One of the most remarkable things about Iceland is the weather. Like so many things in this country it is completely unpredictable. Today we experienced one of the worst weather that we have seen in Reykjavik in the south and the west in weeks. Interesting because we have hardly had a calm day since December.
The news sounded familiar and was all about cars that were stuck in snow on mountain roads and people that were rescued from their cars by our brave rescue team. Hundreds of tourists were trapped at Geysir and Gullfoss. Most of them quite happy because of the extra adventure the ordeal added to their short vacation in Iceland in the middle of winter. Possibly even great as it added a bit of a spice for their report when back home.
I sat in my office here in Reykjavik and wondered if the tourists that didn’t take any tours weren’t all locked in their hotel rooms drinking warm chocolate with whipped cream and eating the delicious Icelandic kleinur (twisted doughnut). I took my camera and drove my 4X4 Ford pickup around town and in to the center of Reykjavik. Curiously there were a lot of people downtown fighting the wind, battling the storm, finding their way through the wet snow. Visibility was enough to make your way to the next store. Most of them were obviously tourist visiting Iceland. Some of them looked a bit confused.
When I lived downtown some thirty years ago we never met a single tourist or a foreign person from the end of August until the beginning of May. The downtown area was mostly empty during that time, except in the evenings and nights on weekends when young and old Icelanders attended the nightlife. Nothing would ever stop them from going downtown to get drunk and have fun. Not the rain, not the dark nights, not the wind, not a storm, not the frost, not the snow and basically nothing. It is almost the same with the tourists now.
Fortunately for us nothing will stop them from coming during this unpredictable season. Nothing will stop them from buying food at restaurants or shopping in the stores. Not the rain, not the dark nights, not the wind, not a storm, not the frost, not the snow and basically nothing. Although I don’t fully understand what they are looking for I am really thankful.