USA

our top 5 disappointing travel sights and what we learnt

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Hmmm… this post may not go down well but heck, we’ll put it out there and see who else agrees or disagrees.

We read this article recently about the most disappointing travel destinations. And we thought it was a little harsh because we tend to try to see a place for more than just the “tourist”-hype and labels that it has been given.

But then it did get us thinking about how we have been underwhelmed at times during our travels. Our disappointments aren’t blanketed to an entire place but more to a few sights.

Our disappointment with buying what we thought was water only to discover it was sparkling water.
Our disappointment with buying what we thought was water only to discover it was sparkling water.

Here are our Top 5 Travel Disappointing Sights. But please read to the end before jumping to conclusions.

5) Pamukkale

Yes, we recently wrote about how we enjoyed our time there but when we first laid our eyes on it. Were we disappointed? Hell yeh! It wasn’t anywhere as inviting as the pictures we have seen of it. The colours were not as romantic (thanks to PhotoShop no doubt). The pictures that sell Pamukkale are WAY better – but it’s not to say that it’s not worth visiting because it certainly is!

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4) The Statue of Liberty

Really? That’s it? We were expecting something taller and bigger and a little more exciting. Maybe we have been brain washed by too many Hollywood flicks where the big scary apocalyptic wave crashes dramatically into the statue. Okay – so that is us being gullible.

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3) Sea Lions on Kangaroo Island

Sorry that we have to drag out a local tourist draw card. Let’s start by saying that the scenery is definitely spectacular and what we experienced was no doubt enjoyable on Kangaroo Island.

One thing, we were really looking forward to seeing were the sea lions, relaxing on the beach and we did but as tiny little specks out by the water’s edge. We can completely understand that we need to keep our distance for the protection of the wildlife as well as humans but the distance was so far, we could barely see a thing without our camera zoom.

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2) The Terracotta Warriors

Not that they weren’t impressive because they are. It’s just the atmosphere and ambience of the place does not exude significance or excitement. It didn’t stir any thrill inside or “pinch me I’m here” feelings. We can’t quite place our fingers on it but we found it a little anticlimactic. Fascinating but anticlimactic.

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And the MOST disappointing sight?

1) Spanish Steps

Hawkers hassling us to buy roses and bubble guns as we stand in front of stairs that are covered in people. So where are the steps? We can’t even see them because of the bodies scattered. All the while being harassed to buy a rose… yeh, it has to be the most over-rated and underwhelming place we have seen. We probably spent a total of 5 minutes there before we were literally chased away by a hawker … to pay for the rose that he threw at us which we didn’t even want!

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And anyway, to be fair and honest, we are to blame! We hype these things up in our heads only to be disappointed and then try to blame the place. Uh-uh *shaking head*…. The problem is ours not the sight itself!

Our solution to avoiding disappointment: Don’t have any expectations.

We have learnt to realise that an experience is more than just an impression. And what we describe above are just impressions. Because overall our experience in all these places were nothing short of unbelievable.

  • We loved Pamukkale… actually we loved very drop of Turkey.
  • We were dazzled by NYC … we want to go back.
  • We love how untainted Kangaroo Island is…. we would stay longer next time.
  • We were enchanted by Rome… we yearn to go back.
  • We were mystified by Xi’an… we remember it fondly.

So it just shows that a “disappointment” of an attraction does not necessarily equate to negative feelings on an entire place. What about the atmosphere, the culture, the people, the food and everything else beyond the well-renowned must-sees?

Go somewhere to experience it, not just to see it! 

Maybe we will need to have a follow up post on our top 5 least disappointing or our top 5 favourite sights 🙂

So do you agree with any of the places? Or do you have somewhere else you want to include? 

Feel free to comment here

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national parks in the usa: bryce canyon

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There are almost 60 National Parks in the USA and one of our travel goals would be to see each of them. We have barely touched the surface with what we have seen. It would be great if we could grow a “national parks series” in our blog to cover them all one day 🙂

One of the ones we have visited is Bryce Canyon National Park. And we absolutely loved what we saw and would go back to the area in a heartbeat!

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Bryce Canyon, located in southwest of Utah and named after a Mormon pioneer, was listed as a national park in 1928. According to the National Park Service website, it is small in comparison to other national parks. Smaller or not, it is a sight that you will have to see for yourself to believe.

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As we stand at the rim and look down… all we can see are these unusual, red rocky “spires”, known as hoodoos. There are thousands of them. We have never seen anything like it before. It literally made us “ooh” and “ahh” as we snap our photos.

The area is said to be filled with wildlife but much to our disappointment, we didn’t see any except maybe a bird that looked like a raven in flight.

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From Sunset Point, there is a trail that winds down so we could walk amongst the rocks. Standing beside rocks this size, we felt so small and insignificant. It was rather daunting to walk down and then look back at the rim. It just seemed like we were in really deep.

The sun and colour of the rocks make for some serious glare, so be sure to have sunglasses with you. We were here in October but the weather was as perfect as any summer we could imagine.

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Then to end the day, we were granted skies like this…. Ahhhh…. how can we simply NOT love this place?

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It is because places like this exist, we just realise how much we love nature and just want to keep seeing more!

Have you visited Bryce Canyon National Park?

Share your thoughts here.

 

weekly photo challenge: descent

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Sorting through our photos, we realise we take more photos going up then down. But we managed to locate one of a descent from our trip to New York a few years back for the weekly photo challenge.

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 Snapped just before we descend some stairs in New York City Public Library. Photograph in black and white for a Halloween mood 🙂

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend!

We welcome your comments.

weekly photo challenge: fray

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Fray has several meanings and we’ve chosen to go for the battle-fight definition for this week’s photo challenge!

This was taken in 2009 while passing through Yellowstone National Park!

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Have a great weekend, everyone!

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