Never To Return

Old Aug 8th, 2013, 11:35 AM
  #161  
 
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immimi... you know what we New Yorkers say...
NYC is a great place to live but I'd hate to visit. -
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Old Aug 8th, 2013, 12:22 PM
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I have been to Slough [i used to have to go to court there - it was a prefab] and I have no desire to go back.
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Old Aug 8th, 2013, 12:37 PM
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"Tell me more about Colmar. I have never been. But from the pics I've seen, it looks quite lovely."

From my old 200 trip report (my first on Fodors):

"I first saw Colmar in 1984 with my first wife (yeah, I know. It's hard to believe I have gotten two women to marry me)

First of all, Colmar is not small, not quaint and really not pretty. We got to the city center and meandered to little Venice (or Petit Venise). My thought.."Real Venice should sue for defamation of character." Petit Venise was pretty drab. We saw the hotel where we almost stayed, the Marechal. We thought about eating there until we saw the menu and prices.

Anyway, my first wife and I did not like Colmar then, but I chalked it up to being young and not knowing the nuances of Europe (of course, as it turned out, she liked me about as much as Colmar in a few years).

Well, Tracy and I didn't like it either, and I truly find it not charming at all, especially with all the other beautiful towns dotting the Routes des Vins. The rickety boats cruising the faux canal looked like they would sink at any moment, and the whole place was rather depressing.

If you do like Colmar, I don't mean to rain on your parade because everyone is different."

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Old Aug 8th, 2013, 12:43 PM
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That should have been "my old 2004 trip report"

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Old Aug 8th, 2013, 02:18 PM
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Thank you to all who answered my question about Slough. Sorry to hi-jack.
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Old Aug 8th, 2013, 03:24 PM
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Places I have been that I don't have a desire to return to:

Château de Versailles
Museum Erik Satie
The Sacré-Cœur Basilica
The Spanish Steps
The Trevi Fountain
Uffizi Gallery
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Old Aug 8th, 2013, 04:35 PM
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maitai - thanks. Interesting stuff. From the pictures I've seen, Colmar appears to be a small hamlet, sort of like Brugge; I didn't realize it was quite large.
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Old Aug 8th, 2013, 04:37 PM
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I totally agree, maitai. Been there twice and spent the whole time thinking....WHAT is all the fuss? I mean, I like geraniums, but I don't need to travel to France to see them. Walked ALL over, and just never "got it."
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 05:07 AM
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I love this thread--find it fascinating how everyone has a different opinion. Like another poster mentioned, I have pretty high expectations when I travel because I've usually wanted to go to a particular place for some time before I actually go.

Here's my list with qualifiers:

Athens-loved the Cycladic art museum and the Acropolis, but I found the people really unfriendly, then again they're probably pretty burned out on all the tourists. Unfortunately I will have to go through Athens again because I DO want to return to the Peloponnese and Crete--two of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

Santorini--glad I saw it for the dramatic, jaw-dropping setting but was on its way to becoming a total theme park when I was there in '98, can only imagine what it's like now.

Madrid--loved the people--very friendly, helpful lot who seem to really enjoy themselves. Alessandra, you said you liked the art here--did you see the Thyssen Bornemisza museum? Great collection. I've seen everything I need to see in the city though--don't need to return.

Barcelona--had really high expectations and the Art Nouveau buildings didn't disappoint, especially the Casa Mila--outstanding place and exhibit. The city itself left me totally cold--unfriendly, miserable-looking people. Also didn't feel that safe.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 07:21 AM
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I don't get the whole " people are friendly" or " people are coold".... conclusion
about the population of a city or a whole nation...like " the French are rude ".

Most of us spend several days in the city or town . The only contact we have is with
taxi drivers, hotel and restaurant employees, shop keepers etc.
Mostly , we don't speak the language or know just enough to get by.
Often, a number of people we see around the museums, galleries, and other attractions
are themselves tourists.

