KALAALLIT NUNAAT – The Sun Sets on a Different World

Quimmer. Stranded. Separated from his pack. About as visible as a grain of sand stuck to the smooth side of a seashell, the dog stands on a slab of sea ice floating atop the placid waves of  Scorsbysund. Four days ago, everyone in the east Greenlandic village of Ittoqqortoormiit woke up to a different world than what they had been used to at this time of year.

Mother Nature’s April Fool’s Day prank? Hmmm…I think not. Already in January and February, the months when sea ice should be expanding toward its seasonal maximum, Scorsbysund was becoming increasingly unstable. It was unheard of – until this year.
And it makes me sad.

In April 2016, exactly two years ago, one childhood dream of mine came true – the Arctic seed planted in my heart by a book I read when I was six years old grew into an adventure of a lifetime.

On a frosty, grey day a group of us set out on dog sleds,

our first stop on a four-day-three-night excursion: Kap Swainson

a beloved weekend get-a-way spot for local Greenlanders who, just six weeks ago,
in February 2018, were unable to make the trip because the sea ice was unsafe.

Two years ago, on the frozen fjord,
we were guided to the edge of the ice in hopes of spotting a seal or two
in their natural habitat.

At the same time, hunters settled their dogs in as sentries for the night

before gathering with their families at dusk to discuss the day’s triumph

and watch their children play ball before bedtime…

Two years ago, after days crossing the frozen sound on sleds,

gliding past untold centuries frozen still in massive mountains of ice,

I knew that one day the landscape would change – the ice would melt and never freeze again, at least not as it has in the past. The polar bear would adapt or become extinct. I knew that life would be different. I just thought we’d have more time. I’m not worried about Nature. Nature is resilient. But, are we?
Is this the sunset of life as we know it?

I would not presume to make predictions,
but from the looks of it a few days ago in Ittoqqortoormiit,

I am certain the sun will rise on a different world tomorrow. **

A huge thank you to Dominique S. for sharing her experience (and photos) in Ittoqqortoormiit. For a real-time experience, at least until May, check out her blog EXPERIENCE i-NUIT – an immersion in the heart of the polar night in an isolated village in east Greenland. If your French is on par with mine, the translate option works well. MERCI Dominique!

Also, many thanks to Ruth Aaqqii (You are my lifeline to the village, Ruth)! I suggest everyone visits GREENLAND OUTSIDE. Phenomenal updates and Photos!

Now, you think I’d be finished writing about my Arctic adventure by now, but let me tell you, this experience made a huge impression. It is constantly on my mind, even though it’s been two years since my visit. Ah well, please polarbear with me…

❤ Qujanaq ❤
And thank YOU for stopping by today.

** Update – four days later:







About Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner

I am an adventure seeking ponderer of the mysteries of the universe, writer of children's books (represented by Stephen Fraser of the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency), and lover of anything involving armor, archery, or swashbuckling.
This entry was posted in ADVENTURES, ARCTIC WONDER, ROAD TRIP, TRAVEL/PHOTO Themes, VIEW FROM MY SOAP BOX and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to KALAALLIT NUNAAT – The Sun Sets on a Different World

  1. A great experience indeed, and very sad at the same time.


  2. Lyn says:

    Beautiful photos, Donna. It’s so sad that there is a chance of the polar bear could possibly be no more before our grandchildren die. In 2008 they were classified as endangered.


  3. Pingback: Rise/set: Light – What's (in) the picture?

  4. Lignum Draco says:

    Thanks for this tour. I would love to go there one day.


  5. What an adventure


  6. Susanne says:

    This makes me sad, too. How on earth do we fix it? Is it fixable?

    Liked by 1 person

    • How will we know unless we begin by taking better care of ourselves and our environment? Land, air, water…we can do better. Right? We certainly have the know-how, just not the guts to forge ahead, blast through the old paradigm, and put it to good use. I’d much rather future generations looked back and said, “Wow! They crapped it up but at least they realized it and tried to fix it” than “They #%@$ us up the $$$”. Oh my Susanne, you got me going there…I might need to move to Canada!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Susanne says:

        I don’t know that we’re doing it a whole lot better here, Donna. I read recently a comment pondering why there was so much opposition to taking measure to protect the environment. At worst the measures would be harmless and at best the outcomes would help not just the land but people’s health, too. Its a head scratcher. I hope we wake up before its too late.


        • It does seem daunting. I just do what I can. It makes me feel less helpless. Reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse drinking straws when I’m out for dinner, eating a little less meat. Incremental change. Besides, don’t tidal waves begin as single drops of water? Thanks so much for your input, Susanne…always thought-provoking!


  7. I have not read about the adventure so I am definitely not tired of hearing about it. It seems full of magic. I guess that’s what makes me the saddest—by not taking care of the planet, we are letting the magic die. Thank you for sharing what you experienced.


    • There’s still a few more posts to come before I wrap it up. And you’re right. It certainly was magical, but we had good weather. As it is, we got out before an incoming storm would have kept us there another week. Thank you, Ellen for adding your thoughts. Always appreciated 🙂


  8. etiliyle says:

    Nice shooting


  9. nagstrong12 says:

    Beautiful pictures❤❤❤
    Nicely written👌👌


  10. Wow!! Great photos and post!


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