"Well, Mom, it wasn't Europe..."

May 4th, 2006, 11:56 AM
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There's no art, history or museums in DC?
obxgirl is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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Don't get me wrong, I am a pedigreed European. My father was born on the island of Tenedos in the Aegean, and my mother's ancestors came over on the Mayflower¹.

But if all you saw was some rock art and an "ancient drainage ditch" you missed Arizona altogether. Tant pis pour vous.

I don't think the monuments of Europe hold a candle to things like the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, Painted Desert, or Petrified Forest for jaw-dropping beauty.

¹ There's a fair chance that my great...grandfather John Hicks fired the shot that kicked off the American Revolution at Concord Bridge.
Robespierre is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 12:17 PM
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Obxgirl: I've been to D.C. several times, I've seen the museums and studied the history. Interesting, but the city itself is over-rated. But everybody to their own preferences ...
Marsha is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 12:23 PM
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I am just curious what about DC makes it "overrated"? Who "rated" it to begin with?

Judging cities/countries/continents is probably like judging people... you will always end up offending.

I like DC, I like Europe, I liked my time in Japan, New Zealand -- as I said before I just try to judge things by their own merits. By the way, I am not trying to act superior to anyone, I have my share of whiny moments when something doesn't live up to my expectations... I just don't really think we should "rate" destinations as broadly. Every place is interesting to someone (it just is unfortunate when you visit a place that isn't that to you).
lizzy911 is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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Those citing the U.S.'s natural beauty as rivalling or surpassing Europe's may be right. However, what excites me about the European countryside that is hard to come by in the U.S. is the manmade touches that complete the scene. The little gothic church in a fold of hills, or the ivy covered manse, or the ancient arch of a bridge. I may be a romantic, but give me any of those over the Grand Canyon any day.
Guy18 is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 12:33 PM
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Robespierre, you are correct -- I did not take that trip to see the sites, but to meet my paternal grandparents for the first time, and only had 4 days, so did not devote much time to sightseeing.

Perhaps a subsequent trip will change my mind (though I hate the heat!)

And yes, the grand canyon is breathtaking (yes, I've seen it, but only in a plane). But those you listed are natural wonders... my fascination tends to the manmade, for some reason.

BTW, I have a couple Mayflower ancestors as well....
GreenDragon is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 12:38 PM
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It's the first time that I read such a thread on Fodors (and I am posting here for some years!) because I am European (German) and do not feel that I could contribute much.

One thing I realised while reading this (interesting thread) is that most Americans visit European cities, maybe smaller towns, but almost never the natural wonders in Europe. How wonderful for us Europeans! ;-) We can have them all for ourselves, LOL! The result is the praising of the American Natural Beauty and European cities, art and culture.
Ingo is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 12:39 PM
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Pish and tosh! Once I'm there for the manmade stuff, I take in the natural wonders, too -- had a great time in Snowdonia and the highlands, and now this summer will relax on the Burren in Ireland. So there!
GreenDragon is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 12:51 PM
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Nicely put lizzy911. I agree with you. It's quite the minority opinion on this forum however.
obxgirl is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 01:14 PM
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A very interesting thread with many fine answers but none that I find resonate with me.

I prefer to vacation in Europe rather than in the Americas or Asia.

If it were simply a matter of history then certainly China has a civilization that rivals any European nation.

Nor am I a big fan of "natural wonders" and I'll leave it to others to debate whether the Alps, the Rockies or the Juangshan Mountains are more beautiful. I've seen all three and they seem equally interesting (which is to say only slightly).

Nor is it ethnicity since I'm a mixed race Anglo-Chinese descended on my fathers side from John R. who died fighting the Danes in the Army of Prince Edmund Ironside in the year 968 C.E. and on my mothers side from Wu Ti, emperor from 119 to 115 BCE.

Nor is it being comfortable with the language since, besides English, I speak a half dozen including both Chinese and French.

Its not the food since I prefer Asian cuisines and find all of them more to my liking than anything European or American.

And, finally, its not the general culture or people since I find that no matter where you go people are essentially the same, do basically the same things, and react generally in the same way. The differences are interesting but are notable primarily because they are so minor.

Anyway, I await more answers to the OP to help me figure it out for myself.

Rillifane is offline  
May 4th, 2006, 01:23 PM
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It's the history and the architecture, and often the scenery - the "pleasing to the eye" aspect - that makes Europe my favorite destination.

That said, I'm growing very fond of San Francisco, I love Boston, I adored Montréal on my first trip back there a few years ago, and Philadelphia is growing on me big time.

Southern California, Florida, Hawaii, the Bahamas...waste of time and money for me...
StCirq is offline  
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