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30 Days of Iceland, Day 5

The View from Hallgrimskirkja




A Raven's view of Reykjavik. That's what comes to mind and simmers a smile on my face whenever I see this photo. Hallgrimskirkja is notable for so many reasons (that I won't delve too deep into during this post), not only for it's cultural value, but for the stunning architecture and central location that defines this area of the city. A tip that was passed onto us multiple times while traveling was, if you feel lost, just look for Hallgrimskirkja in the skyline. Using the church as a "true north", is one of the best tips I can pass on to anyone else who is hoping to trek across this Icelandic metropolis. Sparing my reasons with more historical value, the only thing in the forefront of my mind about this Lutheran Church that day, were the perspectives awaiting me from the top!

This once simple fishing village, still has all the charm one could hope to find in a European Capital city. The colors that we experienced one-by-one while strolling up and down the streets of Reykjavik, were now all on display in a topographical tapestry from above. It took over 40 years to construct this marvel, and it felt like it took 40 years before I finally got to stand there, myself. Although the dark contrasts of the countryside were still tugging at my heartstrings, I was immediately infatuated with block after block of vibrant houses, shops, restaurants, offices, museums, and residencies. Just admiring the hustle and bustle of the city doesn't come close to describing it.

There are so many shots on my hard drive of this famous landmark, from various pedestrian perspectives, but seeing the city from atop this historical structure was a... religious experience. I imagined myself, from this bird's-eye-view of Reykjavik, as Huginn and Muninn, perched on the horizon of the city, soaking in all of the goings-on. As I mentioned on Day 2, this very spot used to be a large Falcon conservatory. Iceland's official national bird, the Gyrfalcon, is also largest of the world's falcon species and I can certainly see why they would choose this area, before AND after the construction of this steeple...There is a quietness that I can now only describe as Icelandic. You can be at the center of a city, in the middle of a busy day, and hear nothing but the wind and your own whimsical thoughts.


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