“Rallarhustrun, the railway navvy’s wife, was born and raised in these hoods. She lived in a little red cottage up on a hill just outside the small village of Lunnahöja. She didn’t own a farm, and she and her husband were more often than not struggling to make ends meet. Many times she felt trapped in the endless circle of cooking, washing and doing milk maid chores on neighboring farms. “What wouldn’t I give to see what is behind those tree-tops”, she would think as she watched the sun rise from across the valley.
One day a rumor spread in the village. A national railway was to be built; it was even to pass through the little village just beneath the hill. Her husband got a job as a navvy and for a brief while life was looking bright for the family. The railway company paid fairly well. As for many navvies’ wifes, life got possibly harder. She was now left to take care of the home and children alone for weeks on row. Work on the embankments was also tough, but it brought a rare sense of freedom that the navvy had never felt before. Soon he travelled the world working his way along the rails through Germany and France. He spent most of his money in bars, taverns and theatres along the road and his returns to the red little cottage were less and less frequent until he stopped coming back at all.
And so the railway navvy’s wife did what women have done all through history – she did the best of what she had been given. One morning she looked up from her chores and gazed at the sun emerging from the behind the treetops and realized that she had all that she needed. Down in the valley passed the new railway, and just around the bend was a major trade route, both carrying plenty of travelers in need of food and lodging. The old barns on her property could, admittedly with some work, be turned into travelers’ lodgings; the rich volcanic soil surrounding her cottage would give her fresh vegetables turned into meals for hungry passers-by. The surrounding forest would provide a relaxing backdrop for her guests.
“If I can’t travel the world, then the world must come to me”, she said and turned her spot on the hill into a blooming travellers’ oasis.
Today the Wainult family run Rallarhustruns veranda & logi. We do it in the same spirit and with the same objective as the navvy’s wife once did: we do the best we can of what we have been given, aiming at creating a place where travellers from near and afar gather to eat, rest and socialize before heading for further adventures.”