Gødtfëxbørgk (Dutch: Goedevisburg) is an independent city in and capital of Gødtfëxlåndt. With a population of 125,762, it is the largest city in both Gødtfëxlåndt and in the Nørdejlåndin. Gødtfëxlåndt is considered the capital of the Nørdejlåndin, though this has no political significance. Gødtfëxlåndt is located on the Långkanål, across from Zelburfakslåndt.
Established by Rålf Bjørnssøn in 1007, Gødtfëxbørgk is one of the oldest settlements in Çødejlåndt. Gødtfëxbørgk was originally called Kåldtsleklogk (literally "Cold Bad Place" in the Çødej language) because its rocky soil, high cliffs, perpetual fog, and cold climate rendered it unsuitable for largescale settlement.According to legend, 1014 brought with it a particularly brutal winter. Many of the settlers perished, including Bjørnssøn's wife Ënga and eldest son Klaøs. The women of Kåldtsleklogk, led by Bjørnsson's daughter Ëngebørga, assembled on April 12, 1014, at Xåpinsrok, now called Vønderirok, to pray to the ancient Çødej deity Tør for a miracle (a "vønder" in the Çødej language) to sustain the settlers through the remaining winter months. They returned to their homes, boiled the last of their store of bread for their families' suppers, and turned in for the evening. Sometime after midnight, the snow stopped and a great thumping was heard on the sod rooftops. The settlers awoke the next morning and found they were unable to open their doors. The ablebodied men and women took to battering down their doors, only to find that the doors were kept closed by thousands and thousands of sacks of salted cod that had fallen from the sky during the night. Though the remaining months of winter were no less brutal than those that preceded that fateful night, the salted cod was more than enough to sustain the settlers. The town was rechristened Gødtfëxbørgk (literally "Good Fish Town").
April 12 is still celebrated as Gødtfëxinåt throughout Çødejlåndt. As in the rest of the country, families gather for salted cod and onion soup (Gødtfëxisøp), sweet salted cod and berry tarts (Gødtfëxitårtin), and sing the traditional Gødtfëxnåt carols (e.g., "Vë løbp fëxë, jås, jås, jås"). Children scurry to bed early, hoping a sack of salted cod will await them when they rise the next morning. Gødtfëxbørgk, however, is best known for its popular Gødtfëxifest, when the children of the town dress up like sacks of salted cod and hop through the town toward the harbor, where they are reunited with their parents, dressed up as different varieties of sealife.
Gødtfëxbørgk has a subpolar oceanic climate. The warmest temperature ever recorded is 3ºC (37.4ºF) on August 13, 1957, and the coldest is -30ºC (-22ºF) on February 6, 1873. Gødtfëxbørgk is generally covered in snow, except for about a week in August each year when the sun shines and temperatures creep slightly above freezing.
Cityscape and Landmarks
Gødtfëxbørgk's main street, Kådstråb, is a pedestrianized thoroughfare lined with small boutiques, art galleries, and specialty stores. Many of the stores sell the city's principal handicrafts--ship's wheel-shaped earrings and cod-scented perfumes (cod has traditionally been considered an aphrodisiac)--which have been produced in these very workshops for hundreds of years. Kådstråb runs perpindicular to the harbor, up a hill, and terminates at the Kådhås, built in 1786 on the site of Rålf Bjørnssøn's first cabin.Once a customs house reserved especially for cod-related commerce, the Kådhås now houses the Kådimøzeum. The Museum boasts the world's second largest collection of cod-related art and sculpture. Sharp-eyed visitors may notice the intricate woodwork that lines the inside of Museum's Great Hall. The woodwork contains 862 carvings of dancing cod, many wearing feathered fisherman's caps, which represent the 862 methods of preparing cod recognized by the Seven Elders of Gødtfëxbørgk. The Museum is renowned for its brasserie, Kåd 172, run by chef-owner Såm Såmsson, who trained at the presitigious Kønigejkøkixioniskøl in Jåxåxbørgk. 43 of the 862 approved methods of cod preparation are artfully reimagined in Såmsson's masterful hands.
Next door to the Kådimøzeum, in an old millinery, one finds the Kindinsmøzeum, a children's museum run by the municipal government. Here, children frolic amid whimsical, brightly-colored cod sculptures, learn the ins and outs of scrimshaw, and learn to sing the old fisherman's shanties of their grandfathers.Of course, no trip to Gødtfëxbørgk would be complete without a pilgrimage to the Vønderirok at the mouth of the harbor. Traditionally, pilgrims tie emptied sacks of salted cod to their knees, proceed toward the Vonderirok singing the ancient hymn "Åj, åvej å våk cø hëmelur met fëxur," and lay pieces of moss at the base of the rock. A dozen or so shops selling moss and sacks line the waterfront, but the finest moss and sacks may be purchased on the Kådstråb, except, of course, on Fridays.
The harborfront is always lively, especially during the week-long Gødtfëxifest. Håbstråb, which runs around the harbor, is home to cozy accomodations, popular seafood restaurants, shops selling souvenir trinkets, and sea shanty dancehalls serving the town's characteristic brine and elderberry spirit Jøkejtrënk. The rest of the town is mostly composed of diminutive, brightly-colored residences and the cod-processing plants that employ the majority of the city's adult residents.
TransportGødtfëxbørgk Airport, ten miles southeast of the city, offers daily flights to Nørdejhåm, Ëshåm, Jåxåxbørgk and Båjbørgk, weekly flights to Keflavík International Airport (Reykjavík, Iceland) and Nuuk Airport (Greenland), and bi-weekly flights to Iqaluit Airport (Nunavut, Canada) and Vágar Airport (Faroe Islands).
Gødtfëxbørgk sits at the terminus of Çødejbån's Nørdejlåndin Line, which connects the city to Vëndejbørgk, Kåsbørgk, Båjbørgk, and Jåxåxbørgk, and at the midpoint of the Åjsej Line, which connects Køldbørgk and Nørdejhåm. All trains in the city depart from Centrålejbånlogk.
National Highway A1 connects the city with the rest of the country.Ferries operate year-round across the Långkanål to various points in Zelburfakslåndt, including Nørdejhåm, and also to Ëshåm on Ësåj.
Within the city, a single tram line follows Kådstråb and the western harborfront, passing the boatyard before terminating at the Free Trade Zone west of the city.
The city government also operates six bus lines in the city, including a shuttle from the train station near the city center to the airport. Be advised, however, that frequent blizzards often bring the city's bus system to a grinding halt.