The Abbey Trail – Day I

Post 297: 27 September 2018, Kirkstall Abbey to Otley. 

After an exciting summer, with visits to Bavaria, The Orkneys, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland, it was now time to start a new long-distance walk in Yorkshire, my 57th, The Abbey Trail.

P1130420This runs for 116 miles from  Kirkstall Abbey to Whitby taking in seven historic buildings at Kirkstall, Fountains, Byland, Rievaulx, Lastingham, Rosedale and Whitby. However, we would be completing the walk mainly in day circular walks giving a mileage of probably over 200 miles.

However, on the first section we decided to drive out to Otley, catch a bus to Kirkstall Abbey and walk back to Otley, 11 miles walking according to the guide book. After parking in the centre of Otley (£3.60 for all day and hence a lot cheaper than York at about £10) Sid the Yorkshireman used the public conveniences at 30p, which is a lot cheaper than Iceland at between £1-£2! This was quite a historic occasion for him to pay to go to the toilet!

As we left the car park we started to chatting to a very friendly elderly local who turned out to be catching the same bus and was able to act as a ‘guide’ to the area telling us of all the changes that had happened over the years. He also told us to catch the 9.31am bus as it was free for those who had bus passes (Contrast York is free after 9am). Out of 5 of us only Geordie Caz had to pay, but even that was only about £3, again a lot cheaper than York especially as the journey was to take 50 minutes!

The elderly gentleman kindly told us where to get off the bus and we posed at the impressive start of the walk in exceptionally good warm autumn weather.P1130397

IMG_3294The walls of the abbey are more complete than those of any other Cistercian abbey in England. 13 monks and 10 lay brothers from Fountains Abbey established the abbey on 19 May 1152. The monks grew rich through the keeping of sheep and the wool trade. The Abbey was surrendered to the Crown on 22nd November 1539.

The strange thing was that although we had had lived within about an hours drive of the abbey for over 30 years, it was the first time some of us had been, although we had often seen it from the train.

P1130387P1130388We then followed the River Aire to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and past some student residences (formerly the Mackeson Brewery). A sign says Liverpool is 124 miles and by coincidence I had only recently been there.  Horse drawn barges would have made the journey at a much slower pace than the train I had caught to LiverpoolP1130399

P1130400There are some impressive locks on the canal, making a good stop for our coffee and banana break.  P1130402We followed the canal for a few miles to Rodley where we left it. P1130403After passing the Railway Pub and a large packhorse bridge, which has grooves from cartwheels, we reached and followed the River Aire.

The river bank was being repaired by Leeds City Council staff and volunteers. We found the repairs made a good back rest for our lunch in the sun. They were doing a splendid job of keeping the path open. P1130404 Here we left the river and started heading north towards and through Guiseley. It was bear country. P1130406We passed the imposing St. Oswald’s Church, which was originally built in 1150, being rebuilt in the 13th-century. P1130407

P1130408Continuing north we passed through Greenbottom and under the flight path for Leeds-Bradford airport. We eventually reached Chevin Forest Park.P1130411



P1130410Surprise View can be found here with fabulous views below towards Otley and Wharfedale. P1130412All that remained now was a steep descent into Otley and a chance to put the feet up. P1130417Otley is quite a cycling area and this area, centred on Harrogate, will host the World Cycling Championships in September 2019. P1130419The jokes on the walk were as bad as ever. When we passed an old asylum now an upmarket housing estate, Sid the Yorkshireman said you would have to be mad to live there. When we approached the Abbey on the bus the elderly gentlemen said you go up at the cemetery. Sid the Yorkshireman quipped “I thought I would not be going up today”.

Miles Walked (Fitbit) 12

Calories 3790

Steps 28,212











A Walk around Liverpool – Part III

Post 296: 20 September 2018, The Terracotta Warriors Exhibition

It was now time to walk to the main reason for which we had come to Liverpool. No it wasn’t the Labour Party conference. We were on a 10am timed entrance to the Terracotta Warriors exhibition.

It was being held at the World Museum, which was not far from the Premier Inn where we were staying.P1130248

P1130250We had a little time to spare before the opening and so were able to walk around William, Brown and Lime Streets.

St George’s Hall is in Neoclassical style and contains concert halls and law courts. It is grade 1 listed and very impressive. The building opened in 1841.




