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Left Christmas Dinner to Save Tourists

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Left Christmas Dinner to Save Tourists

Höfn, Hornafjörður.

From Höfn, Hornafjörður. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

One man in Höfn, Hornafjörður, Southeast Iceland, missed his dinner on Christmas Eve, but what he didn’t miss was an opportunity to save stranded tourists. Sigurður Guðmundsson was busy preparing the gravy at five to six, or five minutes before Christmas officially begins in Iceland, when the phone rang. Sigurður, who is often called upon when tourists are in trouble, was being called by police, who told him of tourists who were stuck off the road east of Hvalnesskriður with a bad tire. His wife, Anna María Kristjánsdóttir told RÚV, “He just felt he couldn’t say no, even though it was Christmas Eve and only five to six. So he just took off the dressy clothes and put on his overalls and left.”

When Sigurður arrived, it was extremely windy and the travelers were anxious, sitting in the car. As it turned out, the spare tire was no good either, forcing Sigurður to drive back to Höfn for a new one. Once the tire had been changed, the two cars drove together to Höfn under the worst weather conditions.

“He calls me and tells me they’re by Jökulsá í Lóni river and expecting to be home in half an hour or so. Then I hear from him again ten minutes later and then he tells me they’ve run out of gas and he’s towing them,” related Anna María.

Sigurður left the tourists at a gas station in Hornfjörður, where they had reserved a hotel room, and went home. There, his family awaited him, along with two foreign tourists, whom they had invited for dinner.

He returned at 10:30 pm. Then the family went to his mother’s house, as they normally do on Christmas Eve, where Sigurður had some cakes to eat. They came back home by 11:30 pm, when they finally opened their presents. Anna María said they will not forget this evening any time soon, and she’s happy that all ended well.

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