Day 2 of Honeymoon in Iceland: Storm.
After the eventful journey here and a good nights sleep, we wake in our cosy lodge at 8am. We have no food in still (and no drink apart from tap water and some red wine left over from last night) so decide we need to get up and walk to the adjoining hotel for breakfast. We both have our first experience of an Icelandic shower. it’s much the same as a shower at home except it smells like someone has farted in your water and then you wash yourself with it. Lovely. As all the water in Iceland is heated geothermaly – the gases make it smell of sulphur (aka fart/rotten eggs).
We notice the weather is extremely windy and we struggle to see the hotel which is 50 metres away up a hill but we kit up into our winter gear and set off to get some breakfast.
As soon as we step outside we are greeted by very strong winds and I can’t see a chuffing thing. I follow Chris up the hill and we try to follow the tracks made by the truck last night. As we near the hotel, we loose the tracks and Chris starts heading in a straight line to the hotel. I decide I should follow him to stay safe.
“This snow is getting deep I thought…followed by me screaming as my next step took me into snow which came up to the top of my thigh (yes, I know I’m short but it’s all relative and it was very deep in relation to me). I was stuck. the wind was so strong I couldn’t balance and was falling further into the snow and Chris was laughing at me in my hour of need. Arse.
Thankfully my big, strong husband stopped being an arse and managed to get out of the snow he was stuck in and rescue me – we find the track again and continue on to the hotel and make it in for breakfast. Safety at last.
The hotel owner Ragna greets us and speaks to us about our journey last night. She said we were very lucky as 30 minutes after we got off the mountain road, it was shut by authorities for being too dangerous to drive on as well as them having to send out search and rescue teams to help stranded people. Well, isn’t that a near miss Chris?! She says the car hire people should never have given us a vw polo to hire in this weather as its useless. Like being on a scooter in an ice rink…
She says to give her the info of our no show car hire company and that she will sort it for us. She is really lovely and so helpful.
We ask Ragna about the weather and she says it really is very unusual for them to have this sort of weather. “It’s never like this in the south west of Iceland,” she says. No, only when we are here it would seem…
We sit and eat breakfast and I’ve never been so pleased to see a cup of coffee in my life. We eat (I kindly decline the puffin and horse) and then decide to make a move back down the hill. The wind is so strong and constant you can only just stand. We are almost back at the lodhe and I remember there is a big crack in the road I need to step over – being cautious I head slightly left to find a narrow bit to step over…
“GEMMA!!!” I hear Chris shout…”LOOK OUT!!”
“I know, i know,” I think to myself, “he thinks I’ve forgotten where the crack is…” bless him. “GEMMA STOP, YOU’RE ABOUT TO WALK INTO A FROZEN POND!” Christ. I really was. A rather deep frozen pond too. That would’ve been fun.
We get back to the lodge and it dawns on us we are stuck in for the day. It’s a complete white out. Our vw polo which is parked down the hill is half buried in snow so there is no way we will be going anywhere anytime soon…
A bit later, Ragna tells us she has spoken to the car hire people and they are very sorry they messed us about. They’re going to pay for our temporary car for us, upgrade us to a 4×4 and also pay for us to have dinner in the hotel. Jolly decent these Icelandic folk – so helpful and can’t do enough for you. We could all learn a lot from them.
Anyhow, we sit in the lodge reading, talking (a novelty these days) etc and as we have been told there is a storm today, we decide to stay put and we are told we can have dinner in the hotel at 7:30pm. No lunch for us today, but dinner at least.
About 4 hours into our snow storm, Chris thinks its funny to bring up the film, ‘The Shining’. If you’re not familiar with it, some folks get stuck in a snow storm in a hotel, someone goes mad and people die. Lovely, that would make most pleasant honeymoon viewing….
He then decides to liken our experience to that film and I laugh nervously as I find the trailer for it online. The setting we are in looks eerily like the film. I feel slightly unnerved…
The wind is so powerful we can’t see anything and it’s rattling all the windows and doors. We look online and find a news article saying Iceland is in the grip of one of the worst storms in recent times. Hurricane force winds and blizzard conditions. I’m a bit nervous but Chris thinks it fun. “What an experience!” he keeps saying, I think he’s beginning to crack…
Chris then smurks at me and turns his phone on and plays me a song – Guns and Roses, ‘I used to love her, but I had to kill her’ – I have flashbacks to the 2 near death experiences I had earlier in the day in the snow and the fact Chris likened this to The Shining….I think something is happening to him being stuck indoors.
As we have no food or drink in I opt for some water and Chris drinks the remaining wine. We sit down and prepare to watch a movie and then…darkness. No lights, anywhere. The power has gone hasn’t it? Yep. Oh bugger.
We sit in the dark and then manage to light a few candles. It’s 30 minutes until our dinner reservation. We see the truck come down to our lodge and we are still collected for dinner. We go to the hotel and amazingly the chef is only not able to cook 4 of the 11 dishes on the menu, we have an amazing, warm dinner entirely by candlelight (and phone glow) and look out of the window at the storm. It’s not too shabby really!
9:30pm back in the lodge the power is on…oh no it isn’t. It was for 3 seconds then gone again and I got prematurely excited about it. Story of my life. Chris found this hilarious…then 5 minutes later, it was back on properly! These Icelanders are literally AMAZING – even in hurricane winds and blizzard conditions, they manage to fix power for us in 3 hours…unlike back home last week when it once took them 16 hours to get our power back on at home in a little bit of a shower.
Lets hope the wind is gone tomorrow and Chris doesn’t get any weirder. If I don’t write tomorrow, send help.
Onto day 3……