- as far north as you'll ever travel
THULE - the name has a magic ring to it, and conjures up pictures of 'the true Greenland' for many people.

The journals of Knud Rasmussen, Peary, Henderson, Malaurie and many other explorers have described their adventures in this far northern region, and many of the things they mention can still be seen today.
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Spring is on the way, and the ice is breaking up in the northernmost regions of Greenland.
View of the town of Qaanaaq.





The hunting of seals, polar bears, birds, narwhals and walrus provides the only means of survival in a society which consists of one town with around 600 inhabitants and five settlements. The settlement of Siorapaluk is the northernmost community on earth, and is also well-known as the fictitious birthplace of Miss Smilla in the novel and film Smilla's Sense of Snow.
Hunting trips lasting several weeks are part of the way of life, but there are severe local restrictions which control where and how the hunting is done - narwhals, for example, may only be hunted with harpoons. Bearskin trousers and sealskin boots or kamiks are still the best things to wear for long journeys by sled. The average temperature in February and March is around -30°C. Because the continent of North America is such a short distance away, this has been the gateway to Greenland for thousands of years.
The most recent migration to this area took place 130 years ago. Ways of living so far north and in such severe climatic conditions are passed on from generation to generation, and this ability to adapt has contributed to the survival of this small community. When the sea becomes open sometime around August, large dinghies with powerful engines are used for both hunting trips and ordinary journeys. It is still light twenty-fours hours a day at this time - the Midnight Sun lasts from the middle of April to the end of August. Nothing from the hunt goes to waste: the skins are used for clothing and covering the kayaks; the flesh and offal are eaten by humans and domestic animals; the narwhal and walrus tusks are carved into finely-worked figures, jewellery and hunting implements, and even feathers can be used in handicrafts.
The town of Qaanaaq was first established during the 1950s when the US airbase, which was originally built during the Cold War at Thule/Dundas, needed to be extended. At that time it was not considered appropriate for a civilian population to be living close to the base, so everybody was moved some 100 kilometres further north, where the new town of Qaanaaq was built in 1953.
There is a small hotel in Qaanaaq, and the glaciers are less than an hour's walk from town. There are direct flight connections from Ilulissat to Qaanaaq twice a week.

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