Saturday, September 30, 2017

Reykjavik

Reykjavik

We spent the last couple of days of our trip in Reykyavik, capital of Iceland and area with almost 2/3 of the population of Iceland. We walked past Tjörnin Pond admiring the city reflected in its water. Reykjavik is a human sized city - no tall buildings and very walkable.

Hoping for Food

There are many birds in the pond's waters and feeding them does not seem to be discouraged. I was intrigued by the swans with their black trimmed beaks.

The Unknown Bureaucrat

Icelanders are not afraid to laugh at themselves. This sculpture, The Unknown Bureaucrat, proudly stands near the pond.

I Wonder What They Recommend

Virtually all Icelanders speak English and in the capital there are English signs on most stores. I did not go into this one but did wonder about what records they were selling.

Peace

Although there were (too) many tourists - there is not the same sense of hustle and bustle you get in larger cities. Walking past this sculpture I felt a sense of peace. There is a lot of public art in the city.

Reykjavik Spires

While much of Reykjavik feels new, there is also the old. The two spires - on the left one of the older churches - on the right, the spire of Hallgrímskirkja

Hallgrímskirkja

The church was designed by the late Guðjón Samúelsson. He took his inspiration from the basalt columns that sometimes form when lava cools. Construction began in 1945 and only completely ended in 1986. It towers above the city both because of its height and the fact that it sits atop a hill.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallgr%C3%ADmskirkja

Organ in Hallgrímskirkja

There is an impressive organ inside made by Johannes Klais, an organ builder from Bonn
As the church is Lutheran, there is very little interior decoration. Light streams in and there is real sense of calm inside the church.

Leif Erikson

Leif Eriksson stands outside - the Icelandic explorer who "discovered" North America. He has a much more massive feel than the statue of him we saw in Newfoundland near where he probably landed.

House in Reykjavik

Many of the older homes are painted or covered with corrugated, coloured siding. I'm sure it adds colour to the long grey winters. Iceland in summer is vibrantly green and colourful. I am not sure I would feel the same about the short days of winter. Although Iceland is just south of the Arctic Circle, its climate is more temperate than Montreal. Although it is never very hot there, in winter the average temperature in Reykjavik is 0°C (32°F).

Pick Your Colour

These Fjallraven backpacks caught my eye - I could just picture a class of students, each with a different colour!

Public Bicycles

These public bikes are decked out in WOW's colour. We flew from Dublin to Reykjavik with WOW and enjoyed their sense of humour (Our call button was labelled: Honk if you're hungry - each button had something different).

Sign in Keflavik Airport

If I have any negatives about Iceland it is only that hotels, B&Bs etc. are very costly. While flights are cheap, once in Iceland your money will disappear quickly, hence these words of warning at the airport. Despite that, I would go back. I love the open spaces, the clean air, the jaw-dropping beauty, the variety of landscapes... The cities and towns are at a human scale - which the countryside is immense and full of wonders.

1 comment:

  1. Reykjavik landscape with its reflection on water in the moody weather is so beautiful and atmospheric. I’m interested in the sculpture of two people doing “seiza”, Japanese traditional formal ways of sitting on tatami mat. If you do that on such hard stone, your legs become numb soon. The church must be a masterpiece of architecture and cheerfully colorful old houses are simply lovely. I fell in love with Reykjavik.

    Yoko

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