A volcano-forged window on an icy world
BY CHRIS SCOTT
Siorarsuit Beach of Disko Island is unique in Greenland. In a country better known for its ice and snow, Disko Island was created by fire as volcanoes forged an island and beach of stunning beauty. These dark sands are sandwiched between gigantic red flattop mountains -- which the locals call the Grand Canyon -- on one side, and the huge icebergs that float by only 50 meters from shore.
In summer, the beach is a jumping off point for fantastic hikes into mountains that offer breathtaking views and still have enough snow for dogsledding. It’s also a time when pods of Humpback and Fin Whales can be spotted frolicking in the surf along with seals and other sea life. The icebergs calve often, breaking the peace of the beach with thunderous claps as frozen chunks drop into the ocean to send huge waves crashing ashore that local children love to play in.
Winter transforms the landscape, covering the sand with two meters of snow. The sea also freezes over. Dog sledders often take to the iced waters, sometimes riding as far as the next town 55 miles away -- a journey that’s a two to three hour boat ride in the summer. Then there’s the ice fishing, skiing, and wildlife including beluga whales, narwhals and even a polar bear or two.
Did you know?
Viking colonists are believed to have come to Disko Island in the 10th century, using its beaches to launch hunting and fishing trips.
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