P1130265Nearby, at the top of William Brown Street, is a huge memorial to the Duke of Wellington, known as Wellington’s Column or the Waterloo Memorial.  P1130256


P1000066Less impressive is the Unite building! P1130255There is also the library with an interesting entrance.P1130252In the distance could be seen the St John’s Beacon Viewing Gallery. P1130251Eventually it was time to enter the exhibition to be met by China’s first emperor.  P1130271

P1130270For over 2,000 years, an underground army of life-sized terracotta warriors secretly guarded the tomb of china’s First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, until a chance discovery in 1974 unlocked mysteries of a vanished empire. If your confused below about a different name for the First Emperor it is because he changed his name from Ying Zheng to Qin Shi Huang. P1130299


P1130274What is surprising about the exhibition is the number of artefacts on display, which were buried with various emperors.P1130282














P1130338Horses, carriages, animals, servants and concubines were all buried with the emperors


P1130344P1130345However, the highlight of the splendid exhibition are the life-sized warriors.P1130311




P1130319There are examples of how the warriors were made. P1130329The detail is staggering. P1130292Leaving the exhibition, it seems fitting, on seeing the memorial nearby, to remember the victims of the Hillsborough Football disaster who, on the 15th April 1989, went to an FA Cup semi-final and many (96 fatalities) did not return or had severe injuries (766 ).  I used to go to semi-finals at Villa Park when a teenager, but always came home.


P1130350Also to remember those who gave their lives in the World WarsIMG_3187 It is not only Emperors who should be remembered……………………

Miles walked 5



A Walk around Liverpool – Part II

Post 295: 19 September 2018

My dad said when I was 13 in 1965 that “the Beatles would not last”. To a teenage fan of the Beatles this was sacrosanct to treason. How could they not last – they had just appeared at the Shea Stadium in New York and had taken America by storm. 55,600 fans had attended the performance. Prior to the 1960s this was unheard of.

My dad was a lover of Beethoven and classical music and, as far as I was concerned, just didn’t understand the excitement of Beatles, who were a crucial and instrumental part in the changing nature of society in the 1960s.

Of course I was able to remind him well into his old age that the Beatles music and influence had in fact lasted for a very long time.

On our walk around Liverpool I couldn’t therefore resist going to see the Double Fantasy John and Yoko exhibition in the Museum of Liverpool.

Having not long returned from Reykjavik Iceland, it was interesting to see information at the exhibition about the Imagine Peace campaign.

IMG_3196P1130241We would all like peace and John Lennon was a great promoter of peace. It is ironic that his life was cut short by a violent action when he was shot in New York in 1980. P1130243IMG_3200What is staggering and shocking is the number of people killed in the U.S.A by guns since Lennon’s death. IMG_3198Lennon used unorthodox methods to promote peace. P1130245


20th September 2018

The next day, after a visit to the Terracotta Warriors Exhibition (next blog), I was able to visit where ‘the Beatles’ had begun. P1130351


Eleanor Rigby IMG_3186


Cilla Black P1130356



Then it was time for a drink and music in the Cavern Club.
















It had taken over 50 years to get there, but it was well worth the wait…………….



A Walk around Liverpool – Part I

Post 294: 12th September 2018

Whilst I was ‘swanning’ around Bavaria (actually walking), Celia, my wife, booked a 2 day trip for us to Liverpool in a Premier Inn in Vernon Street. On arrival there I did wonder whether she had chosen the location because there is a Husband Creche and Care Package nearby which would allow her to go shopping unhindered. Not that I ever moan about shopping of course. This seemed a better offer than when I was ‘left’ outside an H&M in Munich, whilst my German walking friend went shopping in 4 shops!

P1130246Seriously, Celia had actually booked tickets for the Terracotta Warriors exhibition the following day for a 10.00am timed entry. Arriving at Lime St stationP1130267it was a short walk to the Premier Inn using our google app on the phone. Very useful but it certainly drains the battery on the phone and being of ‘bus pass age’ it took a bit of getting used to.

It was a bright sunny day and we had an afternoon free so decided to head to the dock area as we have in the past cruised from there. Liverpool is making a name for itself as a cruise destination as the fairly recently developed docks are near to the city centre, museum area and the area made famous by the Beatles (more of that later).  As they proudly say ‘Where else could you park a cruise liner in the city centre’.IMG_3202I could think of a few other cities, but sufficient to say at this stage that the cruise terminal welcomes more than 57 ships and 100,000 passengers and crew. It brings £7 million into the city’s economy. A new terminal under construction at Princes Jetty will enable bigger liners to berth in Liverpool and start and finish in Liverpool. It tends to be only the smaller cruise ships that can do this at present.

