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Travel experiences that don't turn out to be as great as you hoped

Travel experiences that don't turn out to be as great as you hoped

Old May 3rd, 2024, 02:10 AM
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Disappointing Private Vatican museums tour

The Vatican Museums and Sixtine Chapel private after hours tour. Yes, believe it or not.
I'm not new to private tours and I've seen many guiding styles. The guide we were assigned was not willing to adapt to our interests and almost looked annoyed at our questions, and insisted on stopping in places we weren't interested in instead. It was obvious that we were supposed to be following the exact same route than the guide 25 meters further - but that's OK, I can understand that sometimes sites need to stick to strict order and timings.

When we finally reached the Sixtine Chapel there were other groups there, all of them with the "after hours" tickets. They sell it as if it was going to be just you and your guide, but it was fine, there was enough room for privacy and enjoyment. The problem was that our guide preferred to talk about other artists that did the lower frescos rather than focusing on the masterpiece of Michelangelo. Thanks god I had done some research and was able to share my notes with my friend, because I was expecting the guide to describe the Sixtine Chapel vaults and tell us stories about Michelangelo, and point at unique details... and none of that happened. SO FRUSTRATING!

We ended up asking her if we were allowed to get closer to the Last Judgement (we were), and just ignored her trying to bring our attention to other stuff. Lady: this is a once in a lifetime experience for us, we came to see Michelangelo, not what you insist in showing us!

The experience was supposed to end with dinner... which was terrible. Dry pasta, meh appetizers... But we ate it just to be polite, and we left with the stomach full of bad food and having ruined the opportunity of enjoying a wonderful dinner somewhere else in Rome. Had I known I would have just accepted the glass of wine and left.
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Old May 6th, 2024, 07:42 PM
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Eks, do know how Otherchelibi is doing? He wrote such interesting posts about his home city of Istanbul.
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Old May 7th, 2024, 03:36 AM
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That's awful about the Sistine Chapel tour..I thought about that but I remember it was very expensive....

Happy, I don't know.....he was great about Turkey.
So many regulars have gone and I fear what that means.

Remember when Ira would post many times a day?
Then he only talked politics, and then began taking cruises.
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Old May 7th, 2024, 09:34 AM
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Disappointing: Every Ferris wheel ride I have taken.
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Old May 24th, 2024, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by AJPeabody
Disappointing: Every Ferris wheel ride I have taken.
Do they just go round and round?
What about carousels?
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Old Jun 14th, 2024, 12:05 AM
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Athens really felt like the third world in some parts. Anything but the ancient monuments is a drab concrete jungle. Dirty street, druggies literally lying on the pavement. The people weren't as friendly as expected either but at least they weren't rude like Munich locals. I bet the islands of Greece are nicer but now I know why even Australian expats of Greek origin who have lived in Athens move back to Australia once they discover it doesn't live up to its ancient glory. I mean Rome probably doesn't as well but even the modern city has a lot going for it.

Bucharest was mostly drab, a completely passable meh city. It isn't even worth it if you like commie/Modernist architecture, skip it and go to Bratislava for that. And in terms of classical + commie architecture Budapest is much nicer in any way. The locals were on the unfriendly side as well. I hated that I had to stay at the same hotel for whole 3 days as that meant passing by the unfriendly staff. I'm planning a new trip and this time I will stay in 2, 3 or even 4 different hotels for the duration of 4 days to prevent having to deal with that (and to see how each hotel compares for further trips in the area).

Munich didn't look as nice in real life. Kinda meh and drab I'd say. The classical old buildings somehow look fake as in reconstructed/too manicured. And it's the place with the rudest locals I've been to in Europe so far! Literally minutes after my arrival I had an incident of in-your-face rudeness at the subway train. I promptly left the train, took some photos (now deleted ofc) and went out of town as fast as possible. I cancelled all my plans to visit the TV tower, Oktoberfest etc. Thank God I was based in Augsburg as there the locals weren't as rude and the old town actually looks better. Still, it's no Salzburg.

I wouldn't return to Munich, Athens or Bucharest if you pay me. 3 days were way too long for each I felt. Heck, 40 minutes were too much for Munich in my case. If you feel locals are rude from the very first encounters don't waste your time and money there is my philosophy. Dresden was also uninspiring.
From my own country: Ruse and Plovdiv. Just can't vibe with those two, I know they have beauty but they feel so wrong every time I'm there. Bad vibes, and in Ruse the locals seemed crazy, rude or both. Like in Munich I had a shocking encounter in my first 10 minutes there.

On the other hand I felt surprisingly nice in Arbanasi, Pavlikeni and even the industrian city of Gorna Oryahovitsa. They're all around Veliko Tarnovo.

Last edited by tanek; Jun 14th, 2024 at 12:13 AM.
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