Eiffel Tower most disappointing

Aug 17th, 2007, 12:00 PM
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Eiffel Tower most disappointing

According to an article in the Telegraph the Eiffel tower is the world's most disappointing tourist spot. The Mona Lisa/Louvre is second.

You can read the full list here: http://tinyurl.com/33fgop

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hetismij is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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For me the Eiffel Tower is more about people watching than about the actual structure. So, no, it was certainly not a disappointment for me.

Neither was Mona. Again, I take great pleasure in seeing how people react to many of the icons on the Grand Tour.
EvaBryan is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Looks like "1000+" British tourists just made a list of names that they could remember.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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I think many of the problems are to do with the ambience of the place - for example Mona Lisa is hard to see because of crowds, Brandenberg Gate has a Starbucks right by it, Statue of Liberty because of the repeated security checks, Lands End because it has been changed into a tacky version of Blackpool
alanRow is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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What does "disappointing" mean? I guess it depends on what you were expecting. I was in Paris a few weeks ago for the first time. I had rather low expectations for the "thrill level" of the Eiffel Tower - I knew there would be crowds and we didn't plan to wait to go up. I wasn't dissapointed - it is what it is - big, interesting, historical. I was slightly dismayed by the crowds at the Louvre, but again, the Mona Lisa is what it is. I would suggest you go back out in the hallway and spend some time looking at The Virgin of the Rocks and some of the other beautiful art.
For me, Paris wasn't an "amusement park", more like a nice glass of wine to be sipped and savoured.....
doogjean is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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I thought the Eiffel Tower was considerably MORE impressive than I expected. I expected a big tall thing. I didn't expect it to be so beautiful, or to be in such a lovely site. EvaBryan is right, too; the people-watching was fantastic. So was the ice-cream.

My first view of the Grand Canyon was EXTREMELY disappointing. I was relieved to find that it's much better in the daytime.
fnarf999 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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I think people has expectations that simply are not true. So they see reality and get disappointed. Maybe they should inform better themselves before visiting.
I really like Italian Renaissance art..I cannot see how I can be dissapointed seeing Mona Lisa...but then I know it is quite a little portrait inside a glass to protect it..and with a big crowd of people trying to look at it. So probably, if I cannot go to the Louvre at a less crowded time...I prefer not to go.

kenderina is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:37 PM
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Fortunately, people's expectations can actually change; unfortunately what the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa actually are probably won't.

Which of the above deserve to be worked on?
Dukey is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:39 PM
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Oh my! The Eiffel Tower is spectacular! I've been there several times and the first glimpse when I see it, I literally get goose bumps. I'll be there again in mid September and that's always a priority. A trip to the top during the day as well as at night. Depending on when you go, the lines can vary, but you can't go to Paris and not go the Eiffel Tower~
Jen57 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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<<My first view of the Grand Canyon was EXTREMELY disappointing. I was relieved to find that it's much better in the daytime.
>>
You truly gave me a loud laugh on a hot Friday!

I would venture to say that 99% of the people who "visit" the Eiffel Tower don't think of its place in history (by far the tallest structure of its time, and for many years later), the controversy it created, the role it played in war, etc. Not to mention its role in film!

Unfortunately, most people are never taught to see anything - that is, see beyond the surface, or a glance, or their own narrow perspective. We can be taught this, but it rarely happens.

As far as Mona ... I've never gone to look at her. I would love a private audience, but seeing her in the mob would be too much like hearing Ella sing from the back row at Radio City - that is, less edifying than a photo or recording. Meanwhile, there's a sculpture gallery in the Louvre where you can be 9" away from two glorious Michelangelos. (And for Leonardo, see the rough, unfinished St. Jerome in the Vatican Pinotecca, also from 9" away, while the crowds pass by those galleries completely.)

As with meeting people, seeing a play, reading a book ... one's level of disappointment will sometimes be in proportion to one's ability to appreciate it in the first place, or personal history, or even physical state. Since the physical state created by dealing with a crowd is rarely elevated, the chances are good for some disappointment!
tomassocroccante is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 01:05 PM
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I wonder what people could be expecting other than riding to the top of a tall structure and seeing a panoramic of Paris? And did they expect the Mona Lisa to begin singing or something?
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 01:10 PM
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I love the Eiffel Tower! I'll never forget the first time I saw it sparkling at night...magical!

