Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by Greenland.
Well, to be honest, I thought Iceland was the coolest country in the world — until I discovered Greenland in probably the World Book Encyclopedia.
There was just something dazzling about the world’s largest island smack between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. It’s mostly ice — in fact, more than three-quarters of it is covered by the only contemporary ice sheet outside of Antarctica. And yet, more than 56,000 people live in this autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark.
And I have no idea why.
The fishing should be good, I suppose. And according to the official tourism site of Greenland, the country is a “land of milk and honey when it comes to food and drink,” with numerous gourmet restaurants that combine Greenlandic ingredients with French, Thai and Japanese cuisines. There’s “brættet,” or local game and fish markets, found in all towns. And the “boards,” or supermarket freezers, are full of meat from whales, seals, reindeer, muskoxen, lamb and fish.
I’m not kidding when I say this: I’m dying to go.
Yes, the average temperature in Nuuk, the country’s capital, ranges from 18 to 45 degrees. And yes, there are dangerous land mammals about, including polar bears, musk oxen, wolves and the arctic fox.
But it just seems like a place you need to visit to figure out.
I’m curious about the Greenlandic Inuit, which make up about 88 percent of the population. I’m interested to see how far-reaching Dutch culture is. (I happen to be part Dutch.) And I can only imagine the hiking and kayaking here are mind-blowing.
So what country are you completely fascinated by? And are you putting it on your 2015 travel list like I am?