“May 24th 2012, the day we have won the lottery…our lives!”
We were already 3 days in Iceland, a country always present on our wish list to visit. We choose to go in May, as it was still low season, so we could experience to beauty and sometime ‘harsh’ nature of this beautiful island. After visiting the main capital Reykjavik, National Park Þingvellir, and many kilometers over dirt roads in our 4WD, we arrived in Vik, the most southern place in Iceland.
May 24th. We stayed in a B&D and after a relaxed breakfast we drove to Dyrhólaey, a tourist hot spot known for its birdlife. We parked our car and I remember I said to my wife: “ That’s a pity, there are other tourists…”, something we were very grateful for later on.
Although it was raining, we prepared ourselves for a walk to the lighthouse over a marked path above the cliffs . We stood still for a moment for the abyss, on top of the cliff overlooking the gulf and rough Atlantic Ocean. My wife said: “Look, the sun tries to shine through the rainy clouds, how beautiful is that….” After saying these words, a roaring sound disturbed our moment of happiness in astonishment and unreality. Suddenly the ground split open between our feet and before we knew it, we fell 40 meters down, ending up on the beach between huge rocks, sand and dust.
Shouting the name of my wife was the first thing I did, and miraculously she answered: ”I’m here and OK…”. Looking at the situation and conditions we were put into, it was surreal that hearing here voice was even possible!
Our situation was critical and our adrenaline level was high. I was visibly severely injured to my head and leg. My wife ‘seemed’ to be OK. No time for discussions, as the tide was coming in fast, and a minute later my wife walked, with a later known, shattered vertebra along the beach to get help, leaving me behind on the beach.
You understand that we both, from the moment of separating, had our own crisis and fear. Say ‘goodbye to life’ could have been a fact for us under the different threatening circumstances…..
It was the effort and courage of the ‘people’ at the viewpoint who have saved my wife of the almost inaccessible beach and finally could reach me at the collapsed area to tell that help was on the way.
It were these “people” of the rescue service, ambulance, police and hospital who ensured that we were transported safely to a hospital in Reykjavik.
We experienced the friendliness and hospitality of the inhabitants of Iceland. This was a great gift to us, giving us a special bond with Iceland.
Not to forget the people, family, friends and acquaintances, who have all helped us at home, giving the right care we needed.
We are very grateful that these people were willing to help us. Without these people we would not be who, and where, we are now.
These people made it possible for us to continue enjoying ‘life’
Jeroen & Irmgard de Graaf (The Netherlands)