A few days ago someone asked me : " What are Germans like?" - he knew I had visited the country five times.
I never lived there, never worked in the country, never spent more than 10 days, never had a serious converstion
with anyone....How the heck would I know.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 07:36 AM
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Barcelona hands down. For the last several years, I have taken Mediterranean cruises leaving from Barcelona and while I don't like to arrive for a European cruise the morning of because of possible flight delays, my m.o. has become flying into Barcelona usually from a few days in London via Easy Jet (relatively inexpensive) and staying out by the airport the evening before and taking a cab to the pier.

Interestingly enough I was talking to somebody during my cruise in June about my dislike for Barcelona (one of the pick pocket capitals of the work and I'm from NY and know how to watch out and luckily I haven't had that experience but..) as I was talking to somebody next to me about this, the man sitting in front turned around and told me the last time he had been in Barcelona, they got him. Sorry if I offend anybody who thinks Barcelona is so wonderful. About five years ago, I did a Spain tour which finished in Barcelona and on the way to the airport, the tour director told the group this was the first tour she had done for the past year where nobody was pick pocketed.

Barcelona is #1 in this regard and while I'm forced on many of my cruises to depart from Barcelona, it's the airport for me.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 08:29 AM
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I forgot to add St. Moritz, concrete city in the midst of awesome scenery. Loved Pontresina a short distance away.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 10:36 AM
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danon,

I understand what you're saying and you make a good point. There's no way you can know a total population, however, I think when people say a place is "friendly" or "unfriendly" they are just relaying THEIR experience--not that their experience is fact. It's just how they found it to be.

I do think you can notice overall differences between cities though. As an example, for me, the people in Madrid seemed to move at a slower pace than those in Barcelona and therefore were more willing to take the time to help with directions, transport, etc. The people I approached in Barcelona were just not as forthcoming with information and didn't seem to want to take the time. I also talked to people other than shopkeepers, taxi drivers, etc. Granted my experience of these cities is limited and the people I met were just a small sampling, but they were a sampling nonetheless.

I think it's also a gut feeling, something you can't put your finger on. There are some cities/places that put me at ease more than others for no apparent reason. It's just a vibe I guess, very subjective.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Re Kilmarnock. I've been to worse.
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Old Aug 9th, 2013, 01:15 PM
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The palace at Versailles, unless a loved one rents the whole thing for a wedding or something and I feel obligated to show up. The place got on my nerves.

I'd like to tour the gardens, though, if on a private bicycle tour at twilight.
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 03:13 PM
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MaiTai... my husband and I stayed at Le Marechal.... can't remember the exact year..80's some time... and loved it. I still remember the delicious dinner and breakfast on the canal. But...
that's the only thing we did in Colmar so our memories were positive.

I still don't want to go back to Madrid despite all the reminders of the great art collections.
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 04:58 PM
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without a doubt.............Lourdes, France was the worst place ever I have visited in all of my European trips.
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 05:30 PM
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I forgot to mention Christiania, an area in Copenhagen.
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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Frankfurt
Antwerp
And it pains me to write this as two of our children were born in Belarus, but Minsk. We found Gomel and Mozyr to be charming with friendly people, but Minsk seemed to have no soul and felt like a police state. Probably the unfriendliest place I've ever been. It didn't help that the consulate urged us to get our children out while we still could.

Luxembourg-I have very, very fond memories of living in Luxembourg during the mid 90s. Luxembourg City has a large amount of space devoted to beautiful parks, and there are so many quaint little villages in the surrounding countryside. The food was divine. I'd go back in a heartbeat, but to each his own...
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Old Aug 10th, 2013, 06:49 PM
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Vienna, though to be fair, we visited on a holiday weekend (Corpus Christi). It's beautiful and certainly has its share of world class museums, palaces, churches, etc. Wonderful coffee and desserts. We rented a great apartment we liked. But there was absolutely nothing that would draw me to return. We never got any sense of the soul of the place at all.

Positano (hold the fire, folks!). I don't regret going and have returned to the AC twice since visiting Positano, but I just didn't fall in love... At all. Positano is way too expensive of a place to frequent if you don't love it. Give me Naples or Capri (after the last ferry) any day.

Salzburg, but it may be DQd because I've actually been twice for a total stay of around a week. It's a lovely town, but once you've seen it thoroughly, it's a bit stale. The music festival in August or the Christmas Market are the only reasons I'd return.
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