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Disappointment or surprise with "must sees"

Disappointment or surprise with "must sees"

Old Feb 6th, 2007, 12:32 PM
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Disappointment or surprise with "must sees"

Any reports on less than enthusiastic experiences with what are considered "must see's" when traveling? Over-hyped places, sites?

Guess the "Mona Lisa" was underwhelming for me. Perhaps when you've seen too many reproductions, the real thing runs the risk of not being entrancing. On the other hand, I've had the opposite happen too - Klimt's paintings, reproduced ad nauseum in tablecoths, date books, etc., when seen in a Vienna museum were fantastic!
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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I'm very strange when it comes to "must-sees." When I was in Cairo, I was quite willing to skip the pyramids. Much preferred wandering the streets of the city. The Coptic Museum was a much higher priority than Giza, in fact.

I suppose I'm glad that my companion made me go. But the pyramids are far from my favorite memories from my travels.

I suppose I might as well admit there is a bit of a reverse snobbery about this--okay, a snobbery. The whole "I'd rather sit contemplating an obscure bust in the Musee Nissim Camondo than the Mona Lisa...I'm so special" thing.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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The Eiffel. It's a landmark, yes, but once you're there, scaled to the top and down, all in an hour, depending on line ups. Then it's meh. Nice to look at in the distance, especially at night, but meh to actually visit.

I wasn't disappointed in the Mona Lisa. In fact, I keep hearing about how disappointing it is to see it in person that when I saw it, it was sublime. Now, about those crowds.... sigh.

Orsay Museum was both a disappointment and a surprise. When one think of Orsay Museum, one think of the Impressionists paintings. I was disappointed to see how few their Impressionist collection was. But you know, after going to the Louvre first, I think it's kinda understatement. Also Impressionist paintings are on the younger side, and a lot of them were given, or bought by collectors who still have them in private collection, or spread around the world, so it's understandable. But what really took my breath away in the Orsay Museums are the sculptures! All different sculptures, of different materials and subjects, I could get lost just looking at one of them!
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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When we first went to Italy a number of years ago, my dad who had been there (as early as 1945) before asked several questions all starting with "are you going to see the _______"? When we didn't respond yes to any of his questions, he finally said "you are going to Italy aren't you"?

Anyway, while traveling around we've been to several places that didn't live up to the hype but, we've been to many many more that did and that's why we keep traveling.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Waterforn Crystal in Ireland. It was in a really run down city, very commercial and they showed us a duplicagte of the millieneum ball. What a disappointment. Gues the US we are use to thing being big it seemed so small!
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:14 PM
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Capri.
The island must have been wonderful before mass tourism discovered it. Now it's one of the worst tourist traps I've ever seen.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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I'm one of the few on the planet who is underwhelmed by the London Eye.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:43 PM
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Disappointed with the Dali museum in Figueres, Spain.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:44 PM
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What's the London eye?
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:47 PM
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NeoPatrick is right, so there is no need to fight about his presumption. I was on a tour so had no chance to stay longer than for the day. Our guide did her very best to drive her herd of cattle (i. e. us) into shops and restaurants where she'd get her provision - that's what seemed most important to her.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:48 PM
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kenav

London Eye is a huge ferris wheel that goes around quite slowly so you get a wonderful view of London.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Tivoli in Copenhagen
 
Old Feb 6th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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sorry, Tivoli - a disappointment
Vasa in Stockholm -a wonderful surprise
 
Old Feb 6th, 2007, 03:34 PM
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Another one from me -
Was more astounded by Switzerland than I even thought I would be. (And I had wanted to go there for years.) My experience there - mountains in that country - were more than I even imagined.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 11:02 PM
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HEY, Kenav, I'm completely with you here!!!!!
I was in Vienna over Christmas - am now a huge fan myself of Klimt, love his paintings. Have got lots of little 'der kuss' things all over my house. I treasure them. I really regret not buying one of his books when I visited his museum - kicking myself now. I was disappointed in Mona too - it was alot smaller than I imagined it to be and it seemed such a dark painting with not much life in it (oh dear, hope I'm not going to be blasted for this but everyone has different opinions, right). Also I thought the Uffizi in Florence was hugely disappointing - I really don't know what the big hype about it is, unless we happened to miss some of it or the rooms they had closed off at that time held the most spectacular things. In contrast, I was overwhelmed with the Vatican Museum.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 11:29 PM
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The whole entire Louvre in general. Too much blah art and I just got bored, bored, bored.

Surprise? Mont St-Michel - stupendous and an amazing architectural feat considering that most of it was built before modern construction equipment existed.
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 11:53 PM
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Disappointed? Carcassone...too touristy & dull.
Normandy.

Happily surprised and loved ? Pont du Gard & museum, we all loooooved the Dali Museum,Van Gogh in Amsterdam, we looooved the Monet in the round L'orange

I was disappointed the first time I saw the Mona Lisa, but my 6yo daughter just saw it and loooved it and we also managed to find a time off season and late on a slow day where there were no crowds, so she could look close up to her hearts content and did for a long time.
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 12:17 AM
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When I first entered Ste Chapelle in Paris, I was saying to myself 'Whats the big deal!!'

Then I went upstairs and saw this:

www.pbase.com/trsw/image/69560572 and was simply BLOWN AWAY!!!

Tom
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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 12:23 AM
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Before I toss out my suggestions I want to say this.

I'm lucky in that I get four weeks paid holiday a year. I usually sacrifice some of my salary to take a few more. This is because I believe you need lots of 'slack' whenever you travel. With months on the road (done that too) you don't even need an outline plan. But usually you do. What I find so sad is that so many people plan every last minute of their trips overseas - and those minutes are devoted to the the "must sees" - ergo - no time to find your own special moments.

I agree with Cimbrone.

And as quality control you have to ask yourself what lives on in your memories.

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Old Feb 7th, 2007, 03:36 AM
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We all take a differing set of life experiences, expectations, and synaptic responses around with us wherever we go. So here are my major disappointments that might well be another's greatest joys:

1) Florence, Italy. I'm not a big fan of Renaissance art in the first place, but I had hoped the city would at least be pleasant. And I am sure there are pleasant parts of the city, but not where the major sights are located.

2) The Louvre. I was awed by the Mona Lisa, but underwhelmed (or maybe overloaded) by the bijillions of pieces of just OK stuff that all looked pretty much alike to me. Mrs. Fly loved it and wouldn't leave, so Rufus Jr. and I jumped ship after an hour or so and found a nice sidewalk cafe. And I think the plastic pyramid is an abomination--but the Parisians do seem to enjoy architectural abominations, maybe for the shock value.
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