After finally landing in Ilulissat, I was beyond eager to get out exploring and make up for lost time. I chucked my bags in my hotel and was out the door faster than you can say ‘Welcome to Greenland’.
Ilulissat is the third largest city/town in Greenland with a whopping population of approximately 5000 inhabitants. It is surrounded by ice and one of the best places in the country to see the northern lights.
I set out to hike the blue route around the UNESCO heritage site; the Ilulissat icefjord. Hiking trail maps can be found here. I will share all about this world class and unforgettable hike in my next post. Todays post however, is about the many furry creatures I met before I could even step foot onto a hiking trail.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while you may remember that I had an amazing day dog sledding with huskies in Iceland in early 2014. On that day I fell head over heels in love with huskies, so finding out that husky pups roam free in the town of Ilulissat made me as excited as is humanly possible.
Lucky for me, many of these huskies reside on the long stretch of road leading to the starting point of the Ilulissat Icefjord hiking trails, so when I set out to do my hike, I was hopeful that puppy cuddles would also be on the cards.
As I made my way from the World of Greenland office with a free hiking map in hand, I walked past the towns soccer field, and I use the term ‘field’ very loosely. Rumour has it that the Football Association of Greenland is unable to become a member of FIFA due to the countries inability to grow grass for a football field. Tough break!
I also got my first glimpse of the beautiful Greenlandic houses. They are all bright, colourful and look incredibly inviting. Every single local I walked past smiled and said hello. Ilulissat’s entire vibe is friendly, happy and welcoming.
After approximately five more minutes of walking, the husky pups made their first appearance!
I of course, being the kind of person that has to touch things in order to fully experience them, wasted no time in finding a willing husky cuddle buddy.
This little guy was unsure at first, but soon snuggled up in my arms and became the willing participant in an inpromptu photoshoot. He was so beautiful and snuggly, so I decided to name him Charlie, which he didn’t seem to mind.
There were some medium sized adult huskies looking at me from nearby and at first I was worried that they’d get territorial and try to protect Charlie from me, but it turns out that they were just curious about the strange husky cuddler! As Charlie got more comfortable with me, they began to come closer and closer until they were at my feet and demanding attention.
I found out later that some of the adult dogs with small puppies have been known to bite humans who get too close, which may explain why these animals weren’t totally acclimatised to cuddles; many people are scared to get too close!
These puppers however, were the definition of affectionate, and were only interested in how many pats they could get and how many face licks they could give.
One thing that I didn’t love was that most of the adult dogs were chained up. These dogs are used to guide sleds in the winter months, not for tourism – but instead for the survival of the inuit people in harsh arctic winters. As a result, the owners do not want to risk their precious dogs being stolen or going missing. Thusly, in the summer when they aren’t needed, they are kept chained up. This made me rather upset to see, but this is the Greenlandic way of life, and who am I to question it?
After getting my fill of puppy love (for the time being) I set off to start my hike along the Ilulissat Icefjord. All my stories about that hike will be in the next post, however I felt it only right that I give you a small preview.
T H E L O W D O W N
Getting to Ilulissat: Air Iceland flies to Ilulissat from Reykjavik and Air Greenland has flights from Copenhagen
Husky Love: Many huskies can be found along Elisabeth Thomsen’ip Aqq.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with 12-40mm lens and 52mm HOYA polarising filter
Budget: Shoestring travel is impossible here, be prepared to crack open your piggy bank
Remember: Strong hiking boots, thermals, warm clothing and open arms
83 thoughts on “Ilulissat: Husky Lovers Paradise”
No way there are huskies roaming free! Why hasn’t anyone told me yet? I envy you so much!
Yes way! They are everywhere! You’ll have to add Ilulissat to your bucket list! 😊
Omg soooooo cute, I would have died of cuteness.
I just about did! Haha they are gorgeous creatures 😊
Cuteness overload! My hubby and I both loove huskies and dream that one day we will live in a house where it would be appropriate to have one.
They are my favourite breed of dog! I’d love to have one one day too 😊
Loved seeing the football pitch.
Too bad you had to put up with so much puppy love. You poor thing.
I had to look up your location on the google machine. It helped. http://bit.ly/1MLfnkJ
I know- my life can be super hard! Ha!
Reblogged this on DrWeb's Domain.
Can you sneak one away in your bag? So cute 🐶
Believe me, if there was no airport security they all would’ve been coming home with me!
And how many of those pups ended up in your suitcase? Hmmmm? I had an adventure on a photo shoot at a dog sled race last winter when I caught a runaway dog before he got into the Great North Woods. It’s serious business when sled dogs get away because they can get lost or injured. Cheers! Loving your Greenland posts.
Several! In my dreams ha
Good to hear! There’s plenty more to come 😊
Lucky you caught the pupper before he got himself into trouble!
It got me some applause from the crowd and the owner dubbed me her “hero”.
I hope she bought you a drink or two to say thank you!
Lovely huskies!! How cold is it there in Celsius?
I was there in September and it was about -1 to -10 in celcius. Although it can get very humid and on those days it can feel much colder! In the winter it gets to about -30
Amazing! Will have to visit one day. 🙂
Definitely one for the bucket list! 😊
Great post! I’ll have to add this town to my list 🙂
You won’t regret it 😊
OMG, so lovely!! want to hug them as well!
