Day Four – Ayyyy, Babalú!

Today we woke up at around 10am and I made us breakfast – the usual scrambled eggs and toast. It felt good to not spend so much money on food, seeing as a meal is around 1,500 ISK, give or take. We had an appointment at 12:30, but first… I wanted to check something out. So out we went to Smaralind Shopping Centre in the nearby town of Kópavogur. I wanted to see what Gamestö∂in (their version of Gamestop) was like.

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It’s a pretty nice mall, actually. I couldn’t find the 220-volt charger for my Nintendo 3DS, however – the US one only accepted 120v and I didn’t want to fry it. So I got myself a consolation prize – a caffe latte. While on line I noticed something adorable. Aww, Olaf…

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It was yummy. But it was time to head out to Ishestar in Hafnarfjörður for our 13:00 ride with some stout Icelandic horses!

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They greeted us warmly and asked us to sign the standard release of liability in the event of injury, then we went through a brief orientation in which we learned how to mount a horse, how to handle the reins and “communicate” with them. And then we were introduced to our hoses (for the next hour away) and then we were off!

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I personally enjoyed the ride, although my horse was such a diva that she refused to heed half of my commands. 🙂 At one point she stopped mid-trot to munch on some grass and wouldn’t keep going. I had to have someone help me pull her away from the patch of grass. Guess she was hungry…! Chris didn’t fare so well, though – he complained of his hips hurting. Amateur…

We went home, took a shower and then went to Hallgrímskirkja, a Reykjavik landmark. Hallgrímskirkja is a large, tall Lutheran church on top of a hill in the center of the city. We gleefully paid 800 ISK ($6) to go up to the top of the tower and check out the scenery (which you can see in the album I will post soon!)

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The interior was decidedly plain, which honestly doesn’t surprise me as Nordics aren’t big on aesthetics as they are about functionality. However, the organ deserved a second look.

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Afterwards we walked to Cafe Babalú, which was founded by Glenn Barkan, a fellow New Yorker, and his husband Þórhallur Vilhjalmsson. I had the ham panini with cheese and iced coffee – by god, it was delicious. For what you could get, it was very much affordable unlike the other restaurants in the area (2,000 – 3,000 ISK a plate).

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And that concludes our day. We don’t have anything planned for the rest of our trip, so we’ll be “playing it by ear”. I’m hoping to have some adorable orange-beaked birds in our near future. And on that bombshell, have a good night!

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