| ||ACTIVITIES and EVENTS|
Trekking in Greenland is serious stuff. There are very few well-worn trails (most of them are dogsled routes that run across country) and you'll need to be physically and mentally prepared for the challenge. If you can handle the pace, Greenland offers some of the most spectacular hiking sceneries around. For those into serious mountaineering, Greenland has all the mountain you can handle and then some. There are also gentler ascents for first-timers. A trip into the belly of the ice cap is a must for most mountaineers. Dogsledging is offered by the tourist offices and can last for either a few hours or a few weeks. Skiing, particularly cross-country skiing, is becoming more popular every year. Although hunting can be put on the agenda, strict rules and regulations apply. Many species are protected and even dead trophies cannot leave the country: this means no polar bear throw rugs on the floor or caribou heads mounted on the mantlepiece back home.
Off the land there are plenty of watery activities going around. The Inuits invented kayaking, so it's only to be expected that it's high on the list of things to do. Both short trips and longer trips can be arranged, although both sort are subject to the dangers of rolling icebergs. For the avid fisherperson and angler Greenland offers unique fishing opportunities. Apart from regular angling, you can also fish the time-honoured Inuit way; through a hole in the ice. The hole-the-ice method has been known to throw up the odd shark, some of them as long as 6.5m (21ft).
The biggest event on the Greenlander calendar is the celebration that marks the end of the polar night. This usually takes place sometime in January or February. Come March the capital city, Nuuk, hosts an international snow-sculpture festival, while Uummannaq fjord provides one of the wackiest events for those of you who think golf is a proper game - The World Ice Golf Championships. You'll hear cries of 'Fjord!' instead of 'Fore!'.
In early April, Sisimiut kicks off what is billed as the world's toughest ski race, with three days of skiing in Arctic conditions. Around Easter, villages north of the Arctic Circle hold dogsled races, and the Festival of Art and Music takes place in Qaqortoq in late June/early July, close to the time of the Nuuk Marathon. Every three to four years, Greenland hosts the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, a week-long forum for the discussion of cultural and social issues. Visitors are always welcomed into both the discussions and the exhibitions. The other large festival is Aasivik, a cultural and political forum that usually takes place mid-July and showcases traditional theatre, drum dances, folk music, and in recent years, Greenlandic rock music.
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