quote:travelling is all about the little moments, if you loose sight of those, a church is just a church, no matter what city it is in.
When I first visited Venice in my 20’s I was underwhelmed. It was cold and rainy and the bleak, damp atmosphere did not do much for my 20 year old self. I don’t think I gave it much of a chance.
When I returned many years later, we did a lot of walking all over the place. I fell in love with it and I know I would still love no matter what season.
I have very much enjoyed repeat visits to capitals such as London, Madrid, Paris and Rome—especially Rome, even with my awful human-sandwich bus #64 experience. Didn’t turn me off Rome; it was all part of the deal,I met plenty of gentlemanly Romans.
Of course it is good to get off the beaten path (though for me that would not be well-trod Positano) but obviously the urban energy of the great cities of Europe is going to feel different from hanging out in some quaint coastal village.
Getting off the beaten path within a large city can be rewarding. It’s about timing, being both receptive and resilient, making friends and yeah, maybe lifting a glass or two.
Some of the warmest, friendliest people I met were in Scotland, also Greece.
Disappointments – London (major), Rome (slight), Venice (major), Berlin (major)
Better than expected – Paris, Cinque Terre, Krakow, Budapest, Prague
Met expectations – Interlaken, Munich, Florence
I thought the French would be major, er, assholes, but if you speak the language (which I do), or even if you make a really lousy attempt at it, they will be much more receptive. Paris, and France in general, was absolutely amazing.
Overall I consider Germany the biggest let-down, I guess it’s just not my type of place. Hamburg probably rivals Wichita in the "interesting" category (No offense to you Wichitaians).
I completely hate that ‘I feel like a tourist’ feeling and walking around and looking at cathedrals, museums, etc. just doesn’t do it for me anymore. As cool as it is to look at famous sights and wander the streets of a new city, it just gets boring for me after awhile.
For me travel is all about the people I meet and and the mischief we get up to in our adopted cities. Now that I’ve discovered this about myself it’s difficult to have any expectations at all because who knows who I’ll meet! But if I’m travelling alone I will put in a lot of effort when choosing a hostel in an attempt to get a friendly place with a good vibe that is hopefully well known as a good meeting place.
I suppose it’s easy to be let down by a major site if you go into it thinking it’s going to blow you away with it’s beauty. But it’s much easier, in my opinion, to head into a city with few plans and no expectations just hoping to go with the flow.
Works for me!
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