One thing your always guaranteed in Liverpool is a smile, music and humour. P1130269

P1130245You might see some unusual sights too.

There is a variety of architecture too, old and new in the dockland area. P1130214







P1130222You might even meet the Beatles there. IMG_3194Also prepare to be dazzled with colour P1130221P1130219


P1130224We were fortunate to be able to do a tour of the Edmund Gardner pilot ship, obtaining free tickets from the nearby Liverpool Museum.

It was a fascinating introduction to how piloting used to operate on this ship in the Mersey from 1953, until 1981 when she came out of service.

The tour took about one and a half hours and was well worth it. We were surprised as to what a large area the pilot ships from Liverpool covered. The pilots were well respected in the area and were well recompensed in their employment. P1130232  We then went to the Museum of Liverpool  to visit the Double Fantasy John and Yoko exhibition. This runs until 22 April 2019 (see next blog).

And when you have finished in Liverpool you can always cycle, horse-ride or walk over to Yorkshire….


Lake Pickering Circuit 4: Why are all the toilets closed? Back to THE bog, Stripping in the car park.

Post 293:  29 August 2018,

Hovingham to Slingsby Banks

We parked in the Hovingham village hall car park and soon found ourselves in Hovingham Park and a field of cows. But judging by the hall and green grass these were quite content cows and had no interest in us.P1130170
P1130171After Airyholme and Howthorpe Farms we headed to Wath Beck and crossed it over a footbridge. The immediately raised alarm bells as some years previously I had sunk up to my knees in the ONLY proper bog I have ever found in the Howardian Hills.

I have only ever been deep in bogs on three occasions (the other two were on the Inn Way, North York Moors last  winter, on a section of the  Lyke Wake Walk). Perhaps I need to go to Specsavers to spot them? No – just remembered I already go to Specsavers.

This bog was totally unexpected. On the Pennine Way or Lyke Wake Walk one expects them, but not here! The only way I could stop myself sinking below my knees was to sit down and distribute my weight more evenly. Sid the Yorkshireman thought it hilarious and, instead of giving me a hand to get out, just fumbled in his pocket for his mobile to take photos. You know who your friends are in a crisis. My trekking pole bent as I went down!




We knew we were back at the exact spot as the same tree can still be seen in the background. However, many plants have grown since and we have had one of the best and driest summers ever.  This time the bog had largely dried up.

P1130173We carried on to Terrington and sat on a bench at the public school with a view over the fairly new tennis courts.P1130174We then visited All Saints Church, Terrington, which dates from the Norman period. What struck us was the board with all the names of the Rectors going back to 1234! All the Kings and Queens are listed too. P1130177

P1130175P1130176What also hit us was the number of people who had sacrificed their lives in two World Wars, particularly the First World War, from such a small village and parish (the population in 2011 was only 459). Some families had up to 4 members lost. P1130179Rolling Yorkshire countryside beckoned us on. P1130180Until we got to Thurtle Wood and were surprised to find an abandoned camp. P1130182Geordie Caz thought it was very ‘convenient’ of them to leave some toilets for us, until she found they were all locked.

I eventually found one unlocked. Well I do have a talent when it comes to finding ‘bogs’ (for overseas readers this is also slang for toilets and hope it does not get lost in translation).

We then descended and ascended to Fryton East Wood and came across a sign at Fryton Lane. P1130187There was also a mosaic to commemorate the trail and millennium, with Castle Howard featuring strongly.  P1130186Sid the Yorkshireman found a sign on the floor and decided it might be a good idea to take the sign with him so as not to get lost. P1130194I think he had been on the mushrooms. P1130192

P1130193After Fryton West Wood we descended back to Hovingham. P1130196


All that remained was for us to take our boots off and drive home. This was a bit different to the occasion when I was covered in mud at which point I had to take my trousers off in the village hall car park, not realising that there was a ladies fitness class going on in the nearby village hall. Rumour has it that Hovingham ladies had never had such excitement……….. 

It is a pity that the ambitious plans in the 1830s to develop Hovingham Spa with hot and cold baths, mud baths and a cold plunge did not come to fruition.

Miles Walked 12

Calories Burnt 2,999

Steps Taken 27,037





Lake Pickering Circuit 3: A Walk of Churches.

