A lack of outdoor toilets has led to a growing problem that tour guides want fixed, but the Environmental Minister believes stems from “disrespect”.
Vísir reports that a dearth of public toilets at Þingvellir National Park has prompted some tourists to seek relief behind Þingvallakirkja Church. Unfortunately, the area that most find for doing their business also happens to be where famed Icelandic poets Jónas Hallgrímsson and Einar Benediktsson are buried.
Tour guides aren’t blaming tourists for the practice, though, but the lack of adequate facilities available, and they believe the government should do something about it.
“People see a house, and a church, and assume their must be some kind of facilities there,” tour guide Helgi Jón Davíðsson told reporters. “There is a church yard, but no facilities. Nothing. There isn’t even a sign indicating where the nearest facilities are.” He added that he believes the government ought to step in, on account of Þingvellir being a national park and therefore being under the auspices of the state.
However, Minister for the Environment and chairperson of the Þingvellir Committee Sigrún Magnúsdóttir sees the matter as more of a behavioral problem than a governmental one.
“This is desecration and disrespect for everything and everyone,” she told reporters. “Ethical people do not behave this way. … It is not possible to make endless demands of the government or society to pay.” She added that she does not believe that ethics can be legislated.
As reported, tour guides have been pleading for more public toilets across the country, with little to no response from local or national authorities.