I have compiled my own list of eagerly anticipated treasures that failed to live up to their billing. As a note of clarification, disillusionment is probably a better choice of words than disappointment.
Here’s a list in alphabetical order.
1. The Alamo – The onetime mission and fortress is today a museum in
Somehow that detracts from the aura of the destination.
3. Island of Capri – All those exotic stories about Caligula, and others like him, conjure images of Roman decadence in a location surrounded by the sea and drenched in glorious Italian sunshine. Although
4. The Channel Tunnel — The 31.4 mile Channel Tunnel is one of the great architectural achievements in history. Linking Folkestone in the
While the tunnel is an amazing accomplishment, the ride through the darkness from one side of the
The nearly 200-foot tower underwent restoration between 1990 and 2001 to reduce the degree to which the tower leans. Unfortunately, there’s little else to do in
6. The Little Mermaid – The operative word here is “little.” The statue has been a symbol of the city of
When seen in photographs, the Little Mermaid appears larger in scale than its actual dimensions.
Head for the
8. The Mona Lisa – It is the most recognized painting in the world. Mona Lisa’ssmile has been the subject of speculation for hundreds of years. Many experts believe it is the portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. As with other members of this list, size matters, and the diminutive nature of the work leaves many visitors discussing its dimensions rather than its genius.
9. Plymouth Rock – William Bradford is said to have been the first of the Mayflower pilgrims to step ashore in 1620, and the site of
Truthfully, Plymouth Rock could be more accurately described as Plymouth Pebble. Plymouth Rock shares the problem of diminished size with The Little Mermaid, which minimizes its reputation.
10. Pyramids — The Pyramids of Egypt have been around for nearly 5,000 years. Little wonder they have been the focus of archaeological and historical curiosity for centuries. Sadly, the hordes of beggars and street hawkers are more prevalent than flies on honey at the site.
Though compassion is desirable, when a traveler yields to his emotions, there is no escaping the throngs that will surround him. So prevalent and insistent are the
beggars that it becomes virtually impossible to enjoy the historic monuments that rise before you.
The destinations and attractions in this list are unquestionably worthy of their notoriety. Unfortunately, outside influences have relegated many of them to little more than curiosities.
The greatest joy of travel is discovery. As someone once wrote, “every place is undiscovered until you discover it yourself.” Take time to explore. Absorb the world through your pores. You may be amazed at what you “discover” for yourself.
Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in
Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.
As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 69 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want to know where he has been, check his list on Facebook.
Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in
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