We are finally home for a few days so I’m starting to go through pictures in the order taken, The first stop was of course Reykjavik so I will mention a couple of things that I didn’t mention previously.
There was a major fire in Reykjavik in 1915 and many of the old wooden buildings burned down. Since then any new homes were required to be built with concrete and any of the wooden buildings that remained were clad with corrugated steel. That makes it easy to recognize buildings in Reykjavik that were built before 1915 – like the one in the picture below.
Iceland of course is completely Volcanic with 130 volcanoes around the island although none are presently active. Basalt melts at a relatively low temperature so tends to be a prevalent volcanic rock. When it cools, it sometimes forms hexagonal columns so we came across that numerous times in our tour of Iceland. You will find it in the Giant Causeway in Ireland as well.
It is also celebrated in Icelandic architecture like the Hallgrimskirkja church below, and the HOF Cultural Centre in Akureyri.
Real Basalt columns with pipes emitting steam form a monument to Reykjavik in one of the squares in the city (photo below). The name Reykjavik means Bay of smoke (steam is what was actually seen). It was supposedly named as such by the first settler to arrive in Iceland – Ingólfur Arnarson.
More pictures or Reykjavik can be found at: REYKJAVIK. One of the most interesting buildings is the glass Harpa Concert Hall.
In one of the pictures you will see people sitting at tables outside a cafe. With temperatures around 8 C, people in most other places in world would eat inside – but Icelanders are accustomed to the cold.