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For more than twenty years I have regularly flown over Greenland towards the west coast of the United States. All these years my fascination for this largest island on our planet has not diminished. Those first impressions of inhospitable, cold and desolation have lost none of their power after all these years. What suffering those first expedition travelers must have endured.

There was Fridtjof Nansen, a Danish zoologist who was part of a group that was the first to cross Greenland on cross-country skis in 1888. Until then, many scientists believed that Greenland's interior was ice-free and relatively hospitable. In any case, this expedition put a definitive end to that belief.

By the way, do you know where Greenland owes its name? According to tradition, the Norwegian Erik the Red went looking for a land west of Iceland. Once he found this, he named it Greenland in the hope that if the country had a positive name it would attract settlers. Well, I think that ultimately turned out to be a vain hope.

Anyway, I digress a bit. What is also great when you fly so far north (especially in the winter months) is that the sun is only just above the horizon. And it can even set briefly and rise again later when the flight path has become a bit more southerly. And of course every photographer knows that the light is the most beautiful in such conditions, the so-called 'Golden Hour'.

Below are five photos of Greenland that show off this golden light beautifully. Currently, the ice sheet that covers 80% of this island is melting five times faster than twenty years ago. Let's hope that in 100 years there will still be an ice cap on Greenland.


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