I haven’t really thought about what to write for today’s post, so here’s a photo from January 17th, 2008 taken from the end of my “street” in Uummannaq, Greenland. The sea ice is getting stronger, or thicker, I guess I should say. And at this point, my first winter, I am at once itching to get out on it, and slightly terrified at the same time.
The four bright lights on the left hand side of the photo are the lights on the helicopter pad. The island, top left, is Salliaruseq which features heavily in many of my stories. The distance from Uummannaq Island to Salliaruseq is 7km. Distances in Greenland, especially in the summer, are deceptive. While in winter, the snow brings everything closer.
The photo above is from the day before, taken from the middle of the town. It’s the same island you can see, but the big red building to the left of Salliaruseq is Edvard Kruse P Atuarfia, which is the school. The teacher’s common room takes up two floors and can be seen in the long rectangular windows. The view from those windows, and the other side, looking out onto the fjord, is, as you can imagine, breathtaking – year round!
If you’ve read The Shiver in the Arctic, then you might be interested to know that the action takes place in the hotel, part of which can be seen in the photo. It’s the red building, slightly right of centre, with writing above a centre white door.
When I sent a pupil of mine some of my books including The Ice Star, she was amazed to discover just how much action and shooting happened in Uummannaq. I’m pretty amazed too! As you can see from the photos, the real Uummannaq is rather different. Thankfully!