A stop at the Southwest Greenland Port of Paamiut on their Oceania Insignia Cruise gave Anne and Vera a glimpse into life in this Greenland town of 1500, and specifically that of the town’s youth. Join them as they take a wander around this Southwest Greenland town.
The next morning we arrived at Paamiut, another very picturesque Greenland town with only about 1500 people. At this port, we enjoyed touring around the town with our four friends, which made up the rest of our travelling group.
Our first stop was the Visitor’s Centre, where we browsed and learned some things about the town. Before entering, we stopped to admire the reindeer antlers place around the outside of the building.
Inside we saw more items made from animal bones and skins, as well as handmade items that were beaded or sewn. The friendly man at the front desk gave us maps and information, and told us about the local school system. Children go to the school in town up to Grade 6, then go to boarding schools in larger towns which have high schools. The children usually stay there during the week and come home on weekends.
As we came outside, nearby we could see one of the main attractions of this town – the pretty Fredens Kirke church. With its picture-book European look, and traditional Greenland colours of red, yellow, and green, it made such a lovely focal point for the town. Next to it was a small cemetery with large white crosses, creating even more of a picturesque scene.
From there we crossed over a lovely red and white pedestrian bridge and stopped to take some group pictures. We stopped in at the local grocery store, the Brugseni, and then passed by other buildings such as the school, hospital, and fire station. On the side of one building, someone had painted a very beautiful mural showing how the sea is such a huge part of this fishing village.
After we made our way through town, we continued up the road and headed to the Lookout Tower viewpoint. The rather steep path was comprised partly of wooden stairs and partly a rocky path where we hung on to large boulders and a thick corded rope to hoist ourselves. It was a little tricky in places, but we all made it up to the top, and were rewarded with spectacular wide-open views of the entire town and harbour.
After we made our way safely down we walked by some houses and enjoyed seeing examples of everyday life in this town. The houses were simple and colourful, but many showed the effects of harsh weather. Most of the yards were left natural and unmanicured, with children’s toys and bikes strewn around on some. On one front yard was an older-looking baby carriage with a white animal fur blanket in it, and we had learned that it was common for babies to be put outdoors to nap all year-round in Greenland towns. We said hello to a few children riding bikes and we passed by some dogs wandering unleashed down the road.
Making our way back to our cruise ship we paused to watch some sea birds flying around. Then as we strolled on the wharf, we noticed one white gull on the rocks nearby picking apart its fresh catch. As we watched, we were intrigued by how the gull was devouring its catch, all while warding off other gulls and not allowing any to share. It was interesting to witness this raw display of nature, and realize how much both the wildlife and humans in this town depended on the sea for survival.
We had all greatly enjoyed our day in Paamiut, and were left with many images and memories of this simple and peaceful little town.
Tips & Recommendations for Exploring Paamiut
- Stop in at the Paamiut Visitor’s Center and get some information about the town.
- Don’t miss the pretty Fredens Kirke church and nearby cemetery.
- For those physically able, going up to the Paamiut Lookout Tower viewpoint gives you some exercise and a lovely view. Be sure to wear good footwear and take your time.
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