A tour guide points out that one element is sorely lacking from the Icelandic landscape – more outdoor toilets for tourists to use.
“I have had to drive two hours out of my way for the sole purpose of bringing tourists to a toilet,” Olgeir Andrésson, a photographer and driver for Icelandic Aurora, told Vísir. “The problem is much greater in the winter than in the summer, as there are toilets closed in the winter that are normally open in the summer.”
Throughout numerous tourist spots in the countryside, outdoor facilities are often closed when they are available at all. The sparseness of their concentration has created numerous logistical problems, by Olgeir’s account.
“For example, when I depart for Reykjanes at about eight in the morning, then people don’t get to a toilet until about noon, when we arrive in Grindavík,” he said. “After the stop in Grindavík, we depart to explore the peninsula, to see Vaðlahnjúkur, Gunnuhver, the bridge between the continental plates and so forth. That can take two to three hours, and there are no outdoor toilets at these places, in winter or summer, and people don’t get access to a toilet until we’re back in Reykjavík.”
The matter is in the hands of local authorities, who Olgeir believes should receive assistance from the relevant government ministry to support them in this effort.
“I agree with all of this, and we are simply ashamed,” Reykjanesbær mayor Kjartan Már Kjartansson told reporters. “I know that out in the peninsula they are making preparations to assist tourists, but they won’t be ready this summer. We are aware of the situation, and are doing everything we can.”