Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Casual stop in Greenland

You guys! So much has happened since I last blogged! For example, I have been to Greenland. Legit. I was flying home to Canada last week for a wedding and our plane had to make an emergency stop at Kangerlussuaq Airport, Greenland, of all places. It was the first time I've really felt homesick, if I'm honest. Seeing the snow and the mountains reminded me of home and I may or may not have got a little teary eyed. Although, sometimes snow just does that to me... To me, it's probably the most beautiful thing in the world. Crisp and clean, it just reminds me of simpler times growing up in Northwestern Ontario and living in Fernie for a winter. Gosh, I hope I don't start writing a love letter to the snow.. maybe another time.

So, Greenland. Honestly, when the pilot came on and announced what was happening (long story short: a light came on and they couldn't solve the problem. Something to do with the coolant... when you're flying over the ocean and it's freezing cold, I'm not sure why you even need coolant but what do I know?), I kind of thought it was hilarious. I mean, really? Greenland?? The only thing I remember about Greenland from school is that it's name is deceiving and it is actually white. We had already been flying for about 5 hours and had to turn around to get there, so that was a bit discouraging because it meant we had a long way to go to get to Toronto. But safety first! When we were landing, I could only see three things: snow, mountains and water. I could tell we were getting closer and closer to touchdown and the fact that I couldn't actually see any land was a little bit frightening - especially considering if this pilot has never landed in Thunder Bay, chances are he has never landed in conditions such as these before. Luckily, all of the people in the outer rows along the windows were just excitedly taking photos of this amazing country, so I wasn't worried. Naturally, a plane (mostly) full of Canadians cheered upon touchdown. I feel like anyone else would just be mad that we were up in the middle of nowhere. There really only seemed to be a few people that were upset about the unscheduled stop, but honestly ... what can you even do?

We got off the plane and onto a shuttle bus to the terminal, which indicated we would likely be there for a while. Our bus driver said "Welcome to Greenland!" and again, the Canadians just cheered because we are optimists and were happy to be on land rather than floating in the ocean. It was a little startling to see someone wearing a Canada Goose jacket in only mid-October.... welcome to Greenland, indeed. All 250 of us shuffled into the cafeteria, smaller than the one at my high school, and I don't think the staff (who may or may not have already closed the place down) knew what was about to hit them! I was on one of the first busses, so I had first dibs on the sandwiches that were out... I think it was turkey (hey Siri, do they have turkeys in Greenland?) and I haven't any idea what animal the bacon came from. Also, I think there was some sort of a curry-mayo on it, which I'm going to have to recreate at some point. THEN the staff started cooking because there were way more people than sandwiches and desserts (but they didn't run out of beer). They made what appeared to be spaghetti Bolognese.. and from rumblings, it sounded like the meat was either musk ox or reindeer. AMAZING! I wish I had tried some.

Let's skip the part where we all sat in this airport for 8 hours waiting for our rescue flights (it still amazes me that they were literally called rescue planes) and get to the part where they divided us up and took us back to Toronto at 1:40 AM and 2:40 AM (Greenland time)! Our boarding passes were just business cards with our seat number written in pen and they also handed us a postcard of Greenland to take home. Just in case we ever forgot where we had been...

My travel day started Tuesday, October 18 at 8:00 AM in England (3:00 AM in Toronto) and ended on Wednesday, October 19 at 6:00 AM in Toronto (11:00 AM in England). I probably didn't sleep more than 2 hours so Wednesday night, I was so happy to be in a bed!! And on the extremely bright side, the European Union have laws for compensation and now we can book our flights home to Canada basically for free! My return to the UK on Sunday night, went much smoother and I think I've managed to outsmart jet lag.. I slept for 90% of the flight back and then most of the afternoon once I got home (by accident) and was early to bed. I worked yesterday, so I think that helped get me back into the everyday routine.

Anyhow, now I've added Greenland to the list of places I would like to go. The people we met in the airport were so friendly, welcoming and incredibly accommodating considering they probably didn't have much warning that a plane of 250+ people would be landing. Snow is my absolute most favourite thing, so naturally this is a place I would want to go. Plus we were only 3 hours away from the North Pole, which is pretty cool.

Lesson learned: always be optimistic. Especially in situations which are out of your control. Take a deep breath and just remember, there is always something worse that could have happened.

dream big dreams, be reckless ... and make the most of unscheduled stops

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful account! Love the "always be optimistic" As the Dali Lama says.... If you can do something (about a problem) no need to worry, if not, no need to worry! xoxo