Iceland’s beguiling walkable capital
The Society of American Travel Writers 2014 convention is coming up in Reykjavik in a couple of days. My husband and I are booked on a pre-convention tour, but we came a day early to explore Iceland’s compact, walkable capital. Here are some snapshots:
Hallgrímskirkja, a massive Lutheran church on a hilltop in Reykjavik, is a pared-down Gothic-style concrete church — all the bones but no interior ornamentation.
Colorful buildings, many faced with corrugated iron, line old Reykjavik’s narrow downtown streets.
A pair of sidewalk gnomes in the shopping district.
A sign promoting Reykjavik’s, ahem, body part museum. Haven’t been in it — at least not yet. I also didn’t visit the Sex Toy Museum in Prague recently. Perhaps I ought to see both — or not.
Hot dogs appear to be the favorite street food. Stands are all over downtown, many built of concrete — like frankfurter bunkers.
The “Hamburg,” a German cruise ship, was tied up at an in-town pier. She is small enough that Reykjavik did not feel overrun.
One ticket provides admission to three art museums — one of which is currently closed because the exhibitions are being changed. This modern art museum currently features old abstracts.
A local travel trade show was at the museum while we were there showcased local travel providers. I was able to talk to a few exhibitors until the lengthy speeches began. None of the people I spoke with were aware that SATW is about to begin convening.
Reykjavik 871 +/- 2 is a fascinating underground exhibition combining an archeological excavation of a 9th century Viking settlement and excellent interpretation via a panorama with computer-generated ghost-like figures in action, plus signs in two languages.
Graffiti art in a construction zone. Iceland’s economy took a hit in 2007-08.
Artist Johannes S Kjarval’s fabulous, fantastic landscapes look totally different from a distance — impressionistic and then cubist up close. with faces and full figures tucked here and there into the scenery.
Reykjavik kettleball? No actually, one of the many public art pieces in this beguiling city. This one depicts a washerwoman back in the day.
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