Foreign travellers break into summer cottage, surprised when owner reacts angrily
A baffling misadventure of a Czech traveller found its way into local media yesterday, re-kindling a debate about how to deal with visitors why seem to believe the normal rules of civilized society either don't apply in Iceland, or don't apply to them personally when they are on holiday.
Complained over the reception she received
The traveller, a woman who was identified by name in the local newspaper DV, posted a warning, of sorts, in a Facebook group dedicated to questions and discussion about travel in Iceland, recommending travellers should not stay at a cottage on Snæfellsnes peninsula, but find a "pleasanter place to sleep with nicer people".
The woman, and a group of friends, had apparently decided to enter a summer cottage which they thought was abandoned, as the front door was unlocked. The group spent the night in the cottage, but the next morning when the group was about to leave they were confronted by the owner. The travellers were unhappy about this confrontation:
"We stayed here one night. Everything was fine, three of us slept in cottage and two slept in the car. ... some old man arrived and started to call police (but didn't talk) and wrote down our licence plate."
She then went on to recommend other travellers should avoid the cottage - not because it's a crime to break into summer homes to spend the night, but because the owner was rude:
"we don't recommend you stay here, rather find some pleasanter place to sleep with nicer people."
Not the first unwelcome houseguest
The post has been removed since it was originally put up, after the woman received a flood of angry comments from other members of the group who recognized her actions for what they were: criminal breaking and entering.
Screenshots of the post have been circulating on Icelandic social media. After the screenshot was shared in a Facebook group dedicated to discussions about the tourism industry in Iceland a local woman recounted a similar experience where two young women had entered a farm in South East Iceland to use the toilet. When the homeowner arrived to discover the travellers had not only entered her home but were preparing to spend the night on the porch she became upset and angry, which took the two unwelcome houseguests by total surprise.
"It's called breaking and entering, no matter where you are in the world" one Facebook user remarked. "Terrible to hear stories of bad apples like these," another commented.
A few bad apples can cause significant damage
We at Iceland Magazine would like to remind people to respect private property, as well as Icelandic nature. The overwhelming majority of visitors behaves respectfully, but the behaviour of bad apples, like these Czech travellers, can easily cause frustration and anger toward all toursts.
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