Friday, 3 June 2016

Not so grim up north

In between the strikes and the meetings madness I had a long weekend in Iceland - a slightly delayed birthday present. There are too many impressions for me to be coherent, and the surface of this weird, wonderful country was barely scratched. It's beautiful and bleak; American and European (culturally and literally: I stood in the tectonic plate rift, a foot on both continents); Nordic and Celtic, cute and terrifying, liberal and conservative and many other binaries. The food is wonderful, the architecture goes from sublime to traditional to banal, the weather is gloriously changeable and I must go back. There were bookshop cafés and geysers, waterfalls, lakes and wool shops, dried fish heads and cinnamon buns, sagas and whale-watching boats moored next to whaling ships.

My pictures are here but here's a taste - click to enlarge.

The Chuck Norris Grill

Selfie by a fish-drying house

A geyser about to blow



Gullfoss selfie

Hallgrimskirkja dominating the harbour


Hallgrimskirkja organ - the only decorative relief in the bare concrete Lutheran church 
Failed to visit this - bit of a cock-up really

Reykjavik from Hallgrimskirkja tower

Harpa: all Scandinavian capitals have big glass concert halls on the harbour edge. 

A mountain-top selfie

Thingvellir: the ancient parliament site and the rift between the continents

Waterfall at Thingvellir

Painted on the side of a shop

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