Wow, really adventurous!
Omg are you serious? Huskies roaming freely…that is like puppy heaven right there! I feel like if I go there…I will never want to return back 😂thanks for sharing this amazing post 😊
Only the younger pups! The older adults are kept more closely watched
You should definitely go one day!
Glad I could entertain you 😊
Oh my god. Hukies!!! More than any other reason for me to visit Ilulissat 😉 They are so adorable!
They are so cute aren’t they?! Definitely a town to add to the bucket list 😊
Oh they are incredible and I am so impressed you got to Greenland that’s definitely a place I know nobody has experienced… We had a great experience with them in the Yukon a number of years back… they are such beautiful animals, remarkable too… did you say they were roaming freely? So jealous… Great post thank you
The pups are able to, the bigger adults are watched more closely
You should add Greenland to the bucket list- it’s incredible!
Already added, was so when we were in Iceland as we were told about the flight there. Just never seen a blog about it until now – So incredible 🙂 Wanted to also thank you for your continuous support to my blog also as always see that you read and like the posts… Great to have loyal followers 🙂 Its appreciated, and keep up your updates too – love reading them
I’ve got a whole bunch more posts to come so hopefully I can inspire you even more 😊
And it’s my pleasure, I love your posts! Likewise- thanks for being a loyal reader, I really like knowing that people are enjoying my posts 😊
Well I do 🙂 haven’t seen a huge amount pop up recently but when I do I read – promise 🙂 If your ever coming to the Uk let us know we’d be more than happy to help you see some of our wonderful country
Whereabouts in the uk? I was in Scotland a few months back!
We just north of London in a small quaint British village… But we have some great places around us like Woburn, Whipsnade, MK, Aylesbury and of course London is only 40 mins by train.. You should come back 🙂
I definitely will!
Your more than welcome
Oh and I am looking forward to the whole host of next posts
Next post will be full of huge icebergs!
Amazing – did you see ours recently on http://awanderingmemory.com/2015/10/29/glacierbay/ we saw one being born which was just incredible!
Wow! That looks gorgeous! What camera do you use?
At that point a canon 50d but I upgraded recently to a 6d which you’ll see in some of my recent posts or Berlin Denmark and Russia which is coming… And Venice that is also coming
Do you like your 6d? I love the pictures taken with them but they seem so bulky to carry and I am easily frustrated with that sorta thing ha
Hi Ellen. It’s much lighter than the 5d but yes does have its limitations on size… Especially when in Africa and I had the 500mm lens just those 2 take up the majority of my hand luggage. But the images are the best quality I have had as of yet. In reality click and shoot cameras don’t have the depth of field apart from maybe the Nikon one… If you check out my more recent posts the majority include the canon 6d shots…
I have a 12-40mm lens on my Olympus SLR and I like that as it’s fairly small but I imagine the photos you get with a 500mm would be absolutely amazing!
Yeah check out my Kruger post that has some of them… It’s usually best for wildlife photography… I also have the kit 17-55mm and a low aperture 10-15mm specifically bought for the northern lights.
Dad has an Olympus. Which is lighter but just doesn’t have the capacity of the larger slrs
What a fab trip!!!
They’re so cute! Are they strays or? It’s sad if they live on the streets..
No they aren’t strays! But they don’t venture too far away as pups so they are allowed a few months of free roaming before they become big adults 😊
very cute! love all the house colours as well! sounds like a great little town to visit, nothing better than friendly locals
I totally agree! Locals can really make a great place even better 😊
Ahhhhhh those puppies are so cute!
Hi there- thanks for following my blog! Such lovely pictures of those adorable puppies:) I’m headed to Norway next month, so reading your blog is getting me really excited for my trip!
Puppy love is the best love 🙂
That it is! 😊
BE STILL, MY BEATING HEART.
Hahahaha best comment ever!
Those huskies absolutely melted my heart. Awwww!
Mine too 😊
Blue Steel! Love it! Anyone who doesn’t look at those pics and say “cute!” has no feelings! I saw similar chaining of dogs in Norway as well…it was interesting how they had to chain them in particular places as some dogs do not get on well enough with others next to them…much like when they are pulling a sled.
Ah I hadn’t even considered that! Did you go dog sledding?
No…wasn’t an option at the time…not sure I am quite as adventurous as you…I wouldn’t have picked the dog up even! 😊
That’s a shame! It’s so much fun- you’ll have to go back at the right time of year one day 😊
Hahaha but who can resist puppy cuddles!
I guess I can when they looked pretty filthy…😀
Lovely puppies… wish I could have one now 😀
Me too- I wanted to take them all home with me!
Beautiful post x
Awesome! Extremely cute.. xxx-rated cuteness!
I am so envious!!! It’s truly heaven for husky lovers!
It really is! Huskies are my favourite dogs 😍
i love dogs! so wonderful to chance upon some unexpectedly on a holiday.
Wow these are incredible pictures! I love huskies so much! x
Me too! They are easily my favourite breed of dog 🙂
Love reading about your unusual destinations! The puppies are ADORABLE.
Thank you – I love sharing about them! Many more to come 🙂