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European Cities - best and worst features

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Aug 26th, 2003, 04:53 AM
  #1
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European Cities - best and worst features

Just wondering - there are many cities which are famous for paticularly aspects but are also let down on certain things which the authorities should tackle...

My personal thoughts

London Best: Museums Worst: Dirty
Paris Best: Ambience Worst: Rudeness
Rome Best: History Worst: Traffic
Berlin Best: Art Worst: Graffiti
Amsterdam Best: Canals Worst: Seediness
Venice Best: Painted houses Worst: Smell

I know this is all very black and white - and a lot of cities suffer the same problems to varying degrees but it's interesting to see if there is a general consensus...
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Aug 26th, 2003, 05:35 AM
  #2
MGB
 
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I would agree that the "worsts" must be your personal thoughts (or at least at a point in time you happen to be there). We have been to 5 of the 6 places:
London - Did not find it Dirty

Paris - No one was rude, found most to be very helpful and kind a couple going out of their way to assist (directions, pushing our dead battery car, appologizing for their poor english). We did try to speak small phrases in French.

Rome - I would agree the traffic congestion was terrible but mostly because people were not staying in their lanes (But have you ever been to LA?)

Amsterdam - Never found it to be "seedy"

Venice - Were there in September and slept in a hotel on the Grand Canal (Galleria) with the windows open and never once had a distasteful odor.

Those are are "personal" perspectives.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 06:03 AM
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I agree that it's a personal perspective. I have not experienced one of your worsts listed for London, Paris, Amsterdam, or Venice. I can't comment on the other cities, however.

I have to admit, though, I'm pretty much an optimist and don't often find anything I dislike in just about any city I visit.

I'm curious of other people's perspectives on this list.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 06:30 AM
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I agree with your bests. The worsts, I have some opinions on:

The worst of Rome is not the traffic--it's the noise of the motorcycles and the sense that everyone is trying to rip you off.

In Paris, the dog poop is the worst. Amsterdam, yes, there is a seediness in certain areas, and I do find it distasteful, but it's the druggies that really disturb me (not pot smokers--these people are on something else). In Berlin...yeah, the graffitti. Venice--the crowds!

I think every city could use better airconditioning!
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Aug 26th, 2003, 12:22 PM
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I hope this doesn't turn into a flame war, but I'll have a go
I disagreee entirely with GaffaUK's worsts.

London's worst to me is the expense, vis a vis the US dollar. The best I think is theatre, tho' museums are pretty wonderful.

Paris's worst is the doggy do. The best is everything else.

Rome's worst might be the traffic, but more in agreement with allovereurope--it's the NOISE of the traffic. Ditto Florence. As a New Yorker, I was surprisingly bowled over by the noise. Didn't feel ripped off tho.

Rome's best: the art in the churches

Venice's worst: can't think of one thing. That must mean that everything is its best.

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Aug 26th, 2003, 12:40 PM
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I suppose you could say that the truly experienced and mature traveler enjoys the "best" aspects of any place they visit and does not focus on or allow the "worst" aspects to ruin their visit.
I suspect "the authorities" feel they have more important issues to tackle than tourist perspectives of their particular locality and will continue to do so until revenue begins to fall off.
 
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Aug 26th, 2003, 01:38 PM
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We've stayed in Venice 3 times and never noticed any unusual smell. I'm guessing that people who think Venice "smells bad" are folks who aren't used to the ocean.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 08:33 PM
  #8
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I can only speak about Rome & Venice, so here goes:

Rome Best: History Worst: Traffic

Rome: History is definitely, Traffic -- worse...Have you ever tried to cross the Bay Bridge from Oakland to San Francisco at rush hour...or tried to get across San Francisco not only at rush hour but on a Saturday? No, Rome's traffic is not that bad, in my opinion, what I liked about Roman/Italian drivers is that they get out of each other's ways.

