Iqaluit Adventure - Day 1

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
(this is a day late... day 1 was September 25, 2007 .. I had to find a Cat5 cable so I could connect to the Internet in my hotel room :-) )

Polar Bear Rock Carving from 'Downtown' Iqaluit

Yahoo! The plane took off! No cancelations due to the weather! Thanks to all of the Anti-Snow dancers out there :-).

The flight to Iqaluit was pretty uneventful. Many familiar faces on the flight - several of my students and fellow co-workers and some parents of students. I will say though, the plane that we took out to Iqaluit was much better than the plane I took from Iqaluit to Nanisivik when I first arrived in Arctic Bay. This plane looked (and felt) much more... well... safe. Not that the other plane wasn’t.. this one just wasn’t near the end of it’s flight life like the other.

Somewhere's over Nunavut (Baffin Island)

We arrived in Iqaluit around noon, which wasn’t a bad time. I checked into my hotel (The Nova - recommend it to anyone who plans to travel to Iqaluit; it’s an impressive place - reminds me a lot of the Delta back home). After I checked in, I decided to do a little exploring. So off I went with my camera, extra SD card and a little cash to explore and check out Iqaluit.

I have to say, Iqaluit isn’t as big as I thought it was (unless I”m really missing an area here... and I might be as I have yet to find one of those tourist information maps), but it is interesting to walk around.

View of Iqaluit from the Breakwater

The Big Tourist Map

My journey began by going down the street that my hotel is on and stopping off at a little gift shop to see what they had for local carvings (as I am on the hunt for a small Inuksuk pendant). There were some local carvings there, but not quite what I was looking for, but close. They also had some jewelry there that contained Nunavut diamonds which were very nice, a little pricey, but very nice. Being the tourist that I am, I stuck with the safe tourist standards of a small Nunavut flag and a Nunavut Patch for my backpack.

View from the Breakwater

From there, I continued down towards the breakwater .. and along the way I came across a pretty space age looking building. It’s a school! I have to say that this school was very cool looking, especially for someone who is used to schools being built out of concrete and bricks. The school looked like the “Dome of the Future” that used to be at Rainbow Valley (yeah, you Maritimers know what I’m talking about), so it brought back some fond memories.

Nakasuk School

From the school, I continued down and stumbled upon Arctic Ventures and Arctic Survival (two stores I wanted to stop in and check out to see if they had hiking boots - neither did :-( ), I continued down to the breakwater to take some pictures of the “bay” during low tide - and yes, there is a low and high tide here. I’m hoping that when I go back tomorrow that high tide will be in so I can get some pictures of that.

Continuing my journey around, I remembered that the museum was recommended to me by a reader of my blog. Not really knowing where it was, I was about to stop and ask for directions to it until I stumbled upon it (talk about serendipity). In the museum, there were many paintings and sculptures by Inuit artists, some from Arctic Bay too. It just amazes me what can be done with stone, bone and antlers to create a work of art.

After walking around Iqaluit for three hours, my camera’s memory card was full and the battery had died. So I headed back to my hotel so I could download all of the pictures and charge my camera battery.

Two hours later (or... two Star-Trek episodes later), I’m back out in downtown Iqaluit heading to the NorthMart so I could buy some rations for the next couple of days (as tomorrow I am responsible for all of my meals .. but I get a per diem so it all events out in the end). On my way to the NorthMart, I noticed that there were all of these huge (and I mean huge) rocks all over the place down town. Curiosity got the better of me, and I had to go check them out. They were outdoor sculptures! Out came my camera and click, click, click. I must have spent at least an hour and a half just taking pictures and examining the sculptures that are along the main road (tomorrow, when it’s a little warmer out, as it’s quite nippy outside right now, I’m going to see if there are other large rock sculptures and also find out where the high school and Forbisher Inn are as that is where the conference is being held), and see if I can get a tour of the Legislative Assembly tomorrow.

Now, I’m just sitting back, relaxing in my room watching Stargate SG1 while I wait for premier Tuesday to begin (NCIS, House, Law & Order, Bones).



Jackie S said...

It's so neat to read someone else's first impressions of Iqaluit.

Couple things, when reading, I thought you might be interested in knowing....

The dome of the future high school apparently is a real pain for the teachers within, because the windows (those tiny little specks placed randomly on the sides) are so tiny... it's not like we get a lot of natural light to begin with... but the pinhole windows just make things worse.

APPARENTLY the tides in the bay are comparable to the Fundy tides... and I believe it, it's incredibly how far out the water goes at low tide!