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. =)
- Trout fishing with bare hands in Nuuk (thefourthcontinent.com)
- The bullets, three reindeer and love in Greenland (thefourthcontinent.com)
- For The Love Of Sailing: It’s Worth The World! (thefourthcontinent.com)