Flushing my way across Europe

There is one thing you can’t avoid when travelling – needing to go to the toilet.

In Germany I found ‘Rail & Fresh’ – a chain of pay toilets that operate at many major railway stations. They charge an €1 admission fee to use the toilet, but give you a €0.50 off voucher to use on your next visit.

'Rail & Fresh' pay toilet at Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof

When speeding my way across Russia I saw plenty of signs, but «туалет» was one of the few I could understand.

The only sign I can understand is 'Toilet'

Pay-per-use public toilets were common all across Russia, and usually have an attendant sitting there all day long.

Pay toilets outside the church

There must be a factory somewhere in Russia churning out these prefabricated “dual cubical plus attendant’s booth” toilet blocks.

Pay toilet in a Russian park

I even found two public toilets competing against each other in a Saint Petersburg park.

Competing public toilets in a Russian park

The cleanliness varied – 25 roubles to piss in this portaloo?

25 roubles to piss in a portable toilet

But drop chute toilet onboard the older Russian Railways carriages took the cake.

Drop chute toilet onboard our elderly Russian Railways sleeping carriage

Footnote

More on public toilets in Moscow at ‘Pop-Up City’ – they theorise that they exist because of the lack of a proper social security system, which makes running a public toilet a viable way to make ends meet.

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