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From experience which places looked better in postcards and guidebooks and what looked better in real life?

From experience which places looked better in postcards and guidebooks and what looked better in real life?

Old Dec 17th, 2002, 02:09 AM
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From experience which places looked better in postcards and guidebooks and what looked better in real life?

From my travelling in Europe I have found that Paris looks nicer in guidebooks and postcards than in real life. The streets looks so romantic in postcards bt in real life it is just not the same. I have found switzerland to be the complete opposite. I never understood why people went on and on about it. In all the guidebooks and postcards it just looked like alot of greenery but when I got there I was so overwhelmed with how pretty and clean everything was. The country really made me learn to appreciate nature more.
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 05:14 AM
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thank you for sharing your opinions, but in my experience Paris exceeded my expectations. I'm glad you enjoyed Switzerland.
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 07:27 AM
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not sure if it's letdown from picturesque postcards but rather expectations -
Loved the place but have to admit - if anything - i was a bit letdown.
From cruise brochures I dreamed of cruising through narrow passages surrounded by steep, jagged, snow-capped mountains. Instead it seemed we were out at sea much of the time and needed binoculars to see the gorgeous coast. Beautiful area and gorgeous scenery but I expected more - and having already experienced the Canadian Rockies the luster was somewhat dimmed since I was in middle of it and not looking from afar.

Not bashing an Alaskan cruise b/c i'll do it again, just that my expectations were really high. Those brochure pictures that show the ship surrounded by glaciers and snow-capped mountains, thats about 6 hours of a 7 day cruise.
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 08:15 AM
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I know this isn't a "Europe" answer but ... Las Vegas. It looks beautiful in the movies, on TV and in pictures. The reality is something else.
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 08:18 AM
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I hated Switzerland, blandsville and the women wear too much makeup and jewelry and the swiss are snotty.
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 08:31 AM
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St Petersburg, Russia. The buildings look great in the photos but up close the Russians have let them go to pot. The museums also do not have very good standards.
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 08:34 AM
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London was that way for me. Having seen Buckingham Palace for years on tv, the gardens, Big Ben....I was just disappointed when I saw it in person. The palace was just in the middle of town, the buildings around were blah and dirty.

Switzerland is beautiful!
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 09:16 AM
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Edinburgh Castle is beautiful from the outside. Once you go inside it's a bit of a disappointment. Everything else in Edinburgh is great.
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 10:01 AM
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Norway is more beautiful than you can believe!

The FL keys aren't as great as depicted on postcards, etc. - way too commercial!
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 10:10 AM
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Switzerland by far exceeded my expectations. Like a poster said before me, I could not understand what the big deal was about, on postcards it just looked like mountains with lots of green--but wow. Went there this past June and I can honestly say it's arguably one of the most beautiful places that I've yet been to in Europe.
Old Dec 18th, 2002, 12:49 AM
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Suggestion to XXX in reference to Alasakan cruise: Never have understood why people consider it luxurious to "vacation" with 2-3000 other people. My husband and I have sat on the patio of a magnificent b&b in Ketchikan on a cliff overlooking the cruise lines. We watched them line up to get off, line up for the buffet, line up to get back on board...! Next time you come, take the "poor man's cruise" (the Alaskan State Ferry) and get off at each stop for a day or two. The ferry goes where the big cruise lines can't and private arrangements for salmon/halibut fishing, whale watching, glacier gazing etc. are easily made-and much more personal too. Forest Service cabins are available for as little as $35.00 a night. You can get a boat to drop you off at Thomas Bay or a helicopter/float plane to drop you off at Swan Lake. Just you and Mother Nature!!!
Old Dec 18th, 2002, 01:41 AM
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Here is another vote for Switzerland exceeding my expectations! No photo can ever capture the breathtaking experience of seeing the Swiss Alps in person.
Old Dec 18th, 2002, 02:31 AM
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I am Swiss - I do not understand the words "blandsville and snotty". They sound unpleasant. And I do not wear too much make up.
Old Dec 18th, 2002, 04:22 AM
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Two comments
1 - if you want to see Alaska and do a cruise the only way to go is with Cruise West, small ships, 100 or so passengers, gets so close to everything. The big ships can not do that. Cruise West is the way to go.

2 - One place that I thought was really a big letdown after reading about it and seeing pictures, etc, was Adare, Ireland, the "prettiest village in Ireland"...not. Had about 4 house lined up with thatched roofs and other than that it was just another town. Other villages are far prettier and much more authentic.
Old Dec 18th, 2002, 05:14 AM
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The last reply blew my theory. I was going to say that I think, in general, the cities are prettier in post cards, while country sides can't be done justice. It might have to do with the cleanliness, and just the fresh air! Not just the visual, but all the senses come alive when you are actually there. It is hard to take in the "beauty" when your nose is accosted by garbage smells and you're hearing blaring traffic... I even think the same can apply to the cruise ship that couldn't get close enough to Alaskan mountains. The senses couldn't be inundated by the environment; the traveler could only experience the ship.
Old Dec 18th, 2002, 01:12 PM
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Old Dec 18th, 2002, 01:26 PM
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To focus on the positive, not the negative, in descending order:
1. Vernazza, Italy; 2. Sorrento and the Amalfi Drive, It; 3. Eze, above Nice, FR; 4. Vence, also outside Nice; 5. Churchill's home outside London, even in pouring rain (can't recall the name just now); 6.the Ramblas in Barcelona; 7. the Cotswolds. The absolute best, even better than #1, was the whole area around Sarlat, along the Dordogne River in SW France. No pictures or descriptions can do it justice.
Old Dec 18th, 2002, 02:03 PM
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New Zealand!!! Even though it is not in Europe it is absolutely fantastic. The scenery in the books just do not do it justice.
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