Post 292: 21 August 2018, Slingsby to Coneysthorpe Banks 

Having survived over 5,000 miles to Greenland and back, including hitting an iceberg in the middle of the night (see previous blogs), it was back to beautiful Yorkshire and a ‘fill in’ walk pending starting a new project after the summer holidays. During the summer Sid the Yorkshireman and Geordie Caz had gone off to walk 100 miles more of the South-West coastal path, this time from Minehead to Westward Ho! It was reported that Geordie Caz had boot trouble (that is falling apart), but at the time of writing no further details are available…..

Returning from Greenland I have also had computer software problems and had to update from Yosemite to High Sierra. Despite it taking a long time to get up and running again Apple Support in Portugal, Ireland and the Philippines have been very helpful! Unfortunately, Adobe no longer support Photoshop Elements 13 and so I have abandoned use of that as I have been unable to ‘reconnect’ my photographs to their files. Not being an IT specialist, I find the Forums information not that easy to follow.

Fortunately, I had already transferred my photographs to Apple Photos and in the new upgrade it is much improved and so I am going to stick with that. Hopefully you will not notice any difference and the photographs will be at their usual standard (good or bad!).

We started walking in the village of Slingsby, which is north of Castle Howard. All Saints Church was first built in 1157 and rebuilt in 1869. It is quite large and has a fine chandelier.P1130160P1130162P1130161There is an interesting memorial to a master mariner. P1130164A plaque shows the rents in 1712 were a little less than now. P1130163Slingsby Castle is in need of some tlc.P1130159From Slingsby we headed to Barton-le-Street where the St Michaels’ Church was also rebuilt in 1871.

It has Norman stone carving from the original building. The porch and main entrance are impressive. P1130140P1130141Then we headed on to Appleton-le-Street, which has a population of approximately 117 (2001).

Further on Amotherby’s St Helen’s Church is hidden in trees and again was largely rebuilt in 1871. It still has its Norman south door and the 16th century tower as well as some Anglo-Danish carved stones from before 1066, in the porch. P1130149                                                                        The bench there made a good coffee and banana break overlooking the garden area.

The inscription reads:

The Kiss of the Sun for Pardon

The Song of the Birds for Mirth

One is nearer God’s heart in a Garden

Than anywhere else on Earth. 

July 1917.

P1130146We headed up towards Coneysthorpe Banks Wood, where there was some interesting flora. P1130153After having lunch we passed Castle Howard in the far distance. P1130154After Slingsby Banks Wood, we descended back towards Slingsby and a horse encounter. P1130158It had been a hot and humid day.

Miles Walked 11.5

Calories Burnt 3491

Steps 25,274


Walking in the Orkneys, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland – Part 16, Iceland – Reykjavik Continued, Passing the Old Man and through the Pentland Firth and A Big Birthday.

Post 291: 14th August 2018, Reykavik

Having left the scene of the rescue (see previous blog), we continued alongside the dock area.



P1130031Then we came to an interesting exhibition about the port and ships that visit it. The train was one of two which were used in 1913 to construct the port.

P1130032 It is situated in front of the Art Museum.P1130034Currently over 135 cruise liners visit the port each year with over 128,000 passengers. Cruise liners have been coming since 1906. P1130035Controversially, whaling ships have and still do use the port.P1130036Between 1915-1973 many passenger ships used the port.P1130037 Coastguard vessels have operated since 1926 to date P1130038There are a number of companies that run whale watching trips from this area, Elding being one of the main ones. P1130051


P1130052 A little further on there is the Maritime Museum P1130044There is also an area where ships are overhauled.


I have heard of chaining your bike up so it doesn’t get stolen, but this seems to be carrying it too far!P1130048 Fish and chips are available at a price – £13.80! P1130039

Cakes are available at 17 Sortir near the harbourside. Ice-cream, including two flavours of liquorice, is available next door! Despite yawning, I had no room for cake after my ice-cream.


However, the locals were starting to get a bit fiery and so it was time to return by the now 3 mile coastal walk to the ship! P1130041By  the end of the day I had done 10.5 miles in total, 22,019 steps and burnt 3,315 calories. 

Marco Polo departed Reykjavik at 20.00 hours.

15 August 2018

This was a sea day. There is lots to do on ships on such days, quizzes, craft and art classes, crosswords, cooking demonstrations, exercise classes (to try and lose the weight you have put on during the cruise), gym, swimming pool, jacuzzi, knit and natter, table tennis, lectures, bingo, quoits, golf putting and other deck games.

