Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Rest rooms and rooms without rest

It was small, but totally in a wrong place...
The thunderstorm was a welcome surprise. We’d been suffering 30 degree temperatures for days, sweating in the car for hours, driving from Italy to Slovenia. Now it was raining and lightning was brightening the sky every now and then. We had found a nice campsite in a nature reserve near the Postojna cave. I run through the pouring rain to a toilet building. I locked the door, sat down and... saw a snake on the floor. It was staring at me, licking the air with its tongue. Thunder roared close by. ”My life is a horror movie...”

Tricky Toilets

Toilet at a gas station in France.
If you press the wrong button,
you might end up to space...
During this tour I have seen a great variation of toilets. Even the ones in motorway rest places have usually been nice and clean. In Finland the public toilets often look like a health hazard. Earlier this year, in France, I talked with a service patrol that takes care of the motorway rest places, ”aires”. They had noticed our Finnish registration number and wanted to congratulate us. This was during the Olympic games and Finland had just won a medal in skiing. One of them was dreaming of driving to Finland with a caravan. What odd dreams people have!

Campsites usually have toilets and showers. But there is a big variation of what that means in practice. Some toilets don’t have paper, at all. Or it is in big rolls outside the toilet. It’s something you learn to check. After the incident in Slovenia, I started to also check the floor and corners for intruders. Fortunately, I have only found butterflies so far.

Our campsite in Modena had toilets without seats. You know, the type where you squat down and hope that you don’t pee on your pants. Only the handicapped toilet had a proper seat. So I decided to be one for a week. Don’t get me wrong. As a Lappish girl and after spending a lot of time on fishing or hunting trips in the wilderness, I’m used to ”bush-pee” while hundreds of mosquitos admire my butt. But in the civilized world I would like to have some comfort.
Restaurant toilet in St. Gaudens, France.

Five Star Shower

Five stars: Camping Bozanov.
Many campsites charge for warm water, especially during the winter time. So you need coins or tokens to have a shower. Usually you then get 4 minutes of water, which might – or might not – be warm. I have started to really appreciate the ability to adjust the water temperature.

I hate showers with movement detectors, because the movement detectors hate me. After desperately waving my hands in front of a detector I might get water for 3 seconds. In the Alps, the shower lights worked with a movement detector. So I ended up having a shower in the dark, no matter what kind of acrobatic movements I tried to do in that one square meter cubicle.

The most beautiful toilet and shower I have found in a campsite is in the Czech Republic, near the Polish border, at Camping Bozanov. When I went to take a picture of the shower room for this blog, there was a lady drying her hair. It must look weird when someone is taking a picture out of a shower. So I felt a bit embarrassed, and quickly explained what I was doing and why. ”I totally agree, this is 5 star class!” she replied and helped to keep a door open so I could take my pictures. She was British, worked in a campsite, but had taken a year off and was now traveling with her husband. What an interesting way to spend a year...

Notice in a toilet, Camping Vienna.


I survived the Slovenian toilet without snake bites. I didn't even scream! (Because I was too scared even to breath...) When I told the receptionist about the snake, he didn't seem surprised. If you have a campsite in a nature reserve, you have to accept visiting animals also.

PPS. So many events and so little time to write. I try to catch up now that we have a summer break in conventions and both Darwinning! and PM:RE in production.

No comments:

Post a Comment