Geothermal Pool

Have you ever gotten out of your car only to have it start rolling away on you? I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that this happened to me once. I drive a manual transmission car, and I pulled up in front of a downtown Manhattan restaurant to quickly check to see if they were open yet, and I forgot to pull the emergency brake when I jumped out of the car. To my horror, after about 5 seconds I heard screaming behind me, which turned out to be a combination of a passerby and my wife. When I wheeled around, I saw my car slowly rolling across the street. In a dash that would have given Usain Bolt a run for his money, I quickly closed the gap, yanked the door open, jumped in, and yanked on the emergency brake before damage was done to more than just my pride.

A cautionary tale to be sure, but why am I recounting it? An elderly American couple in Iceland yesterday had a similar experience, with a slightly-more-serious outcome. They were visiting Lake Mývatn in North Iceland, a volcanic lake adjacent to the Bjarnarflag geothermal power plant which is fed by underground hot springs in the area. Apparently, the couple was so excited by the views in the area, that they forgot to put their rental car in park when they exited the vehicle. The car, which was on a gentle slope, slowly rolled into one of the boiling blue pools to their horror.

Rental Car Soup

While the lagoon is very shallow where the car rolled in, the water is far too hot to allow people to wade in or bathe in the scalding hot water, so Karl Viðar Pálsson, a local tow truck operator was summoned to the scene. He was able to safely pull the rental car out of the steaming cauldron, thus avoiding the need to actually test the hypothesis of this article of whether CDW would actually cover an attempt to make cream of rental car the soup du jour.

Karl Viðar Pálsson arrives on the scene to save the day!

Amazingly, very little water made it into the car and no water found its way into the engine. After the car had been dried out, the couple was back on their way around the Ring Road to continue on their sightseeing tour of this amazing country. We hope the rest of their trip was filled with stunning sights, but a bit less exciting, assuming they remembered to put the car in park before enjoying the remaining views.

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