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Last week, while flying in Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic, we were engrossed in the insanely good documentary "Finding Vivian Maier," about a prolific photographer in Chicago in the 1950s and 60s whose work was discovered after she died — at a storage auction, no less.
Just as we were delving into the mystery of who she was, where she came from and why she took so many photographs of everyday life, these little notes appeared on the monitor:
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If getting back into the workweek is a little hard this morning—no problem—as we’ve got some daydream destinations to get you through the day. Sure the odds aren’t exactly in your favor when it comes to winning a contest, but you can’t win if you don’t play. So here’s a couple contests going on this week, so take a few minutes and throw your name into the hat for a chance to win.
Amtrak Eats Sweepstakes
Take things easy and travel by train, as Amtrak is offering the chance to score some tickets and spending cash. The contest ends tomorrow, so just head over to the site. The big prize is round-trip sleeping car accommodations for four on Amtrak, $2,500 cash, and even a seven-piece cookware set from Cooking Channel.
Southwest Visit Florida Sweepstakes
A free ride in one of those blue-bellied planes always sounds like a good idea to us, and now through the end of the month Southwest Airlines is giving away some free flights. Head here to enter a few things like your name and email address, and you’ll be ready to go. Big winners will score two round-trip tickets to Florida and three nights at TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach.
The other day when we were wasting time checking out something that we can’t remember, we stumbled across something about Greenland. A Wikipedia entry led to another one, and soon we found ourselves over at the country’s official tourism website. We’ve got to say we now kind of want to go to Greenland, and they’ve got a website that’s much better than some more mainstream and popular locations.
They’ve got plenty of suggestions for things to do, and they’re happy to break them down for your by adventure level and month of the year. So if you’re looking for some extreme challenges to do this month, then look no further than hitting up Ketil Mountain which rises over 2000 meters above the fjord. On the less crazy side of things there’s always the opportunity to search for some musk oxen over in the surroundings of Kangerlussuaq.
One of the most buzzed about films at this year's London Film Festival is about a community a world away from the glitz of red carpet galas and premiere parties.
The documentary The Village At The End Of The World by British filmmaker Sarah Gavron focuses on Niaqornat, a remote hamlet on the north-western coast of Greenland. In a community where the people are outnumbered by dogs it can be difficult to survive in the midst of globalization, let alone climate change.
Times Square may be the one of the craziest places to hang out on New Year's Eve, with the massive crowds and chilly weather. But for those who want to party hard, the place to ring in '10 is Greenland, which celebrates New Year's twice in one night. You know what that means: double the amount of drinking.
The first New Year's celebration goes down at 8 p.m. for Danish New Year, in honor of Greenland's history with Denmark. Although Greenland is a self-governing body, Denmark has ruled the island since 1762 and continues to do so today, albeit more loosely, helping oversee foreign policy and defense. To respect its longtime ruler, Greenland gets the party started early because of the four-hour time difference between the two countries.
We thought Santa was a myth, because really, who lives at the North Pole? It turns out that we we've just been sending our wish lists to the wrong place. Apparently St. Nick's pad is in Greenland, according to the country's tourism bureau.
More specifically, he lives in a secret castle on top of Santa Claus Mountain in Uummannaq. Greenland is connected to the North Pole by ice, so it makes sense that the big guy would reside in the much-more-livable Greenland.
If you want to get your requests into Santa, go to the post office and send them priority to: "Santa Claus, North Pole, Greenland," and the letter will end up in the world's largest mailbox in Nuuk, the country's capital. Every year, thousands of kiddies and adults from around the world write to Santa, filling up the ginormous red mailbox with letters, candy and trinkets. Letters are emptied on Christmas Eve, when they'll undergo the naughty-or-nice review.
Sorry, Greenland. We totally meant to come visit. But now that Air Greenland has shut down its Baltimore-Kangerlussuaq route, it's gonna be a bit harder to come see you.
Why the change?
The reason for the decision is that the route made a loss in its first season of DKK 15.1 million ($3.2 million) and preliminary figures for 2008 predicted expected losses in the two-digit millions. This is partly due to increased costs for fuel and aircraft rental, but also due to the low dollar rate which has reduced American demand for travel abroad.
Heh. When in doubt, blame the worthless American dollar!
· Air Greenland: The Baltimore Route Is to Close [Official Site]
· World's Most Dangerous Airports: Narsarsuaq, Greenland [Jaunted]
· Greenland Travel coverage [Jaunted]
Back at the start of 2007, we put together a series on the World's Most Dangerous Airports, which by the volume of mail we get about it is still on your minds. One place we didn't cover the first go around was Narsarsuaq Airport in the town of the same name in Greenland. Fortunately, tipster David wrote in with some details on the airfield, abbreviated both UAK and BGBW:
The approach is through a fjord, so it's necessary to make 90 degree turn to line up with the runway while in the "valley". It's similar to flying down a city street with high rises on both sides with severe turbulence at all times except on the brightest of days; downdrafts are everywhere. There's the risk of icebergs drifting into the departure/arrival path.
Unless the ceiling is at least 4,000 feet and visibility at least 5 miles, pilots without proper knowledge of the local topographical and meteorological conditions are advised to not attempt approach to Narsarsuaq though fjords. Strong easterly winds can create severe turbulence and windshear in vicinity of the airport. Takeoffs are limited to daytime, and the airport is in uncontrolled airspace.
As soon as weather falls below "great for flying", the approach to BGBW becomes a real hand humidifier. Going down the fjord, sometimes wind rushes in from the side and flicks your aircraft to the other side of the cliff wall; over-correcting can be as dangerous as not correcting. The procedure turn to line up on final is nerve hacking. Before or as soon as you finish the turn, there is usually a gust of wind either from the side, from the top or from the back, potentially giving you a not-needed-at-all speed boost all the way down.
Sounds dangerous enough for us! After the jump, check out a panoramic video of the airstrip--narrated by what could pass for Phil Keoghan--and a clip taken from an aircraft coming in to land at Narsarsuaq.