Thursday, March 19, 2015

Iceland: Harpa by Day

Upon arriving at KEF, we gathered our things and found Joe. He spirited us into the heart of Reykjavik, gave us a mini-orientation of the neighborhood, and left us to our own devices, which I think meant that we took a nap.

Reykjavik sits at 64deg N latitude, making it my furthest foray away from the equator with the exception of that one time I got abducted by aliens (#awkward). We also landed within a couple weeks of the summer solstice, so we would not see dark for our entire time there (we'd get somewhere between 3 and 5 hours of civil twilight each day). We'd also barely see the sun.

Joe's neighborhood is central to many interesting sights, smells, and tastes, but Reykjavik is not that big of a city to begin with. Also, he lives on an unpronounceable street, such that even after 3 months of living there, locals had no idea where the hell exactly he was talking about.

Just a short walk away from his flat sits Harpa, the most spectacular concert hall I've ever come across. The whole thing is a delightful mix of glass, metal, concrete, and mirrors. It's an architectural masterpiece, and it's only a few years old; I was instantly transfixed by all that I saw. Call it a mix of caffeine, exhaustion, and wonderment. Result: camera fun time!

I've got a dusky exterior photo from later on in the trip that I'm going to withhold for now, but here's a bunch of daytime action from inside and out.

As much of the outside as I'll show you now

OK a little more outside action, but that's it

First space you walk into

View out from ground level

Pointy things everywhere

Looking up

More up

Always UP!

Climbed some stairs to get here

Murphy Naps I

Again from up high

Looks like a good spot for...

...Murphy Naps II

Expansive wall (also expensive)

This'll do (photo: Murphy)

I am SUCH a sucker for architecture like this.

We'd have one full day in which to rest up and acclimate to this strange place before race day, but being able to walk around and see such a wonderful city is not a great way to convince us to rest. Taper schmaper. Iceland.


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