Friday, August 17, 2012

Welcome to Iceland!

Blog post have been sparse lately, I've been preparing a trip to Iceland and Norway! Yesterday we arrived in Reykjavik, and after a ride from the airport into town we were dropped in front of this
 Yep, our guesthouse was less than one block from this crazy looking church - Hallsgr√≠mkirkja. Heck of a way to start your morning.
 Once it opened up (yes, we were there that early) we went inside and marveled in the huge art-deco building. Very modern and yet paying homage to classic cathedrals.
There was this fabulous pipe organ as well, all 25 tons of it! The sound in this place is amazing...
 Out front we spotted this unusual monument, a statue of Liefur Erikson (not so strange in itself) "Donated by the U.S. Government in honor of the Millennial of the Althing". I was also surprised to see him carrying a cross, what kind of Viking explorer has that?
I did some looking, seems he was on his way to Christianize Greenland when he got distracted by a merchants story and went off to find North America. His father Erik the Red did not take to Christianity, nor it seems did many Greenlanders.

It took 38 years to build the church, starting in 1945. It's enough of a landmark (and it happens to sit on the high point in town) that many museums used it for scale in diagrams.
I'll be posting updates from my travels whenever I stop to take a breather...

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