"Where did you get so tan?" they ask, and I tell them: "Greenland."
"But how?" they exclaim, laughing in sheer disbelief, because let's face it: the nameless friends we invent for the sake of trite opening dialogue are inherently dumb. Mostly, their minds are muddled with storybook imagery like scary snowstorms and Eskimo cliché, a random mix of Alaska, Siberia, and the opening sequence in Empire Strikes Back
. They still think Greenland is like, cold.
This is my chance to correct them. Besides my sheepskin rug, my enviable neck tanline is my best souvenir from a blissful week on the sunny Greenlandic Riviera. What, you don't know it--the Greenlandic Riviera? What rock do you live under? What travel magazines are you not reading? The Greenlandic Riviera is exploding right now-it's already this whole thing and the real estate war is right around the corner.
Alright, I totally made that up. If you Google "Greenlandic Riviera
" you get zilch--until now. See, that's the magic of the internet--once you say it, it becomes real. Greenlandic Riviera
, Greenlandic Riviera
, Greenlandic Riviera
. If you build it, they will come.
The real Riviera was (and still is) in Liguria, the region that spans the northwest coast of Italy. Despite its 700-year old status as an iconic vacation spot, the original Riviera can be a little disappointing. For one, the coastline is all rocky and the towns comprised of overpriced boutiques selling pink sweater vests for men. There is nary a beach to stand on, and the ones that are any good are ultra-private. But no matter--history, tradition, and Hollywood have made "Riviera" mean everything we long for in a chic travel destination: escapism, romance, sunshine and sea.
Today, there are other countless Rivieras to choose from: on our planet today, actual people will non-jokingly refer to the English, Mexican, Russian, Chinese, African, and Australian Rivieras (also, French). Did you know that there's even a self-proclaimed Redneck Riviera
along the American Gulf Coast where instead of seashells, earnest Alabama children collect shiny black tarballs to take home for "show-and-tell"?
Greenland's beaches come sans tarballs, (although the country's drive for oil exploration could change this, wink, wink
). In fact, Greenland has the cleanest beaches I have ever seen: a mile-wide half-moon stretch of vanilla sand bordering clear turquoise shallows that are so clear, you can follow the gently waving seaweed below. There are no cigarette butts and no blowing trash. Also, there are no people, which is the recipe for a perfect beach. And who knows what you'll find as you stroll along the shore? A reindeer skull, a salmon-colored piece of wave-polished granite or a jumble of blue, microwave-sized ice chunks. What the real Riviera offers in fashion, culture, and high-life, Greenland makes up for with its elegant arctic beaches.