Friday, October 31, 2008

Loo with a view: The world's toilets with the best vistas

We may not really care what our view is when we use the loo.

But maybe we should - for according to the World Toilet Organisation we spend three years of our lives on the throne.

And that fact was enough to set author Luke Barclay off on a mission to flush out the planet's best loos with a view.

Boston Bay High Camp, Washington state: Few loos with a view can beat this one near Johannesburg Mountain in the North Cascades national park

Canton de Chelly, Arizona: A wooden loo at the base of Spider Rock, an 800ft sandstone spire revered by Navajo Indians

The Valley of Longevity, Ecuador: A wooden long-drop that lives up to its description, high in the Andes

Cliff-Top Chateau, France: This 'oasis of pis' overlooks a picturesque bend in the Dordogne River

Among them are remote wilderness loos, such as the ones at Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia and the Boulder Pass Campsite in Montana, which overlooks the spectacular Agassiz Glacier.

Many are on sacred sites - including those in the Valley of Longevity in Ecuador, where locals are said to live to 135, and on Mount Sinai in Egypt, where God is said to have handed the Ten Commandments to Moses.

Changi Airport, Singapore: Plane spotters in the new terminal 3 can take a wee look at the giant Airbus A380

Tasman Glacier, New Zealand: An aerial shot shows just how close this loo is to the edge

Mount Sinai, Egypt: The best place to see sunrise on the mountain is said to be from this toilet, where the early-morning light floods through the bamboo walls

Boulder Pass Campsite, Montana: A wooden loo in Glacier National Park, with a stunning view of Agassiz Glacier

Guard Tower, Alcatraz: Warders at the infamous jail had an all-round view of San Francisco Bay while they took a comfort break

The loos on the lookout tower at Alcatraz clearly worked, as no escape attempts were successful in the prison's 29-year history.

But women using the aquarium toilet at Mumin Papa Cafe in Akashi, Japan, have complained of being watched by a male sea turtle.

However, the future for interesting toilets is bright, as the new men's loo in Terminal 3 of Singapore's Changi Airport proves.

Croagh Patrick, Ireland: This 2,501ft summit in Co Mayo, where St Patrick fasted

Peninsula Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong: An ultra-modern mirror and sink - and view - in the ladies' at the Felix Bar

Salir de Uyuni, Bolivia: A relief stop 12,000ft high in the Andes in the middle of the world's largest salt flats, which cover an area of 4,085 square miles

Mumin Papa Cafe, Japan: This ladies' loo in Akashi is built into an aquarium, so you can watch the fishes as you, erm, meditate. But beware of the inquisitive male sea turtle

Mount McKinley, Alaska: A real cool view all round near the 20,320ft summit of the highest mountain in North America

Mount Whitney, California: At an elevation of over 14,500ft, this metal loo was a high spot for climbers. Sadly, it no longer exists

Loo With A View, by Luke Barclay, is published by Virgin Books

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