I tend to avoid all those, apart from the lectures, and either read a good book, check through my photos and/or go for long walks around the deck. Marco Polo is particularly good for deck walking due to a timber promenade deck all around the ship and an alternative wider deck avoiding the bow if the weather is bad. P1130108However, we had signed up for a cocktail tasting at 16.00 hours – 6 cocktails for £6.99. The surprise was that the cocktails were not small tasting glasses, but large ones. We had bellini, pina colada, kamikaze (down in one), ruski, Long Island iced tea, mai-tai.IMG_E3056The result was that some passengers ended up being helped out of the bar at the end by the staff and I ended up as in the photograph below! IMG_E3059

16 August 2018

This was another sea day but this was a special day as it was Celia’s birthday.P1060087Before the real celebrations began we had to go through the Pentland Firth between Hoy and John O’Groats. It is notorious for strong tidal currents, but fortunately was relatively calm. P1060089


P1060104The top of The Old Man of Hoy can just be seen peering over the top of the cliffs to the left. P1060106

P1060109Viking Sun passed by. P1130077The lighthouse near John O’Groat’s could just be picked out in the mist and diminishing light. P1060114It was interesting that Saga brought along one of their ships, Saga Pearl II especially for Celia’s birthday. That is forwarded, targeted marketing!  P1060097 Now I know you should never reveal a ladies age and it would be more than my life’s worth to do so. So I will just show the card I brought out at the formal farewell dinner in the evening. Just after the cruise it would be our 45th wedding anniversary and we have known each for  47 years. I must be doing something right!

P1130204It was a great menu for the meal and birthday celebrations. P1130205


P1130080Our waiter Iqbal had been superb throughout the cruise. P1130084The Gala Dinner was later followed by the Gala Buffet, not that we had room for any more food!


17th August 2018 

After a reasonable sunrise on another sea day, little happened. It was a lazy day reading and chatting and reflecting on the holiday.


18 August 2018

This was the departure day.

There was one last opportunity to capture a sunrise between 5.30 and 6.15am.  We arrived at Harwich at 9.00am.  P1130107





P1130125We then caught a coach to Hull and on arrival had a 2 hour delay as the taxi firm had sent a car instead of people carrier for 4 of us with full luggage! It was good to be back in England!IMG_3082It was a deja vu moment as when I got back to Manchester Airport from Bavaria in May it was the first day of the new train timetables and chaos reigned supreme!

We had travelled over 5900 miles (5,127 nautical miles) with hardly a hitch, apart from the odd iceberg hitting us.


All in all it had been a fabulous, exciting, informative and most memorable trip.

Would I go again?  Definitely, basing myself around the Nuuk area and perhaps exploring further north.  

I hope you have enjoyed my blog as much as I have enjoyed the trip. 











Walking in the Orkneys, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland – Part 15, Iceland – Reykjavik – The Sculpture and Shore Walk, Smallpox and Leprosy, a Rescue from the Sea.

Post 290: 14th August 2014, Reykjavik

We were due in Reykjavik, the world’s most northerly capital, at 8am.  I was awake well before that and watched the pilot boat arrive at 7am. P1060037A container ship from St John’s in Eastern Canada was just leaving. P1060047We passed the Hallgrimskirka Church, which I had been to before in 2015 and which is the tallest building in central Reykjavik, its tower shaped to give the impression of basalt.  P1060048The coastguard was in dock, no doubt looking for smugglers. I do know someone who smuggled gin onto our ship! P1060050

P1060053We passed Videy Island where, on 9th October 2007, Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon inaugurated the ‘Imagine Peace Tower’ (Icelandic: Frioarsulan meaning ‘the peace column’) on John Lennon’s birthday.  The ‘Imagine Peace Tower’ was relighted on December 21st, winter solstice, and beamed until New Years Eve 2007.

It is a laser beam which Yoko Ono plans to have lit everyday on his birthday and penetrates the sky until December 8th, the date he was shot.

