Welcome to the first week of "Revolving On the Road"! Today we're in Reykjavik, Iceland. We arrived yesterday & have seen a few interesting things so far.
1. Turf Houses
Turf houses come in two forms in Iceland. Either the roof is covered with grass (or some other greenery), or they are built directly into the earth (like a Hobbit House!). So far, we've only seen the former! Iceland is extremely eco-friendly, harbouring about 85% of their energy from renewable resources, so this popular "green" trend is no surprise to see on their homes.
2. Hallgrímskirkja Church
Wow. This church floored me. I had seen pictures of the expressionist-style Hallgrímskirkja before heading to Iceland, but nothing prepared me for the in-person experience. Hallgrímskirkja was visible as we approached the city, and once we walked up to it and saw the 73 metre high hulking mass of concrete, I was stunned. From the outside, rounded pillars cascade along each side of the tower like a crescendo leading to the peak. I could stop gawking upward at the three windows that overlook the city. Once inside, vaulted ceilings and tall windows create a brighter atmosphere. Directly above the entrance doors is the largest set of organ pipes I've ever seen. Resisting the urge to play Phantom of the Opera, we admired the interior of the church from the pews. Hallgrímskirkja is a must if you're visiting Iceland!
3. Old & New
Moving on to interiors, what we've seen so far is a mixture of old & new. The photo above (left) is of drum cymbals, upcycled to create some really cool pendant lights in a bar we stopped in. I love the simplicity and warm light they cast. There also seems to be a ton of skeleton keys in Iceland. Almost every bathroom or door has a key pushed firmly into the locking mechanism. I'm resisting the urge to pull them out and start a collection...
Among the 'new' interior design features, we've seen a ton of Scandinavian influence (no surprise there!). Colours are relatively muted inside the buildings, sticking to natural woods, carrara marble, natural lava stone, and black and white tile. I fell in love with the Sandholt bakery (above, right) and yes, the waffles with homemade jam were amazing.
Be sure to check in next Friday for our second week of Revolving on the Road!