The settlement is an agricultural destination for hikers and a visible meeting place between Norse culture and modern-day sheep farmers.
A THOUSAND YEARS OF SHEEP FARMING AND AGRICULTURE
One thousand years ago a group of Norsemen, with Eric the Red in the front, sailed into the bay where the settlement Qassiarsuk is located today. According to legend, Eric had such strong emotional ties to the area where he had grown up in Norway that he baptised the place he found, Brattahlíð which means “steep hill”. Before long, he and his companions had established an agricultural community in the fjord.
Farming is still the main occupation in Qassiarsuk and the sheep farmers in the area cultivate the same fields, and let their animals graze in the same river valleys and the same hillsides that the Norsemen used towards the end of the 9th century.
The agriculture of the sheep farms is also about a special feeling of community, and you will experience the strong bonds and the close cooperation between the families living in the settlement and the farms in the countryside.
REMOTE FARMS WITH MODERN CONNECTIONS
Where the gravel roads end around the settlement lie the sheep farms that give new meaning to the word “remote”, and especially in Tasiusaq and Nunataaq, about a day’s hike west of Qassiarsuk, the fields reach down to the edge of the water, in fjords where icebergs from the Ice Cap drift by on their way towards the ocean.
Yet, you will experience that the locals are connected to the internet, watch satellite television and run modern farms adapted for export, send their kids to a well-run school in the settlement and are generally focused on seeing the next generation grow up and get educated, even if this means that the young will have to leave South Greenland for a number of years.