Saturday, 24 December 2011

A Splendid Christmas Present: The Best Toilet in Iceland!

We assume that you have all had your yearly Christmas bath and are now at leisure to contemplate the higher things in life. We are exceedingly delighted to bring you today's bog blog update - the long-awaited Best Toilet in Iceland! We've waited so long for this, had so many disappointments, and nearly lost hope so many times, that we are now a bit teary-eyed to finally be able to bring you these outstanding toilet photos from faraway Iceland. But first a little poem, which seems somehow relevant, especially the bit about waiting:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise
(Rudyard Kipling)

Perhaps before we look at the photos we should also hear what Intellectual Friend has to say:

FINE, given the exceptional circumstance of Yule being almost upon us, I might as well spit it out! Not sure these are as terrific I had advertised them, and whether it was worth waiting for them with dangling tongue and wagging tail for the best part of the year, but anyway, TOILETS!
So, out there in the North and not even in Akureyri, but like a half hour drive up the valley, in the middle of nowhere (or even not in the middle, just nowhere), there stands a Yulehouse! Lonely little jólahús, plenty of Christmassy snow and cold, and except our little party practically not a soul about (maybe because it's just a random day in March: 276 dagar til jóla!). Charming house full of Icelandic/Scandinavian enchanting Yule stuffs, eminently including heaps of gingerbreads and sticky candies and liquorice dainties. And also a big Grýla cave, and a swarm of yule lads and other trolls.
Now, after one has savoured/gorged oneself with all those visual and/or food treats, one may take a little winding path out of the house, and then either climb the winding steps to the Tower, or take an even more mysterious path through the blackened trees and shrubs, guided by no other sign but a red lantern ominously dangling from a blackened branch, until, on the edge of a gloomy heath, one reaches the enigmatic ice-spiked Red Shed. Having read some sagas, one naturally thinks red means heathen sacrifice, and expects a blood-sprinkled blóthús or nothing less. One nevertheless dares knock at the red shed's green door.
Klokke Slag, Ringer Dag (Danish-manufactured doorbell, one linguistically assumes), and one enters... and finds oneself not in a pagan tabernacle, but in a slightly more practical venue (if a tiny bit less glamorous). One is more than compensated, though, by an ambience at least as Yule-y as in the Yulehouse proper, and the more intense as the place is more confined. Lovely smells, charming sights, wood, cleanness and freshness, ribbons, simple but homely artworks...
One nostalgically remembers one's first memories, now perhaps mythified, of childhood toilets. One hears soft tinkly music and carol singing in that toilet, whether it was actually playing inside or a play of one's imagination one remembers no more. One stays for quite a while, enjoying pure Christmas at an unlikely time of year and in an unlooked-for place for that type of experience. One even half-expects to find presents in the cubicle. There wasn't any, but doesn't the flush water look like crystal icicles, or like the almost frozen glittering surface of a pond in the woods in the slanting sunshine of early winter?

There. That is more than enough poetry for one day, and may we just mention in passing that we heartily resent the reference to us waiting "with dangling tongue and wagging tail". Even if it's true. Anyway, let's have the pictures, shall we?

The jólahús, Christmas house

Oooh, here we go: the Christmas toilet!

Danish door knocker

What jolly, jolly tiles!

Charming, if uncovered, bog roll holder

A most festive ribbon

Toilet roll ain't running out any time soon!

A charming picture

Don't bloody well ask for whom it tolls

My my, methinks we have spotted a Swedish toilet!

Ha! The soap is called "Home Alone"! Most amusing!

Merry Christmas, everyone! 
 Remember to wash your hands carefully!

Related Reading
What happened while we were waiting for the best toilet in Iceland:
Bulgaria: An Intellectual Treat

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