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Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik

I don’t think I’ve really explained the past month or so on B&E. The short of it is that the missus and I spent a month with her family, mostly in Scotland, with a week in France as well. Because I have a great job, great colleagues, and a great supervisor, I was able to work from there for most of that time, with a few random days off peppered throughout.

Because we flew Icelandair, we bookended our trip in Iceland, long a desired destination of mine. On the way there, we had a 16-hour layover, enough for a trip to the Blue Lagoon and several hours of wandering around Reykjavik. On the way back, we had three days, which we spent mostly on the Snaefellsnes peninsula, northwest of the city. It was amazing.

Right on the harbor in Reykjavik stands this giant, unexpected building. It doesn’t look like anything else around the city.

That’s not exactly the best shot of it because, frankly, we didn’t know what it was. It just caught my eye from across the road. It wasn’t listed in any guidebooks, and other than my fascination at its size and design, we didn’t think much about it. But as we wandered by it, I absentmindedly snapped a few photos, mostly because I take pictures of everything.

I guessed it was a conference center or something, like what the Javits Center in New York City should’ve been instead of the monstrosity that it is. We’d been walking quite a bit and there were a few benches in front of the building, and the missus had a quick lie down on one of them.

It was then that I noticed that not all of the windows were green, which was interesting. And then I saw our reflection in one of the purple windows.

And still I wondered… What the hell IS this place?

I finally got my answer this morning, while NY1 reports on nothing but Hurricane Irene. It’s Harpa, Reykjavik’s new concert hall, an artist/architect collaboration, reviewed in the The Guardian, which is reporting on something other than Hurricane Irene.

So it’s not in any guidebooks because it hasn’t opened yet. There you go. Harpa. I hope we see a concert there next time we visit.

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