Saturday, August 18, 2007

Must see

What are the world's top ten most disappointing tourist attractions? Virgin Travel Insurance asked over 1,200 British adults what they thought, and it turns out they are a jaded bunch.

The top two most disappointing sights globally are in Paris: the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. I visited both for the first time just over a year ago. The Eiffel Tower is a big old open work tower. I had pretty low expectations to start with, but I have to admit it looked pretty darn cool. Now, if you had your heart set on going up in that thing, I guess it would be disappointing to wait for hours and fork out a shed load of money. We just walked up to it and had a look, that was free. The best thing about the Eiffel Tower is seeing it from different vantage points while you're in Paris. For that, check out Anglofille's fab collection of Eiffel shots

2006-04-30 102 crop
My crappy picture of the Eiffel Tower

Or you could always go to Vegas.

The Louvre on the other hand. If you don't like the Louvre, you just have no soul. I guess if you were expecting to find the burial place of Mary Magdalene and get some kind of divine revelation while being chased by an albino monk then I could see why you might be disappointed.

The rest of the list includes the Statue of Liberty, the White House (I was disappointed I didn't get to go in), and the Spanish Steps in Rome - which I admit were a bit anti-climactic.

The British list of disappointments include Stonehenge. I concur wholeheartedly. And my expectations were lowered time and time again. I will say that Stonehenge is a lot bigger than I imagined (not disappointing), but you can't get anywhere near the darn things (very disappointing) - and you have to pay a bunch to park. We drove out to Stonehenge during the hundred degree heat wave of 2003 - so it wasn't that bad since the car had AC but our house - just like pretty much every other house in the UK did not.

There was also a list of must-sees - and on the global list the only thing I have seen - the Grand Canal in Venice, well...I could take it or leave it.


Anglofille said...

Thanks Vol! :)

I don't see how anyone could think the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre are disappointing. If you're standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and you aren't amazed by it, there's something seriously wrong with you.

I really just think this is anti-French bias on the part of the British tourists. I can understand not liking the French (heh) but the city of Paris is stunning.

Vol-in-Law said...

I think it's the insane British compulsion to queue and go into things that cost money. The Eiffel tower is great to look at - from the outside! Even Stonehenge must be pretty cool if you just drive past it. It's the parking, paying, queuing, herded like cattle stuff that sucks.

"John Galt" said...

I must have visited Stonehenge on an off day. Granted, it is a bit of a hike from the car park but the barrier ropes were relatively close to the stones and I didn't feel like I missed anything by not actually touching them.

Light crowds. All in all an enjoyable day on Salisbury Plain.

Vol Abroad said...

err, when I went to Stonehenge the barriers were closer to the parking lot than to the stones. We were really far away.

"John Galt" said...

Twenty metres, tops. Mostly less.