It may also be lit on other major occasions. P1060051We were therefore docked ‘near the Reykavik sign’ on the far top right shown on the map below. The city has one of the highest standards of living in the world, possibly paid for by the shuttle bus fares of £18 return per person from our dock to the city centre! P1130207We decided to walk along the Sculpture and Shore Walk to the main dock area; it is about 2.5 miles to the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre.  In 2015 we had already seen much of the city centre. It was a bit dank but is a pleasant walk with a proper tarmac footpath. A guide said that this year was the worst weather in Iceland for over 100 years. Even in a good year the weather is very changeable as Arctic Polar and Atlantic fronts do battle over Iceland. P1120993There is a lot of interest to be seen in the Laugarnes area. P1120995

P1120996A leprosy hospital existed here and two French seamen died of smallpox! P1120997The hospital and military huts are no longer there. P1130010The skyline of Reykjavik soon came into view. P1120999There are angelica plants growing wild which, once crystallised, are used in cakes. P1130001There are good views across the Vioyjarsund to the mountains.P1130002

P1130003There are some unusual homes and gardens in the area! P1130004


P1130006P1130008P1130007A little further along there was a sculpture from 1991.


On the other side of the road is the house where in 1986 the Reagan-Gorbachev summit took place, where the superpower leaders of the USA and Russia met to discuss nuclear disarmament. Although the talks eventually stalled, they were symbolic of a breakthrough in East-West negotiations and stood as markers of the beginning of the end of the Cold War. P1130011Some of the rocks acting as storm defences showed evidence of previous volcanic activity.P1130014

P1130015 Some made a good sculpture. P1130016We then passed the beautiful Suncraft (Solfar) designed by Jon Guunar Arnason and installed in its present location in 1990, a year after his deathThe sun ship symbolizes the promise of new, undiscovered territory. It is not a Viking ship as thought by many. Jon argued that Sun Voyager should be seen as a vessel that transports souls to the realm of death. It was envisaged as a dreamboat, an ode to the sun symbolising light and hope.  P1130017

P1130020We then reached the Harpa and went in to watch a complete 360 degree sound and visual 15 minute film about Iceland, the volcanoes, landscapes, waterfalls and mountains. It was quite stunning and well worth the highish cost (£15). Also there are free toilets in the building, which gives a discount in Iceland as some toilets cost between £1-£2 in Iceland – credit cards can be used!


Having relaxed and restored some energy we continued to the dock area only for Celia to shout out to me that someone had gone into the sea.

Celia then shouted to the man to keep calm and not flap about, although whether he spoke English we will never know. Fortunately, a young man ran to get a lifebuoy from a Security Office, threw it out and the man was able to get it round his waist. P1130024An indredibly brave security guard then jumped in and swam towards him, holding him until a rescue boat arrived. It was very concerning as the water would have been very cold. Eventually he was hauled into the boat by the three strong young men and not long after an ambulance arrived.



It was distressing to watch and we had to get our composure back before continuing our walk to the rest of the dock area to be continued in the next blog……..





Walking in the Orkneys, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland – Part 14 Greenland, Walking in Qaqortoq

Post 289: 11 August 2018, Qaqortoq

Qaqortoq, formerly Julianehab, is the fourth largest town in Greenland and the most populated town in Southern Greenland, with approximately 3229 people. Quartortoq means ‘White Palace’, presumably relating to how it looks in winter rather than in August. P1120978It is located on the Qaqortoq Fjord alongside the Labrador Sea.P1130199There are a number of walks in the area and Cumbria Man and myself decided to walk to the far end of Tasersuaq Lake, again leaving the ladies to browse around the townThe walks are not signed. IMG_E3027

The ship arrived at 12.30 and we had to tender into the town. We had until 18.00 hours to catch the last tender back.

Qaqortoq is a seaport and trading station. Fish and shrimp processing, tanning, fur production and ship maintenance and repair are important, but the economy is based primarily on educational and administrative services.

Tourism also plays a part in the economy of the town. The coloured houses and arts and culture appeal to tourists, approximately two thirds of whom come from Denmark.

The area has been occupied since prehistoric times, beginning with the Saqqaq culture  approximately 4,300 years ago, then the Dorset people around 2,800 years ago. The Norse arrived in the 10th century and stayed until the 15th century.

The present town was founded in in 1774 by the Dano-Norwegian trader Anders Olsen, on behalf of the General Trading Company. The current layout and facilities are as below.  There is even a youth hostel with wifi! IMG_3029IMG_E3028The Tourist Office and souvenir shop seemed a good place to start our walk. P1120953Just along from there is the Church of Our Saviour..

It has the traditional ship hanging from the ceiling P1120980Near the church is the oldest fountain in Greenland, Mindebronden, which was finished in 1932. It was the only fountain in Greenland until another was built in Sisimiut.P1120954The oldest standing building is a black tarred log building from 1797.