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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To be fair, I can understand why someone would be disappointed to see a small painting in a glass box from a mile away through the heads of a thousand other people. Not the painting's fault, of course.

But then, the fetishization of ANY single work of art, out of context and out of understanding, is guaranteed to be a disappointment. If you don't know what you're looking at, you will never really be able to see it. Most people associate Leonardo with "genius" in the celebrity sense, and have no interest in learning what the painting is really like or where it fits in the canon. You have to look at a lot of paintings to do that.
fnarf999 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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My first view of the Eiffel Tower was mesmerizing, I just couldn't get enough! I think I was in total awe as to the sheer size, especially when standing underneath and looking upward. Even after 6+ trips to Paris, I love it, doesn't matter what time of day or night. What a marvel.
Suspaul is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 01:40 PM
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For those wondering what was the first building taller than the Eiffel Tower, it was the Chrysler building in New York. So the Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world from 1889 to 1930.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 17th, 2007, 02:04 PM
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What really remains a mistery for me..is why people goes to see things just because "they are a must-see". There's no such a thing if you are not truly interested in it.
kenderina is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 02:22 PM
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I love the Eiffle Tower. Everytime I'm in Paris I at least have to stand under it. I don't feel the need to go up it again. I saw the Mona Lisa just because it's the Mona Lisa. It's just an ugly little painting as far as I'm concerned but the most expensive painting in the world I think. Why? I didn't linger long for sure.
crefloors is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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Re Grand Canyon, i've got to admit I was somewhat underwhelmed - mainly because the tour company had "forgot" to tell us we were staying in Flagstaff and so wouldn't be around for sunset / sunrise.

Yosemite Valley however - WOW
alanRow is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 06:10 PM
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<<the fetishization of ANY single work of art, out of context and out of understanding, is guaranteed to be a disappointment.>>

That's on the money, fnarf. And judging a small painting from across the room (and standing behind 30-50 other people) is like taking a ride in the trunk of a BMW: not what the experience was meant to be. It's safe to say Leonardo meant the painting to be viewed by one or two people at a time, from the distance of an intimate conversation. It never left his posession in his lifetime ...

<<And did they expect the Mona Lisa to begin singing or something?>>

Sandi, I think you're on to something. Arrivederci, Roma is probably the tune people have in mind. Or perhaps people would like a computer generated image of Nat King Cole and Leonardo singing "Mona Lisa" together.

When I was in college I went to a political event and found myself alone for a moment with Richard Nixon. He was the first "international celebrity" I ever met, and I was surprised - not only that I was permitted to speak to him with no one else within 30 yards - but that he was so average: height, weight, persona. I think I expected a little halo or some other kind of aura.

Of course, some celebs do think they have a halo, aura, and a heavenly choir announcing their every move! I think that must be the function of the entourage.

<<the Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world from 1889 to 1930.>>

Thanks for that, Kerouac. Impressive, huh? And still one of the taller structures in Europe. (While there are taller broadcast towers in Europe, and the Millau Viaduct in France is also taller, I BELIEVE there is no building in Europe taller than the Tour Eiffel.)

Most of us know that the tower antennae have been used for radio and TV for decades. I didn't know this (courtesy wikipedia):
"The military used it to dispatch Parisian taxis to the front line during the First Battle of the Marne, and it therefore became a victory statue of that battle."

In fact, the whole wiki article on the Tour Eiffel is interesting. Especially the part about it being the MOST VISITED paid monument in the world, with over 6.7million in 2006 alone. No wonder it's the one with the "most" disappointed visitors! Since nothing pleases everyone, the odds are the the most visited would also have the most naysayers!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eiffel_Tower

I do go on.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 06:41 PM
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Most visitors find the Eiffel Tower at least as interesting as they expected it to be, often more so. However, quite a few are unimpressed by the Mona Lisa and wonder why it is so famous (it's famous because … it's famous).
AnthonyGA is offline  

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