ARE THESE THE WORLD’S BEST TOILETS?
When you have to go, you have to go.
But luckily, a bathroom break is not necessarily the worst part of an adventure on four wheels.
Some restrooms along the Norwegian Scenic Routes actually invite you to take your time and enjoy the scenery – even if you don’t have any business to take care of.
And if the queue is unusually slow, it’s most likely someone taking pictures of the Aurlandsfjord from the window.
Totally worth the wait when it’s your turn. Just don’t drop your phone.
“Norway has opened what might be the most idyllic public convenience in the world.”
“Ureddplassen” means “the place of the fearless.” Quite fitting, as a nearby memorial pays tribute to those who lost their lives when the Norwegian submarine “Uredd” sank right off the coast during the Second World War.
But don’t worry: You’re not on display as you … you know.
If you are a mere mortal like us and can’t afford a gold-plated toilet seat, the Golden loo on the island Senja is the next best thing.
Fun fact: It’s so popular that several other (more low-key) toilets will be built nearby.
Can you spot the restroom here?
At Utsikten viewpoint along the Scenic Route Gaularfjellet in the Sognefjord area, the loo might not be the visual highlight.
But even though it’s discreet, it’s still pretty cool. You see, this restroom runs on solar power.
The Norwegian Scenic Routes are essentially all about the connection between architecture and nature.
At Ostasteidn in Ryfylke, the restroom is designed so that moss will start to grow on the outer walls, like camouflage.
The toilets along the Norwegian Scenic Routes are architectural masterpieces. All except one are designed by well-known or up and coming Norwegian architecture firms.
The Eggum pit stop in Lofoten is the smallest design created by the internationally acclaimed Snøhetta, while the loo in Selvika along Scenic Route Havøysund is signed Reiulf Ramstad.
Some are located above the Arctic circle in Northern Norway, others by the popular fjords in the west. You can also find sleek restrooms in remote areas on mountain plateaus in Fjord Norway. Note that many of them are only reachable during summer, as some roads are closed in winter.
The weather can be really harsh that time of the year, and at Oscarshaug along Scenic Route Sognefjellet they even had to reinforce the loo with a steel construction. But it looks cool, right? Almost like a Viking helmet.
More to come
Norway’s portfolio of spectacular toilets is, as you can see, filled with great examples of how something as boring as a loo can become a tourist attraction. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration is responsible for developing the Norwegian Scenic Routes and their conveniences, and they still have an ace or two up their sleeve.
They can, for instance, share that they’ve started the work on a forest-inspired restroom, which uses dried wood from around 60 to 70 trees. When completed, it will look like an upside-down tree trunk with roots holding the roof. Just look at this architectural drawing!
We can’t wait to stop here at Tyrvefjøra on a road trip to the Hardangerfjord region, or along the other Scenic Routes for that matter.
Before you start planning a road trip with pit stops at stylish lavatories, however, please remember this: Don’t be that person. You know, the one who leaves a mess, ruining the experience for others.
Make sure you “hit goal” as you take care of business, flush when you’re done, and throw paper towels in the bin after washing your hands.
Get ready for the pit stop of your life and we’ll see you soon. Toodeloo!
The video in the top of the article shows the restrooms at Selvika at Scenic Route Havøysund (architect: Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter), Allmannajuvet at Scenic Route Ryfylke (architect: Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner), Utsikten at Scenic Route Gaularfjellet (architect: Code arkitektur) and Bukkekjerka at Scenic Route Andøya (architect: Morfeus Arkitekter).
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