Got up this morning and saw it was 45 F / 7 C outside. Still a little warm around here for this time of the year.
Today, I planned to go back to Reykjavik and visit a couple of sites that grabbed my interest. But first, confirm the departure time of the bus! Think I have the bus schedule figured out now. It really is a nice ride into Reykjavik, and with the free WiFi, I can do project work and not have to be concerned about data usage charges.
I arrived at the Reykjavik bus terminal and headed over to Hallgrímskirkja, a Lutheran (Church of Iceland) parish church – the largest church in Iceland and also among the tallest structures in Iceland. The church (as mentioned in the update from Sunday) is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrimur Petursson. The church is in the center of Reykjavik and is one of the city’s best-known landmarks. It can be seen from almost everywhere. It took 41 years to build (1945 – 1986).
Here are a couple of pictures from the outside (below)
Inside, the church’s sanctuary can be used in a way where the pews can be quickly switched from looking at the alter, or as in today’s case, to the other end of the church for tonight’s choir concert. I took a picture of a pew that shows (partly) the mechanism used to flip the pew’s direction (below).
The alter is pictured below. (This was my first clue that the pews were bi-directional since they faced away from the alter and the pulpit.)
And noticed a smaller pipe organ near the main alter.
The console for the main organ is located at the other end of the church.
A view from the church’s alter to the other end of the church, showing the pipes from the main organ.
Below is the performance area (beneath the organ pipes). I noticed the Christmas decorations were fairly minimal – just a few trees and a wreath in the main sanctuary.
And he church’s pulpit (below).
Next on my list of places to visit today, was to go up to a restaurant that can be seen from many parts of the city. It almost looks like a flying saucer – really!
The picture below, you can see the restaurant as it looks from a location near Hallgrímskirkja. I’m sure many tourists (including me) ask themselves, “What in the heck is that?”
It is about a 20 minute walk up to the restaurant from Hallgrimskirkja, with the last kilometer being all up hill. You walk up through a park and just keep heading up and trusting that you’re heading in the right direction – there are no signs. After walking for about 10 minutes through the park, you get your first glimpse of the restaurant.
I took a few pictures as I got closer.
I was thinking that those look like water towers. And guess what – they are! The hot water towers were there first and someone had the idea to drop a restaurant in the middle. Very cleaver!
The main restaurant is high-end (open in the evenings) and named Pearl (or Perlan). This restaurant is located at the top of the building and it revolves. The interior, as you walk into the building, is amazing when you look up towards the dome.
The cafe, one floor below the restaurant, serves a good lunch and gave me some time to take advantage of the terrific view.
After lunch, I walked out to the terrace that surrounds the building. You can get an excellent view of the city. I took a couple of pictures of the view. On the way out of the cafe and onto the terrace, I noticed the figure on the revolving door. (See below.) Then I understood the meaning of the graphic – you had to shove the door to get it to move, and I mean really put your shoulder into it.
Given the travel time and the bus schedule, it was time to head back to Keflavik. I got into Keflavik at around 3:30 and picked up a couple of items at the store on the way back to the flat. By then, it was getting dark again.
Tomorrow I’ll explore Keflavik and try out some of the local restaurants. On Thursday, before I leave, I’ll take advantage of the spa services at the Blue Lagoon.