Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tourists and their expectations, or did the Eiffel Tower let you down?


Last week on my ABC radio spot we were discussing the topic of the expectations you have when you travel. In particular, we talked about some of the "big ticket" tourist attractions and how they often didn't - or couldn't! - live up to your expectations once you arrived.

I have to say that on the whole, nothing in this world has let me down too much when I've travelled - but often that's because I've read or seen enough beforehand so that my expectations are realistic. Things you often hear people complain about - the Mona Lisa is tiny, the pyramids are right next to the city - are also things I knew about before I got there (although the Mona Lisa still was really rather small!). It's important not to build up a famous sight in your head too much before you arrive - after all, it's only a building/statue/painting/monument, so don't make it into anything more than that and you won't be disappointed.

On a more positive note our conversation then turned to places we had been surprised by. I immediately thought of my experience walking the cliffs of Cornwall - England certainly wasn't the dull, dreary place I always expect on that trip! In fact, I've been pleasantly surprised (or sometimes quite overwhelmed!) by more than a few places. My trip to Tunisia stands out as a highlight there - it was a trip taken merely because Vienna to Tunis were the only flights left for the busy Christmas period, and I then discovered Tunisia is simply one of the most fascinating countries on the planet. Taiwan was similar - I only went there because it was close to Japan (where I lived at the time), and I only knew that it was the place where half my belongings had been "made in". Yet it was a country with beautiful scenery, delicious food and super-friendly people.

But over to you - have any tourist attractions ever let you down? Or the reverse, has anywhere really surprised you? Let me know in the comments.

2 comments:

  1. I haven't been really let down by any tourist site except ones that have been closed for some reason. Recently we were in Copnehagen and found that the Little Mermaid had shifted to China for the year!

    What day are you on the ABC? I am a big ABC fan these days and have never heard you. I would love to listen.

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  2. Oh yes, good point, a closed sign can be pretty disappointing. I'd heard that about the Little Mermaid - crazy!!

    Eek, you're a country person so you could actually hear me! (I've always liked to imagine I'm speaking to nobody - that way I don't get nervous!). Well ... I'm on the afternoon Drive show about 3.40pm every second Thursday, not today. Just promise not to ring in and harass me!!

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