Sunday, 5 November 2017

Lithuania, Land of Luscious Loos

Woof! Welcome back to your favourite intellectual bog blog! We have some rather exciting pictures for you, from our recent sojourn to Lithuania, land of luscious loos. Our whirlwind tour of Vilnius took us to some of the city's best bars, and also a spiffing museum with - wait for it - 16th-century sewage pipes!

Let us start without further ado, as there is a fuckload of photos to get through, and also a rather exciting message from Jonny, that dapper young scallywag!

Here, for your delight and edification, is a virtual tour of the bogs of Vilnius:

Meandering Friend gets the credit for finding a guesthouse in the centre of town with functioning plumbing and friendly staff. As you can see, the toilet is clean and cosy, with bright, positively festive, colours.

Lithuania manages with ease and elegance what so many countries don't manage at all - to install electric sockets in bathrooms! However, we found that most Lithuanian light switches are placed, illogically, outside the bathroom. As Meandering Friend discovered, much to her dismay, even the Air Baltic planes have light switches outside the toilet, making it impossible to, as she so eloquently put it, maintain control over one's sanitary visibility.

After dropping off our luggage and wandering round the local cemetery, imbibing the atmosphere, Lithuanian Friend took us to a restaurant where we indulged in some truly excellent Lithuanian ale, then to a bar where we were sexually harassed. Distressed and annoyed, we headed out in search of a safe space, and found one, in the shape of a brand new bar called Kitsch! The staff were super friendly, there was music and art, and the toilet, tucked under the stairs, was both hygienic and charming. We cannot recommend Kitsch enough, and urge you to make your way there at your earliest convenience.

One feels safe and warm, both inside and out, in the presence of the boiler.
Literally everything you want in a toilet: mixer tap, soap, Smart One toilet roll dispenser, and not one but two sockets!

 The day after our exploratory bar round, we conducted a more thorough reconnoitre of the city, starting with the Palace of the Grand Dukes. This is a wonderful museum - not only does it have fascinating artefacts ranging from 15th-century stove tiles, locks, shoes and ceremonial rods, it also boasts some truly amazing wooden water- and sewage pipes!

The toilets, as evidenced below, are also of the highest standard. We were very near bursting with happiness when ensconced in the rarefied, intellectually stimulating and utterly hygienic air in this beautiful former palace!

Truly a scene of beauty!

We don't think a toilet can get better than this, and dare you to prove the opposite!

Just looking at the picture of this pair of sturdy coat hooks (a feature throughout the museum toilets) gives us a shiver of pleasure.

Here's where the real fun starts: 16th- to 17th-century sewage pipes! From the mid-16th century the palace also had, one of the many informative signs in the museum informed us, an underground brick sewage canal.

There were indoor latrines, indoor collectors for sewage, rain water, and a water supply system. The first water pipeline to the palace was completed around 1530.

After all the intellectualism we felt the need for a refreshing beverage or two, and headed to a most festive shots bar called Shots & Shprots. The toilets were cheery and, we think, clean; however, the dark rock'n'roll décor made it hard to see.

A helpful and informative sign

Yes! The soap dispenser is a skull!

Another friendly and festive place to visit in Lithuania is the famed Alaus Biblioteka, or beer library. There is an endless supply of beer, and the toilets are both clean and humorous! Woof!

One feels safe knowing that the risk of the toilet roll running out is extremely low

A super excellent combination of mixer tap, nice soap, and paper towels.

The day after our exuberant city tour we recovered from our various hangovers in a restaurant called Leičiai Aline, where we unfortunately did not indulge in any of the many types of home-brewed beer, being in a rather delicate state, but instead enthusiastically ingested a vast amount of food.

We cannot fault this toilet, but unfortunately one of the guests exited without washing his hands in this beautiful basin. The horror! The copper detail reminded us of Mora Hotell.

After an excursion to the historic town of Trakai and a wander round the castle - as Meandering Friend so wisely asked herself, "why go inside when I can circle it?" - we headed to yet another excellent Lithuanian restaurant, which featured, in addition to rustic wooden walls, this festive and friendly sign and an intellectually satisfying artisanal coat hook.

Our virtual journey through the toilets of Vilnius and its surroundings is nearly at an end. However, we have a treat for you before we finish - the facilities in a wine bar which serves excellent wine and cheese and displays a sense of humour throughout! We'd totally recommend it if we could remember the name. (Actually, thinking about it, it was probably this place.)

The toilets were organised according to size: there was XS, S, and M, and also "dicks only". Helpful.

A thoroughly satisfactory coat hook!

Unfortunately the plumbing of central Vilnius is not always as sturdy as one would like, and sometimes one has to discard toilet paper into a bin, thusly.

A helpful sign reminds one not to throw bog roll into the toilet, and warns of the dire consequences if one's memory should slip. We are reminded, of course, of the Mexican Toilet Horror.

A friendly and helpful sticker.

We summarise Vilnius thus:

Varieties of delicious beer: Endless
Number of bars: Countless
Friendliness of people: As far as we could tell in our largely inebriated state, massive
Instances of sexual harassment: Three

We have, finally, a festive, thrilling, and intellectually stimulating idea from Jonny. That enterprising young whippersnapper, brimming over with creative juices, writes:

I have another idea
As a New Years competition
From now until New Year people have to submit their ‘best toilet graffiti’
I don’t know if you get as much in the ladies as I’ve never been in there (well, once in high school) but it’s rife in the gents.
Prize is a signed photo of me?

We stopped doing competitions after we announced a New Year's event a few years back, where one could vote for one's favourite bog blog post, and were humiliated to find, on the day of the deadline, that there were only two votes, both from Australian Friend. However, this idea from Jonny is the kind that makes us go HUBBA HUBBA! and we urge you to start sending us pictures of your best toilet graffiti INSTANTLY!

We are of course not going to leave you without a Festive Video - we know that this is one of few highlights of a dreary existence for many people. We found ourselves reflecting recently on the ability to travel and visit friends, and get smashed on Lithuanian alcohol.

Festive Video - Nashville, A Life That's Good

Related Reading
All posts featuring Meandering Friend
All posts featuring Lithuanian Friend
All posts featuring Jonny
Toilet roll holders - do they even matter?

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