Venice Best: Painted houses Worst: Smell

Venice -- Painted Houses?? I think that would go for Burano, but not Venice itself...I think the best is that you can walk everywhere and there is no car, plus the romance of the city. Smell...I was just there in July and there wasn't any...so I'd say that the worse is that..... I can't easily go back whenever I feel the need to be there.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 10:37 PM
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Worst traffic is in Naples, there aren't any rules. The motorscooters operate in a dimension that isn't present anywhere else, even in Rome.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 11:15 PM
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Here's my list...just personal opinions, of course, on some of the places I've been to..

Paris Best: That you can say, hey, I'm in Paris! with such glee. Worst: Trying to decide where to eat.

London Best: Westminster Abbey. Worst: I still think the Millennium Eye is kind of ugly.

Bruges best: Chocolate, Beer. Worst: Tourist trap eateries around the Markt.

Munich Best: Dachau for impact. Transport. Worst: Beer mugs too big = hangover.

Rothenburg Best: Walking around the wall and not running into a soul. Worst: DEAD town in January. Potentially really tourist-tacky.

Salzburg Best: Saltmine tour. Augustiner Brau Stubl. Worst: Tacky Mozart souvenirs EVERYWHERE.

Prague Best: Nightviews on Charles Bridge. Excellent, cheap beer Worst: None.

Dingle: Seafood. Slea Head Drive. Worst: none.

Venice Best: overall ambience. Worst: Harder to find good food. Hard to figure out maps.

Florence Best: David. Worst: Lines.

Siena Best: View from Panorama at sunset. Kicking back at Il Campo watching clouds sail by. Worst: None.

Seville Best: Cathedral. Gazpacho. Worst: The Rosemary Scam ladies.

Barcelona Best: Nightlife. Worst: Can't keep up with the nightlife.

Ljubljana Best: Cafe lined streets pumping with energy. Worst: More expensive than people think.

Split Best: Beautiful men/women. Beautiful ruins which are part of the landscape and not roped off. Worst: pertinacious beggars.

Dubrovnik Best: Walk around old town walls. Worst: Nothing Nothing Nothing!

Sorrento/Positano/Amalfi Best: Views. Zipping along the nutty roads on a scooter. Worst: SITA bus crowds.

Santorini Best: Sunsets on the Caldera. Worst: Restaurant louts and cheap local hooch.

Best thing about doing a list like this: Memories.

Worst thing about doing a list like this: sadness...because they are now just memories.

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Aug 27th, 2003, 12:00 AM
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Bravo crazymina,

Such wonderful words of wisdom at the end of your post. Sort of reminds me of another wise saying:
"Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory."

I personally won't go into best and worst features, but here's something you might find amusing:

"Heaven is where the Police are British, the Chefs are French, the Mechanics are German, the Lovers Italian and it's all organised by the Swiss.
Hell is where the Chefs are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, the Police are German and it's all organised by the Italians."
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Aug 27th, 2003, 06:08 AM
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I too would say the crowds in Venice are a worst, but then again that's just our experience! Another reason why these boards are so much fun! We didn't smell anything in Venice on the canal for a week in July. No worse at least than our lake house.

London is still cleaner than New York (IMO). I would say the worst was having to look to your right crossing the street (because I was almost hit)!

I found Parisians to be very friendly (with the exception of a rude waiter -- no different than any other city).

Would agree with graffiti in Berlin, however I was there after the wall fell so I expected it. Graffiti is just as bad (if not worse!) in Auckland.

Agree with the druggies and seediness in Amsterdam -- although that's probably quite charming for other viewpoints.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 06:13 AM
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Mina & bluefan =D>
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Aug 27th, 2003, 09:19 AM
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Very funny Bluefan. ;p
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Aug 27th, 2003, 09:32 AM
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Oh bluefan, you made my day!!!
The only truly "worst" thing I can think of is the glass monstrosity that was glued onto the Louvre in Paris. I gasped when I saw it, and I am a fan of I.M.Pei.
Ok everyone, attack me, but I just had to say it!
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Aug 27th, 2003, 12:28 PM
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Well said Bluefan!!!I like that...What can I say after Bluefan post?...Just that everyone has a different opinions and perceptives about things, thus is too subjective and must be taken with a grain of salt..
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