Chickens in Iceland

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When you think of Iceland, do you think of chickens?  I didn’t.  But, lo and behold, they are there.

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Not only did I not expect to see chickens in Iceland, but where we found them was unique too – right in the middle of the town we stayed in, next to the a hotel and restaurant.

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I wonder what’s on the menu at this restaurant?

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I’m referring to fresh eggs silly.

More stunning views

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We made our way back to HARPA and I walked over to the water’s edge.  I just couldn’t help myself.  There is something about water that draws me in – that welcomes me.  The shore is one of those places that I feel a sense of peace.  It’s a place where worlds come together.  That’s true whether it’s in Reykjavik or anywhere else where there is a shoreline.  Maybe in this case, it’s seeing earth, water, mountains, clouds, and sky all in the same view.  Maybe it’s also seeing humans in this picture too, living at peace with one another and with nature.  Maybe a foretaste of the feast to come when all will be reconciled to one another.  That is my prayer anyway.

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View from on top of the world

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Or at least from up at the top of Hallgrimskirkja.

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For a few euros/dollars/Icelandic Kroners, you can travel up to the top of the church and look out to see these wonderful views.

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Unless you are like me – afraid of heights.  Then you send the rest of the family up to the top to enjoy the view and take pictures.

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Thanks family. You’re the best.  Because of the pictures you took, I was able to enjoy the view too.

Inside Hallgrimskirkja

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When you walk into Hallgrimskirkja, it is different than most churches you walk into. You get this combination of seeing all the stuff that is typical in churches – pews, windows, an altar, pulpit, organ, etc.

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At the same time, it feels as though you are walking into a large cave, an underground cavern in the earth.  In an odd way, it feels like the cathedrals of old – you feel small and insignificant in regards to the whole of creation.  The point in earlier times was to focus on humility – you are not the center of the universe.  Not a bad thing frankly.

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On the day we went in, there was an organ concert.  The organ sounded absolutely amazing.

When you go up to the area around the altar, you are treated to a minimalist altar.  In a weird way, it kind of makes me think that this is what the chapel on the Death Star might look like.  Yet, here we are in a Christian church, worshiping something completely different than what the Sith have faith in.

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What goes into a church in important.  A seminary professor once said that architecture trumps theology every time.  Now I can’t help but think of that every time I walk into a church.  I often ask myself, what is the architecture conveying and does it match the theology?

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How are the symbols and other features of a church being used to convey the actual theology and beliefs of the people and the church?

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Outside Hallgrímskirkja

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Say Hallgrimskirkja five times fast, I dare you.

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It’s beautiful and ugly at the same time.  It’s majestic and blah.  It’s symmetrical and boring.  It’s unique and inspiring.  It’s many things, some times even things that are contradictory – all at once.  It’s a site to see.

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The top of the church sits high above the rest of the city and you can see the top from far away.

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I’m told the view from above is amazing.  That’s great if you don’t have a fear of heights like I do.  The rest of my family went up, while I checked out the gift shop.

Outside of the church is the statues of Leif Erikson.  Here’s the inscription on the back.

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Interesting.

Icelandic food

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One of the best parts of traveling to another country and culture is tasting the food.  We went to the local grocery store and bought some of the local food.

First off, I love the grocery store.  It’s called Bonus, and the logo has a pig.  How cool is that.

Anyway, here a taste of some of the food we bought and tried.  This is dried fish of some sort.  We were told that it’s eaten like candy on the island.  Although it doesn’t taste like candy, it was still edible.

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We also bought some licorice flavored chocolate.  This was actually really good.  We really like it.

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Yum!

Topography of Iceland

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This is one of the more unique things that we saw during our time in Iceland.

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It’s a 3D version of the topography of Iceland. This beauty is housed in city hall.  The really cool thing about it is that it is made completely of cardboard.

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You get a bird’s eye view of the entire island, with all of its mountains, glaciers, and shorelines.  Pretty incredible really.

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The more stunning thing is that it took the artist who made it five years to complete it.  Can you imagine?  They did a wonderful job of it though.  Definitely worth seeing if you find yourself in Reykjavik.

Around the lake

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From the cathedral we walked to the lake in the middle of Reykjavik.

It offers some splendid views of the city.

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In the picture above, the church you see is not the cathedral.  The church in the picture is actually bigger than the cathedral and it’s made of aluminum (we were told).  Just a little fun fact for you there.

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The views around the lake are just great.

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Such a pleasant city, isn’t it?