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Winter travel in Iceland? A couple of horror stories to contemplate

A typical winter road in Iceland on a great day is just icy and slippery. A little snowdrift and a little wind will make this a really scary place. PIC Jacrot Christoph

A typical winter road in Iceland on a great day is just icy and slippery. A little snowdrift and a little wind will make this a really scary place. PIC Jacrot Christoph

In spite of fancy rhetoric from authorities and politicians, world history shows repeatedly that for things to change for the better some folks will have to have horrible accidents or be killed before anyone does anything. Such incidents are way overdue in Iceland.

Hundreds of tour agencies, airlines and official tourism agencies in Iceland are dying for you to visit this place in deep winter. More money in their pockets and to hell with doubts or possible consequences.Common sense often goes out the window when there is money to be made.

We have many examples of “respected” tour agencies tours taking off in spite of horrid weather forecast. We have lots of examples of car rental fees rising dramatically after foreigners drive through winter storms on summer tires which is the best way to damage the vehicle. Even more examples of foreigners blindly following GPS systems only to end up on the wrong roads closed for days on end. The list is practically endless.

Sheer terror and massive extra fees

Want some examples? Here´s a couple of more recent ones.

Five Italians arriving on a special offer venturing out in stormy conditions to the Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon the day before leaving. Lo and behold, they got snowed in on the way and naturally missed their flight. Lucky they did find a hotel before getting snowed in but the prices paid for new tickets meant paying six times more for the trip than originally planned. At least they are alive if shaken.

Japanese tourists seem totally devoid of much thought while in Iceland. Rescue squads are almost on a daily basis coming to the rescue of Japanese tourists stuck on some mountain roads in stormy weather. They do not even care if the road is closed, they roll ahead anyway, trusting in their GPS technology. According to news accounts the Japanese are often found crying of sheer terror when found and fearing for their life. This even in spite of locals advising them not to go beforehand. Which comes close to being downright stupid according to dictionaries.

Even if no lives have been lost this way and the rescue teams around the country do not charge for their services there is a huge cost if you get stuck in snow on some remote moor here. You will have to go back for the vehicle or have that taken care of for a huge fee. You will also have to get back if the weather is bad for days on end.

This is, in our view, such a sin. Of course one can go around here in wintertime if the conditions are good but that is never ever a given. Worse yet, Iceland in wintertime is white and you won´t see much of our magnificent nature. Sheer terror and massive extra fees on top is not the way to travel if you ask us.

Team Total Iceland does offer travel planner / travel assistance beforehand as you can read about here. If you have doubts about anything you might want to take us up on that offer.

Take care out there folks.

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