South Australia

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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weekly photo challenge: summer lovin’

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What says summer lovin’ to us?

In this picture:

The beach and sand shows summer 

PLUS

The act of kissing shows love

TOGETHER THIS EQUALS 

SUMMER LOVIN’

We snapped this photo while in Kangaroo Island over one Australian summer. Travelling together… that is OUR LOVE.

weekly photo challenge: between

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Sharing this photo for the challenge: driving “between” the trees on Kangaroo Island, Australia.

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saw no kangaroos on this island

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Initially we had planned to drive around Adelaide, jump on the ferry to Kangaroo Island and drive around Kangaroo Island. What we learnt though while booking is that the car hire insurance does not cover the ferry trip across. That was not a risk we were willing to take so we booked a 2-day tour instead which was pretty jam packed. The drive to Cape Jervis was painfully long, not “leisurely” at all as advertised. It was probably twice as painful on the way back!

Day 1 –

The tour began at the Emu Ridge Eucalyptus Distillery before moving onto the Seal Conservation Park which was a main reason we wanted to come to Kangaroo Island. It was pretty cool being able to see the seals on the sand, although from a distance of about 30 metres away. The photos in the brochures all show the spectators (would-be us) standing much closer than what you are actually allowed! Oh well, guess its for animal and human safety! There was also a visit to a sheep dairy farm, Pardana Wildlife Park and a Birds of Prey show.

Seal Conservation Park
Seal Conservation Park

 

Day 2 –

A busy day starting at Clifford’s Honey Farm where we tried a non-alcoholic honey drink and the homemade ice-cream. Yummmmm! We also visited the limestone formations of Kelly Hill Caves which was amazing! As we were walking through the caves, the tour guide switched off all the lights and showed us how dark the caves were. She was explaining how when they were originally explored by candlelight, so imagine what would have happened as the candle began to shrink in size! We’ve never had that experience before where our eyes don’t adjust to the darkness, well simply because it can’t! When there is absolutely no light, our eyes can’t adjust to the limited lighting so all we see is blackness. Spooky spooky spooky! Last stops for the day were the aptly named Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch. At the latter stop, we were fortunate to view New Zealand fur seals in their natural environment being very very playful!

 

Kelly Hill Caves
Kelly Hill Caves
Remarkable Rocks
Remarkable Rocks