When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Sources

Glamping Like A Viking, How To See Greenland's Tundra In Style

The summer season in Greenland is fleeting. As the snow melts into the tundra, modern day Eskimo descendants reconnect with their ancestral habits. There is also the deluxe option for tourists.

Watching Northern Lights in Greenland
Watching Northern Lights in Greenland
Christophe Migeon

KITAA — Atop the garnished table, cinnamon scented candles diffuse a warm, amber light. The ravioli of lobster and Madagascar green pepper are bathed in a perfumed parsley foam, later joined by a fillet of halibut, served on zucchini caviar. All will be topped by a generous serving of ivory-heart cheesecake drizzled with a red fruit coulis. Far from the glitzy ambiance of an exclusive Parisian restaurant, this tantalizing meal takes place in quite literally, it is polar-opposite setting: under the canvas of a tipi near the edge of the vast Greenland tundra.

Comfortably seated on plush sheepskin, the remarkable ease of the gourmet dining experience paints a stark comparison to that of ice-clearing European explorers who, just a century or so ago, were warming themselves by the flame of a stove powered by nothing but seal fat, huddled under a makeshift shelter, chewing the leather of their belts, their bodies ravaged by scurvy.

In the village of Kitaa, two hours by boat north of Nuuk, Jon and Anika Krogh traveled to the seasonal luxury camp. Each summer, between the months of June and September, half a dozen brightly colored tipis are nestled in front of the dramatic fjord — an amphitheater of cliffs carved out by nature's tempestuous ways. For the next few fleeting weeks of summer, the snow will melt away from the normally icy landscape.

Kapisillit village — Photo: Awewewe

With the reindeer skin covered armchairs, the feel of the camp embodies everything Nordic: a barren rock littered the landscape, flanked by iced peaks, and sprinkled by fragments of icebergs that drift on the glassy sea. "There, all is order and loveliness / Luxury, calm and voluptuousness," Baudelaire would have said. Your favorite millennial would call it the tops in "glamping," that is giving some glamour to the rough edges of camping.

Under the mess tent, behind the crowded food counter, the chef Rune Collin tied his apron and set out to reformulate the new Arctic cuisine. From 1997 to 2015, he directed Nipsia, without doubt, the best restaurant in Nuuk — and thus, all of Greenland. He was the first chef to revisit traditional Inuit recipes to suit western palettes. Always in search of innovative cooking techniques, he has cleverly created dishes of reindeer, seal, musk ox. The majority of the vegetables he cooks — potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips — come from local farms, established thousands of years ago by the Vikings.

The adventure fell short.

On a chilly morning in the year 985, 25 Knorrs, big square sailboats left the Icelandic territory with their families and cattle. They had collectively decided to brave the "Dark Ocean" to answer the call of Erik the Red who had boasted of the agricultural potential of the new shores of Greenland. Only 14 ships reached the shore, and established their presence on the southern tip of Greenland which was soon to be named the "colony of the East." As the years passed, a second group of farmers migrated further North, forming the "Western Colony." The current Kitaa camp is located at the heart of what was once the land of more than 90 farms — living solely off of goat and sheep. Not far from the tipis, lichen-eaten walls still portray the ancient essence of this rural Scandinavian country.

Yet, the adventure fell short. Around 1350, the Bishop of Garder sent an emissary to reconnect with the colony of the West, which had not been heard from in several years. They found nothing but horses, goats, and abandoned buildings. The colony of the East survived a full century longer, before mysteriously disappearing too. Since then, researchers have been racking their brains: What could have happened to the Vikings of Greenland? The "Little Ice Age," which struck Europe from the middle of the 13th century to 1850, seems to be the most plausible answer.

In Qupaloraarsuk — Photo: Facebook page

But this freeze caused the displacement of another group natives to Greenland: the Inuit. Ujammiugaq Engell of Nuuk's National Museum, says there was no evidence of confrontation, "No smashed skulls, no real trace of any exchange," he explains. "And a genetic analysis showed that there was no mixing of the two populations."

But for Jon Krogh, who regularly visits the current settings, the past looks different, "At the time, a land with so few resources couldn't have allowed two peoples to prosper. It could only be one and may have been decided by violence. But the Inuit don't necessarily want to brag about it today!"

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

When Did Putin "Turn" Evil? That's Exactly The Wrong Question

Look back over the past two decades, and you'll see Vladimir Putin has always been the man revealed by the Ukraine invasion, an evil and sinister dictator. The Russian leader just managed to mask it, especially because so many chose to see him as a typically corrupt and greedy strongman who could be bribed or reasoned with.

Putin arrives for a ceremony to accept credentials from 24 foreign ambassadors at the Grand Kremlin Palace on Sept. 20.

Sergiy Gromenko*

-OpEd-

KYIV — The world knows that Vladimir Putin has power, money and mistresses. So why, ask some, wasn't that enough for him? Why did he have to go start another war?

At its heart, this is the wrong question to ask. For Putin, military expansion is not an adrenaline rush to feed into his existing life of luxury. On the contrary, the shedding of blood for the sake of holding power is his modus operandi, while the fruits of greed and corruption like the Putin Palace in Gelendzhik are more like a welcome bonus.

In the last year, we have kept hearing rhetorical questions like “why did Putin start this war at all, didn't he have enough of his own land?” or “he already has Gelendzhik to enjoy, why fight?” This line of thinking has resurfaced after missile strikes on Ukrainian power grids and dams, which was regarded by many as a simple demonstration of terrorism. Such acts are a manifestation of weakness, some ask, so is Putin ready to show himself weak?

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

However, you will not arrive at the correct answer if the questions themselves are asked incorrectly. For decades, analysts in Russia, Ukraine, and the West have been under an illusion about the nature of the Russian president's personal dictatorship.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