Nuuk was founded by the unfailingly optimistic Hans Egede – the Danish missionary with soul-conversions on his mind – who promptly named the settlement Good Hope. Today Nuuk is small by modern standards, with a total population of only 14,000. Despite a wealth of land and a paucity of people, Nuuk has insisted on housing the population in immense apartment blocks with imaginative names like Blok P – a kind of Gulag on ice – and the urban sprawl is now spreading out along the road to the airport. Kolonihavnen is a pleasant exception to the rest of Nuuk’s Lego-city look: it’s a picturesque 18th-century fishing village in the heart of Nuuk and gives some idea of what the town looked like before the industrial harbour was built. Nuuk’s real attraction lies in its proximity to any number of excellent day hikes into the hinterland and the fabulous views from the tops of the nearby mountains. Organised tours, boat trips and the rental of equipment is easier from the capital.
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