Following the stream past the church,P1120955we soon came across some of the rock art which is part of the Stone and Man project. From 1993 to 1994 Qaqortoq artist Aka Hoegh presided over the project, which involved 18 artists from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Greenland carving 24 sculptures into the rock faces and boulders in town. Today there are over 40 sculptures.P1060013

P1060011 There are some interesting street names!

P1120981Our lake destination soon appeared and there is some colourful flora in the areaP1120959



P1120960Although the temperature was only about 10C degrees (50F) children were swimming in the lake.P1120961 There were a few mosquitos around further along the lake and so we needed our nets on our heads.P1120966 Soon after passing some local joggers we got to the far end of the lake.P1120970In view of the limited time we decided to return the way we had come along the lake. P1120975

P1120964Before diverting past the football pitchP1120976 To the busy residential part of town. P1120963

P1120977We had walked just over 8 miles.

Back on ship, we left Greenland with some regrets but with some amazing memories.

We had two days at sea before reaching Reykjavik the capital of Iceland where we were to encounter a rescue at sea……………..








Walking in the Orkneys, Faroes, Iceland and Greenland – Part 13 Greenland, Nuuk (Godthab) , Mummies and Inuit Boats.

Post 288: 10 August 2018, Walking around Nuuk

We arrived at the port of Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, at 9.30am and were able to dock rather than tender. There are some fine mountains and fjords surrounding the capital.P1120885Interestingly there are water taxis.P1050906



P1050925There was a short shuttle bus journey to the city centre. We only had until 14.30 when our ship was due to depart. However, it is possible to walk around the city which, although the largest in Greenland and its Capital, is quite small. The population is only 17,316 (2016), although it is expanding as people migrate to the city from poorer more remote regions of Greenland. A third of Greenland’s population live in Nuuk. It has a cosmopolitan feel about it. There seems to be a lot of new building work taking place, P1050940 although it still only has 62 miles (100km) of road, the latter the most advanced road network in Greenland.

Temperatures range from minus -31.5C (-26.5F) in January to 26.3C (79.3F) in July but more normally are 10C (50F) in July. We had a warm August day. P1130197After alighting from the bus we visited the Tourist Information Office and I purchased a fabulous, stunning, photographic book (their last one). I highly recommend it although I am not sure it is readily available in the UK. It covers Greenland, Svabard, Iceland and Eastern Canada.  The author and photographer Uri Golman has a web-site:


IMG_3126We then walked to the older colonial harbour of Nuuk where the cathedral and the National Museum (no. 29 on map) are situated along a lovely waterfront. On occasions whales can be seen from the waterfront as well as icebergs/flows.

P1120887Nuuk Cathedral, the Church of Our Saviour, is a wooden Lutheran cathedral with a clock tower and steeple. P1050908Behind and to the left of the cathedral on a small hill is a statue of Hans Egede. It commemorates the Dano-Norwegian Lutheran missionary Hans Egede who founded Nuuk in 1728.  His house, built in 1721, is the oldest building in Greenland and is found near the harbour and is used for government receptions. P1050919 It is quite colourful near the harbour with many buttercups and other flowers. P1050918

P1050914There are number of arts and crafts shops where it is possible to purchase local products, some carved from reindeer antlers or stone. P1130198Whilst Celia was making purchases and I waited ‘patiently’ outside the second shop, a local school passed and one of teacher’s heralded from Manchester – a small world. P1050916There are some attractive houses and views in this waterfront area overlooking a fjord. P1120932

P1050923Below the houses is the National Museum, which is excellent. It was inaugurated in the mid-1960s and has many artifacts relating to Greenland’s archaeology, history, art and handicrafts. However, most striking are the Qilakitsog Mummies.







There is much else in the museum including these handcrafted pieces.

Many traditional clothes

Inuit boats


Language information

There were many other items and other information.


P1120899Leaving the museum we headed back to the city centre. Time was pressing. Near the bus stop was the cultural centre for concerts, cinema and exhibitions. P1120935Nearby a couple off our ship were playing instruments, which the local Greenlanders enjoyed. P1120934This commemorated the Arctic Winter Games 2016P1050924Back at the ship we were quickly back to ‘our culture’ with the sail away party at 14.30. P1050934

As a helicopter passed overhead in the opposite direction. P1050927

P1050946P1050945To be followed with an exquisite sunset….P1050992