I am having an immensely difficult time writing this blog, you should know. Much like New Zealand often renders me speechless, apparently so does Iceland.
I do no think that even in my most profoundly eloquent moments I could adequately describe this city of Reykjavik. It is a bit like magic. I walk, I glance, I am utterly enchanted. Literally -I am under the spell of this city. Her pull is one of Nature meets Nordics meets... Well, meets me.
I have taken the past two days to acquaint myself with the city in all of her early fall Grandeur. And grand she is. Perhaps not in the traditional sense of the word- but grand she is. I have tried endless times to capture what it is that so infuses itself in my bloodstream, what captures my imagination and breath so efficiently and entirely, about this place. I have yet to come up with anything other than... it is a true collision. History, Nature, Man.
Today my goal was to see the major churches in the city, the major (religious) holy spots. I wandered to and fro, capturing images of cathedrals and cemeteries alike. What struck, and continues to strike me, most was this compelling notion of Man imposing on Nature to build this settlement, this city, even while nature triumphantly refuses to be imposed on. It is a peaceful sort of odds they have achieved. Taking, giving, enhancing, allowing. It's beautiful to see the harmoniousness of the bargain struck.
Potentially the best example of this is the mighty Hallgrimskirkja- that immense church so often used in magazine ads for Reykjavik. Until you see it in person, it does seem a bit... well.. hammy, for lack of a better term. It seems silly. Like all this cement just plopped in the middle of town for no other purpose than to impress tourists.
Instead it is something else entirely. It is what happens when Nordic design and sensibility collides with spirituality and religiosity. It is immense and powerful, and so boldly Icelandic. Seeing it up close was as moving as anything else I have experienced in my travels so far... and we all know how much it means for me to say that. Especially considering my longstanding schism (to say the least) with organized religion.
I don't know how to describe any of this because I'm not sure I have experienced it anywhere else on earth.
Until next time, I do so hope this offers enough to keep you all coming back for more.