Already some time before arriving at the shore of Qullissat we must have been noticed by the „citizens“ of Qullissat. Flemming, Ingrid as well as some children came to the shore to welcome us.
Jonas, Flemming, and Ingrid seemed to know each other. Having the words of Jeff in mind I immediately recognized Flemming. „You are Flemming“ I said. I told him about Jeff and in short words my plans to cross Qeqertarssuaq alone along the old sledge route marked in the Saga maps.
Flemming was immediately interested and Ingrid invited us for a coffee to talk about my plans and to have look at his maps. I was very thankful about this opportunity to get some information about the route, possible dangers, and so on and yes “thanks for coffee, the sandwiches, and everything”. I also was interested about Qullissat, its history, and their living there.
I learnt that Flemming, 70 years old, has spent his childhood in Qullissat when his father worked as a physician at Qullissat. He regular spends the summertime in Qullissat in a house that he has restored.
At the time I visited Qullissat there were 7 people populating the ghost town. Three children and Flemming, Ingrid, and another man and his wife. Ingrid has been working as a nurse prior to Qullissat being abandoned. The other man has been working in the mine of Qullissat handling explosives. Except for summer, Ingrid and Flemming live in Danmark.
Sitting together at coffee and tasty sandwiches that Ingrid has served in all her kindness, we were talking about my plans, the route, potential dangers, my equipment, and necessary precautions I should take. After going through more or less every item and detail of my equipment, positively answering every question Flemming asked, I was „the German“.
Ingrid has collected a lots of items and has set up a „museum“ at Qullissat to which she kindly invited me to have a look. She also showed me the „Forsammlingshus“ that has been restored and that is used for events e.g. in summer during the Qullissat weeks, when people come together for a weekend or more in summer to “revive” Qullissat for a couple of days.
The Forsammlingshus also seemed to be the only place that is “electrified”: A small generator provides electricity to a refrigerator.
Leaving the Forsammlingshus we noticed a humpback whale close to the shore. We went closer to the shore to watch it and take pictures. We spent quite some time watching this big spectacular animal before I left for a walk through Qullissat. The houses close to the shore were destroyed by a tsunami a couple of years, some other houses were “recycled”, i.e. broken down and the wood taken away for other purposes. Other houses were destroyed by the forces of nature. A few houses, however, were restored including a “guest house” for people, mostly hunters and fishers, visiting Qullissat.
At about 17:00 I decided to finally conclude my sightseeing in and around Qullissat and finally started the conquest, the adventure of crossing Disko Island along the old sledge route -the dotted line on the Saga maps.
I fetched my backpack from Ingrid’s house, said goodbye, received best wishes for my trip, and left. Leaving Qullissat, I still saw Flemming running up and down the shore to take pictures of the humpback whale that was still swimming around close to the shore.
From my viewpoint and the perspective I had -being quite some hundred meters up the shore- Flemming appeared to be minute in relation to the whale almost right in front of him.