The throngs of tourists now touring the Golden Circle are too many for locals to keep up. PIC Bruce McAdam

The throngs of tourists now touring the Golden Circle are too many for locals to keep up. PIC Bruce McAdam

S ome local pundits in Iceland have now figured out why the famous Golden Circle is called Golden Circle. Everyone is peeing pretty much everywhere.

Depending on what kind of person you are you might A) laugh or B) tremble with excitement. But as often is the case with the infamous pundits there are grains of truth in their joke.

You see, nobody here had an inkling that the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 would not just ground millions of tourists in various airports but also make Iceland ground zero of mass-tourism in its aftermath. According to some estimates there could be as many as three million tourists here in the next few years. Which is OK but not for a country used to couple hundred thousand yearly for the largest chunk of this century.

This is especially evident in all infrastructure. Roads are falling apart due to much increased traffic, the tiniest places are suddenly awash with foreign workers building variously horrible hotels as supply cannot cope with demand. Greedy landowners are charging fortunes for a step on their property against the law and not doing zilch to accommodate folks. Add all this to the major flaw of local politicians which is utter lack of foresight.

A case in point the Golden Circle. Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir area and Thingvellir National Park are all government owned although some lunatics believe they are in full right of charging a fat entry fee to visit Geysir.

In only one place does the government offer any rest for the wicked with urgent need of relieving themselves. In fact, you´ll find a brand new high-tech restroom building at Hakið viewpoint at Thingvellir National Park. Opened with fanfare in 2011 with 18 shiny new toilet cubicles it is now utterly crowded 24/7. At Geysir or Gullfoss the only toilets are found at nearby businesses and here the crowds are often larger than are actually seeing the sights.

Which might explain the truth in the Golden Circle joke. When thousands upon thousands are visiting the same spot where toilets are as scarce as water in Sahara there are bound to be a lot of unhappy customers. Quite a number of those will not or cannot wait.

Which also explains why you´ll find amazing number of tour buses parked outside what locals in Hveragerdi village call their mall most mornings. The shops are usually not open but the toilets are. The bus companies are trying to get people to take a load off before reaching the main destination.

Ergo; you will feel so much better and wholesome if you take time out before you leave your hotel room for a day tour to do your thing. And don´t drink much on the way 😉

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