“Pic of the Week”, Oct. 18, 2013. Harpa, Reykjavik, Iceland

2013-041-Oct. 11a

Dominating Reykjavik’s harbor, Harpa is its new Concert Hall and Conference Center.  It’s impossible to miss this massive structure, with its interesting and unique three dimensional multicolored glass facade.  Home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera, Harpa can seat up to 1,800 in its largest room.

Harpa’s construction was plagued with problems, some technical but mostly money-related.  Half completed when the country’s financial crisis hit, it was almost abandoned.  The final tab was US$250,000,000  (in a country with just over 300,000 people, that’s almost US$1000 per citizen).  I hope the investment pays off.

It’s a fascinating building to visit, not just because of its size and physical presence, but because of the interesting use of angled …

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.All Trips / Europe / Iceland

Back in Iceland!! A reacquaintance with Reykjavik

Reykjavik 05-2013-001 intro Harpa

As our Icelandair flight descends through the clouds towards Keflavik airport, the rugged cliffs and shoreline of the Reykjanes peninsula begin to emerge from the mist.  The sun is just peaking over the far horizon and its warming light is magical and welcoming!  The peninsula’s dark rugged lava fields remind me somewhat of landing in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, although the massive bulks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are distinctly absent here.  We breeze through immigration and customs and make our way to the Flybus, a comfortable and convenient way to do the 40 minute commute from Keflavik to Reykjavik.

We’re tired after our red-eye flight, but to me it feels familiar and good to be back in Iceland.  The last time I made this journey I …

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.All Trips / Europe / Iceland

A journey around Iceland (Part 1) Reykjavik

A journey around Iceland —  1) Reykjavik

I love visiting places that are rich in scenery, mountains, rivers, waterfalls and hiking; Iceland seemed a good fit for me. Until a few years ago the cost of a trip to Iceland was prohibitive.  But recently prices have dropped to the point where Iceland is no longer “extremely expensive”,  just “expensive” (in line with much of Europe).  So off my brother and I went and on one of Icelandair’s 757s and had a terrific early fall visit at the end of their busy summer tourist season.  This is the first of a few posts outlining the different regions we visited during our stay in “Island” (how locals spell their country’s name).

When people hear the name “ICEland” it conjures up …

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