From Iceland — Sour Grapes & Stuff: Issue 13, 2014

Sour Grapes & Stuff: Issue 13, 2014

Published August 29, 2014

Sour Grapes & Stuff: Issue 13, 2014

Say your piece, voice your opinion, send your letters to

Most Awesome Letter of the Issue

Dear Grapevine.

I have recently returned from another visit to your beutifull country. I have family conections there and visit regularly.

This time I was there with 9 other members of my family and this is the very first time I have had unplesant experiances in Iceland.

It all started at the Blue Lagoon when we all arrived for the usual ritual bathe, my wife who is 69 and not keen an the experiance decided to sit in the coffee shop with a drink as she has done on many occations to be confronted with a member of staff demanding 1550 kronur just to go into the cafe. considering the exorbitant prices we have to pay to swim in your waste water (the prices are hicked up on a regular basis far more than the cost of living) this was just to much , we had also booked into the resteraunt for a meal later on. This fact however cut no ice with the member of staff so I paid up. AS time went on I got more and more angry about this rip off and went back to see said member of staff and demanded to see a manager, this had the efect of a refund of my wifes ENTRY fee to the cafe.

now we have everyone and their granny geting in on the LETS RIP OF A TOURIST act with special tourist prices for cakes and lunches (article about Hofnina i Dalvik) and of course the landowners who are trying to fleece more money out of the tourists by charging (in some cases illegaly) for entry to some of Icelands treasured sighs.

There are many more stories like these.

I am lead to understand that the govrnment pays out large sums of money to the landowners to manage these sights.but of course it is easy for them to constuct a turnsyle and take money of the tourist. 800 Kronur I think was the charge at Namskarð.

All I will say is you have the making of a great tourist industry so take care that you dont “Bite the hand that feeds you”

I leave you with this thought.

Are some of the landowners and tourist industry the new BANKERS of Iceland ready to discredit this country for their own greed.

Yours sincerely.
Les Ashton.

PS. Love your Newspaper keep up the good work.

Dear Les,

Thanks for writing. Thanks for your kind words—we love you too. Very much.

And thanks for fostering a sincere and dedicated interest in our remote little island, its people and its culture for such a long time. You mean the world to us.

With regards to your letter: boy, what you describe sucks. It really, really sucks.

You know, we work with a lot of folks in the tourism industry, and from years of experience we can safely say that an overwhelming majority of them are well-meaning people of integrity, folks who would much rather suffer a monetary loss than risk treating their patrons in a dishonest or disrespectful manner.
Unfortunately, one always runs risk of encountering greedy, narcisstic, solipsitic sociopath assholes wherever one goes.

And then, sometimes, mistakes are made, or unfair policies are enforced by failing businesses.

While we understand your concern, and promise to keep watch and remain vigilant, we hope that the experiences you describe do not taint the good memories you have already amassed.

Also, next time you’re back, enjoy a couple of burgers on us, as consolation.


Dear Editor: I am visiting your beautiful country and engaged/enlightened people by running the half marathon last Saturday. As you may know Canada has welcomed others including the country of Newfoundland (1949) joining it and even peoples such as separatists from Quebec (a founding province of Canada) being the official opposition in parliment. Canada is quite inclusive and shares a love of nature and man’s relationship to nature. Canadian’s in general welcome diversity and have many former Icelanders as citizens. We also have a love of water, winter, farming, family, vast expanses and the ocean. Don’t just look at Norway. Canada could be a bridge to the large cultural market of the United States for Icelandic music and with a province like Iceland – a stepping stone to European trade that is mutually profitable.

Canada eh? Norway on steriods.

John Willson

Dear John,

Thanks for reading. And thanks for writing.

You are right! Canada is amazing! And guess what, we’ve employed like eighteen journalists from Canada. Or at least two. And they were both wonderful, and we miss them all the time.

Oh, Canada. Sweet Canada.

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