An airport in Reykjavik, Iceland.

On the day I passed through, on my way from Amsterdam to Baltimore, it was under heavy construction. Bare concrete floors, unfinished plywood walls, pipes and cables hanging from the ceiling, temporary stairs.

They ought to just take down the "under construction" signs, and leave it like that. It's the most beautiful airport I've ever seen, although that's not saying a lot. It was one of those times I wished I had a camera, since it will probably soon be all ugly and full of advertisements just like any other airport. Nasty.

The work in progress-ness, combined with the 'modern architecture' bits that are already in place, like plastic pyramids in the ceiling above passport control, and shingled sandstone walls, and small corridors that lead to the same place as a larger entryway close by, gives it a very utilitarian air. The frivolous architecture bits aren't frivolous at all, they just contribute to the stark beauty of the place.

It was full of Americans (and other people unappreciative of the incredible beauty around them, but mainly Americans) milling around and looking bored.

The shopping center bit was very tasteful and not at all like an airport shopping center. I stood in the middle of it all at 7:00 AM local time and gazed around me as if I had just been born.