Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2015

Hallgrímskirkja

Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran cathedral designed by Gudjón Samúelsson. Samúelsson drew his inspiration for this project from his surroundings, particularly from columnar basalt formed by lava flow in this volcanic island. It took over 40 years to complete the cathedral. Samúelsson didn't live to see the inauguration of Hallsgrímskirkja in 1986.  
The cathedral is named after Hallgrimur Petersson, Iceland's beloved poet who penned Hymns of the Passion (listen here: http://youtu.be/am04VxkReKU). He was also the pastor at Saurbaer in Hvalfjördur.

The rib vaulted ceiling reminds one of the great Gothic cathedrals. But what sets it apart from its predecessors is its clean and simple style. Sharp arches flow down to linear columns. 

The main altar is adorned with an eight-meter long painting, Five Crucifixions by Helgi Torgils Fridjónsson. "Whether this work should be regarded as religious, is really up to the spectator, however all mental conflict is by nature religious. Peop…

Urban Art Reykjavik

What would you do to stave off the blues when you only get 5 hours of daylight during the winter months? Reykjavik has the answer. Colorful, highly imaginative wall art to brighten the dreariest of days. The stamp act above is at the Design Center. It is tasteful and representative of the work they do at the center.

This one is called Poor Ugly. It is elaborate. So much going on here. On Hverfisgata Street.

Urban art is sharply juxtaposed with Victorian architecture. At Dillon's Bar on Laugavegur.

Practical wall art. A refresher course on how to tie a necktie. And an arresting advertisement for Gudsteins. 

Mushrooms growing on a mushroom. Hmmm. Think what you will.

Cartoon characters with graffiti and blue sky. Rare blue sky during our stay in Iceland.

"And I will raise you up on eagle's wings." On Laugavegur, the main shopping street in Reykjavik. 
There are more murals to discover in Reykjavik. I refer to these as murals rather than graffiti (unless there are elem…

Madrid Basics

Eat well

Tapas:
Casa Labra has been around since 1860. This historic tapas bar still continues to draw a crowd. Follow the long line if you wish to load up on tapas and eat outside at one of the hard to get tables. Or try to secure a seat in the small restaurant indoors where you can order the specialties of the house which are the croqueta de bacalao (cod croquette) and empanadilla de carne (meat turnover). Casa Labra is on Calle Tetúan. Check their website for their menu and prices. www.casalabra.es/en
GourmetExperience at El Corte Ingles on Plaza Callao The Gourmet Experience is on the top floor of this department store. There are a number of counters offering different kinds of tapas. I ordered a pintxo of cod with a cool and light tinto de verano. There's also a gourmet store on this floor where you can find wine, Spanish olive oil, olives, chocolates, delicacies and kitchen accessories for the gourmand. The view from the balcony of the rooftops of Madrid is probably enough to en…