Iceland Portfolio by Brendan T. Hopper
Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland

Hallgrimskirkja's distinctive tower rises above Reykjavik. The church inherited its name from the revered priest and hymn writer Hallgrímur Pétursson.

Forgetting that it was a Sunday, it never crossed my mind that there might be a church service in progress when I walked through the heavy front doors. Yet, there were no signs (at least in English) and no one hurrying over to shoo me out or keep me quiet, as I had experienced in other famous worship sites. No sooner had I entered than the clergy walked out the back of the sanctuary into the foyer to greet the congregation as they left.

In every journey I make, there is a moment when the realization of destination hits me. This was that moment. As I stood there in the entrance of the church, the water still dripping off of my hood, I should have felt out-of-place. But watching the Icelanders happily greet the clergy on their way out the door, their smiles beaming with warmth, their language echoing off the walls, and the sound of the majestic organ pounding in the sanctuary...these elements all collided in my mind and created a fabulous sense of euphoric wonder. Here, I realized what the jet lag had been staving off: I am in Iceland!