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Rødefjord and Røde Ø

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Røde Ø („Red Island“) is situa­ted in Rødefjord („Red Bay“), inner Scores­by­sund, and both names are sto­ry­tel­ling, giving hints about the the­me of the day: colours. Colours are one of the big things in Green­land any­way, from the inten­se yel­low and green of the autumn tun­dra to the shi­ning white blue of the omni­pre­sent ice, the inten­se blue of the sky, the dark oran­ge-pur­p­le of an arc­tic sun­set and final­ly the mys­tic green of the auro­ra borea­lis. A jaw­drop­ping ran­ge of colours of immense beau­ty.

You can see all of it in Rødefjord and even more, as part of the fjord, inclu­ding Rødeø, con­sist of sand­stone an inten­se brow­nish red colour, the so-cal­led New Red. This addi­tio­nal colour specta­cle goes back to desert sand of the Permi­an, near 300 mil­li­on years ago, when the ero­ded rem­nants of the Cale­do­ni­an moun­tains whe­re depo­si­ted on eit­her side of the moun­tain ran­ge in tec­to­nic depres­si­ons. It is both geo­lo­gi­cal­ly and visual­ly very simi­lar to the Old Red which is well known from parts of Scot­land (Ork­ney Islands) and Spits­ber­gen (Woodfjord, Dick­son Land, to name some important examp­les). The New Red is just a bit youn­ger than the Devo­ni­an Old Red. Well, it takes a while to wear a chain of moun­tains down. And today, spen­ding a nice arc­tic sum­mer day in a New Red area in east Green­land such as Rødefjord or in an Old Red area in Spits­ber­gen is one of the most sce­nic expe­ri­en­ces the arc­tic has to offer. You will agree if you have seen it, I am sure!

And of cour­se the­re is still this huge amount of lar­ge ice­bergs which keep stran­ding in „shal­low“ waters on the nort­hern side of Rødeø. A zodiac crui­se bet­ween tho­se ice­bergs is an immen­se­ly impres­si­ve expe­ri­ence (but be care­ful, other­wi­se it can also be immen­se­ly dan­ge­rous).

Rødeø its­elf has some impres­si­ve sce­nic fea­tures, such as a short cave under a sand­stone arc on its sou­thern coast, which is navigab­le for Zodiacs. A short distance west of it, the­re is a rock stack com­po­sed of basalt colum­ns, an instru­si­ve sheet wea­the­red out of the sof­ter sand­stone, known as „bræn­des­ta­be­len“ (pile of fire­wood), an appro­pria­te­ly descrip­ti­ve name. And from the hills of Rødeø, you have a beau­ti­ful view over one of east Greenland’s most sce­nic fjord.

Pan­ora­ma

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last modification: 2014-01-04 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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