Eiffel Tower most disappointing

Aug 19th, 2007, 08:16 AM
  #61  
 
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No matter where you are, people watching is always part of the equasion, so there should be some attraction.

My favorite thing about seeing the Mona Lisa is watching all of the reactions:

http://tinyurl.com/2gthly

(sorry the first one's so grainy)

Jim
zooey91 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 02:16 PM
  #62  
 
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To be perfectly homest, I do not notice the behavior of other tourists unless that behavior calls attention to iself. And if it sounds elitist, so be it, I do not care about the reactions of those with whom I an not traveling.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 02:28 PM
  #63  
hdm
 
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Adu, I don't understand how that apochryphal tale relates to expectations and reactions. What expectations did the man in the story have? And as he was a Parisian, how would the story relate to the expectations of tourists?

I notice as much as I possibly can when I travel. If part of that is other tourists, so be it. I'm friendly and I like to talk to everyone. I don't automatically knock other tourists off my list since I'm interested in hearing about their travels and they often give me good tips.

Do you care about the reactions of those with whom you are traveling? And if so, why them to the exclusion of all others.

And I agree with you about the Orsay (sorry, not the d'Orsy)renovation.
hdm is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 02:32 PM
  #64  
 
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Expectations... can't live without 'em.

My first visit to Paris I decided to see the Eiffel Tower just because. I wasn't expecting much - of the tower, of the city itself. Boy, was I wrong! I was so surprised by the Eiffel Tower (for some reason I'd thought it was red and a lot smaller). I also thought Paris was glorious! (That's why I'm going back for my third visit in five years. I'll see the Eiffel again, too.)

Now, the Sistine Chapel on the other hand... I'd dreamt of seeing it. I heard stories. Loved the history, the story. And when I saw it for myself, I was disappointed. It didn't seem as grand as I'd envisioned. I felt as though I couldn't enjoy it peacefully (no talking, no pictures, no room to stand, etc.). It by no means makes the Sistine Chapel any less of a great work of art. It was just my own expectations that brought about my disappointment.

Since then, I've learned to keep a more open mind -- planning a trip and leaving things open for wonderful possibility.
Narnya is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 02:42 PM
  #65  
 
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My husband and I were just talking about this article.

<<I think sometimes familiarity, or seeing too many photos of something, will bring disappointment when you see it in real life (for example, Mt. St. Michel wasn't that amazing for me since I already knew what it looked like). >>

I agree with this statement and feel that people compare these sites to pictures in a school book or what they see in the movies. I was still impressed with the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Mont St Michel when I first visited because I didn't have unrealistic expectations like I would be the only visitor.
coldwar27 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 02:45 PM
  #66  
 
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<<Your story of a childhood book sums up the difference between going with curiosity, imagination and excitement for discovery - informed by a little learning, and going with a bag of misconceptions and a sandwich of "oh yeah?">>

tomas..how perfectly elegant and right on! My thoughts, exactly!

I cannot recall one "tourist" spot that I would describe as "disappointing". Some were "different" than I expected, but I love to find the fun/beauty/history in every-day places. So I'm never disappointed. Sedona, Statue of Liberty, heck, I was even dragged along to Graceland by my daughter and found it to be one of the best-run "tourist" attractions I've ever been to. Thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

<<Disappointment is in the eye of the beholder. The poll reflects the unrealistic expectations of some...the tourist versus the travelor....those checking off a list of places they see versus those that look for an experience that's a personal revelation>>

kathcoll..lovely sentiment.

I will get to see the Mona Lisa and the Eiffel in about 8 weeks, for the first time, and I already KNOW I will NOT be disappointed. Following that, we will be headed to Italy, also for the first time. Our heads are already at, "How bad could it be? We're in Paris/Venice/Rome, for heavens' sake!!!"

Paula

sarge56 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 03:24 PM
  #67  
 
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Aduchamp1, the point I was trying to make, albeit poorly, was that it's hard not to notice the reactions of those viewing the Mona Lisa, especially since the painting itself is so hard to approach given the crowds. But that I do enjoy observing their reactions.

However, I overstated my enjoyment of people watching, as I don't enjoy going to destinations that have nothing to offer other than being surrounded by tourists. I was amused to see Times Square on the list, as 1) I can't imagine what someone would expect to see that you don't see there, and 2) why would anybody have high expectations for such a zoo in the first place?
zooey91 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 08:05 PM
  #68  
 
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Zooey, thanks for the pictures - a great partner to the thread.

In so many cases it turns out the "disappointment" is to discover that 60,000 other people decided to come the same day!

My great travel disappointments have been the trips I didn't take, experiences I passed on, people I waitied to long to say hello to ...
tomassocroccante is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 08:33 PM
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Disappointing? Well, we are soon on our way for our 15th trip. I still get a lump in my throat when I see it. It's Paris, it's the experience.
Texasgal2 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 08:47 PM
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Adu, I don't understand how that apochryphal tale relates to expectations and reactions. What expectations did the man in the story have? And as he was a Parisian, how would the story relate to the expectations of tourists?

I notice as much as I possibly can when I travel. If part of that is other tourists, so be it. I'm friendly and I like to talk to everyone. I don't automatically knock other tourists off my list since I'm interested in hearing about their travels and they often give me good tips.

Do you care about the reactions of those with whom you are traveling? And if so, why them to the exclusion of all others.

And I agree with you about the Orsay (sorry, not the d'Orsy)renovation.


The story of the Parisian highlights that the Eifeel Tower is not beloved or admired by all.

As for the d'Orsay, it was the most beautiful renovations of a public space I have seen. I am not admirer of romantic art or Beaux Arts, so the collection left me cold. I did however, find new admitation for Manet.

As for other tourists advice, it is like a movie, food, or theatre critic, find the ones with whom your tastes coincide. Same with travrlers. Our likes and interests are often not the same as most other tourists. We have been traveling internationally and independently for over 35 years thus our point of reference is just different than most.

Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 04:46 AM
  #71  
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zooey, Interesting pictures.
 
Aug 20th, 2007, 05:11 AM
  #72  
 
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I was gobsmacked by the Eiffel Tower - it was so much bigger than I expected.

I also saw it off-season so there weren't so many crowds (which i could see would be a pest)

I was completely underwhelmed by the Mona Lisa - we have beter Leonardos in Britain IMHO. And they're not behind bullet proof glass and hordes of people.

I was truly amazed to see stonehenge on the UK list - I mean what did people expect a stone circle would be? It is incredibly badly served by having the A303 running just past it though.

The list of 10 things guarenteed not to disappoint in the UK is spot on IMHO - and off the tourist trail in most cases

audere_est_facere is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 05:23 AM
  #73  
 
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September 2007 Consumers' Reports (current issue) has an interesting article on Health Plans in the US. It includes the results os their survey. First sentence:
"Most health insurance will suit you just fine--until you get sick and really need it."


http://tinyurl.com/2rfhtc
robjame is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 05:59 AM
  #74  
 
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Arrrggghh

My apologies for posting this on the wrong thread
robjame is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 07:10 AM
  #75  
 
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A note on the Musee d'Orsay, when it opened it got the cold shoulder from a lot of people in the art world, architects, etc and it was a while before the general opinion came to be the more affectionate one we're reading here.

For myself, I don't like everything about the Musee d'Orsay - it can feel at some moments still too much like a train station or exhibition hall - but I mostly enjoy the experience and there are plenty of iconic works (!) for those who don't mind risking disappontment.

And the quartier Opera under glass is great. Surely would entertain 1st timers, afficionados and even children.
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