a great day trip from Nuuk! I guess there are other “abandoned” villages around too?

  7. Thank you for posting this lovely blog and the crisp, clear photos of Kangeq. This is the type blog that I enjoy the most because it provides a glimpse of Greenland (or other Arctic location) that may interest many people, especially me. Battle Harbour in Labrador is an abandoned “tourist” village now, and your photos remind of that once thriving island community. Thanks, Fran

    • Thanks Fran for your lovely comment. I hope to do more of these posts if possible – to do that you either need a boat, a friend or lots of money for commercial tours! =) It was an awesome trip, that’s for sure!

      Tanny Por +299 28 11 80 Connect with me on Linkedin and Twitter Join me on my adventure at The Fourth Continent

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