Iceland | Basalt Columns & Hallgrímskirkja

Iceland is full of vastly changing scenery - you can be on a black sand beach, stop off for a dip in a naturally occuring hot spring and hike a glacier in the same day. It's breathtaking. A trip to Iceland is basically walking around with your mouth hanging open at all times. 
One of my favorite examples of Iceland's unique landscape are the basalt columns.

These distinct columns are the result of lava cooling on the earth's surface, millions of years ago. Iceland's terrain is a reflection of the country's high concentration of volcanoes - dotted with tall peaks, lava fields, and these beautiful volcanic rock formations.

Most notably, basalt columns can be found on the shore of Vik's famous black sand beach, Reynisfjara.

A personal favorite spot of mine is Dverghamrar, or "Dwarf Rocks," where you can find two large formations, topped with cube-jointed basalt. You might also find dwarves or elves - according to folklore, this is home to both magical beings!

Basalt columns are most often very dark, or black, in color due to the lava - however thousands of years of weathering will start to bring out the beautiful rusts and light cream colors you can see below in the photos of Svartifoss (meaning Black Falls, named for the basalt). Svartifoss is a short hike into the Vatnajökull National Park in Skaftafel.

This brings me to another spectacular Icelandic source of inspiration - Hallgrímskirkja
Hallgrímskirkja is a Luthern chruch in Iceland's capital Reykjavik, opened in 1986 after 41 years of construction. 
Anything look familiar? Designed in the 1930s by state architect Guðjon Samúelsson, the design of the church is heavily influenced by the basalt columns that Iceland is known for. Design mimicking nature, true beauty.

P.S. the inside might be just as gorgeous!