Yes, it’s true that a Europe-sized piece of mile-thick ice covers a good 85% of the country. However, the peripheral parts of Greenland are quite open and even lush, especially in the long sun of late summer. Imposing mountains and immense sloping valleys bleed with bright green, a stunning color that is made even brighter by the dry air and utter lack of pollution.
Viking explorer and cunning marketer Eric the Red named Grønland (“green land”) in 982 AD because it was in fact green but also because he was trying to lull colonists from the warmer shores of Iceland. It worked back then, and a thousand years later, the colorful name of earth’s least-known country still provokes a strange wonderment.
The following photo essay shows the true green of Greenland, unedited and unplugged. Whether or not it’s intentional, the country shows a constant theme of the color for which it is named.%Gallery-101755%
So, there’s this huge, ice-covered country at the top of the world–a place that we all fly over and love to overlook. Though perhaps you are more conscientious–perhaps you count yourself among the rare breed of traveler that is drawn to remote, disregarded landmasses where the mighty musk oxen roam. If that is the case–well then, Greenland is definitely the place for you.
I can say that with a straight face because I am blogging from Greenland right here, right now, even as the glowing green northern lights swirl outside my nighttime window. I’ll be up here all week, investigating the country that all the maps tend to chop in half, or else distort wildly. To kickstart our Gadling coverage, I’m sending you this cheerful message of hope LIVE (nearly) from Greenland and–get ready for this: in Greenlandic! That’s right. Good travelers know that learning a few words in the local tongue is always the best way to blend in with the locals, as is wearing national dress. For example, this reindeer-skin parka is de rigueur in much of Greenland (although quite inappropriate for the warmer month of September).
The local Inuit populace call their country Kalaallit Nunaat, which simply means “Land of the People”. Now right away, I can tell you this is false advertising because honestly, there are not that many people in Greenland at all. This wee video clip was filmed in a village boasting exactly 50 inhabitants, all of which you can hear milling about in the background. In point of fact, Greenland is mostly empty, which is why it’s so awesome.
*The author traveled to Greenland as a guest of Branding Greenland. This does not mean he is confederate to a sinister public relations plot. He is merely blogging from and about Greenland. Even so, the opinions expressed do not reflect those of the Greenlandic government, Gadling, or AOL.