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Big Ben's 'not very big', the
Grand Canyon is 'meh' and Colosseum
visitors should 'watch Gladiator instead'*

Original Article

Posted By: MissMolly, 1/2/2020 10:02:18 AM

The Grand Canyon, Stonehenge and the Colosseum are all historic landmarks that millions wish to tick off their bucket lists - unless, that is, they are some of the unimpressed visitors who have left scathing one-star reviews on TripAdvisor. While some may consider Britain's Stonehenge an incredible feat, others merely see it as 'just a pile of rocks'. Disgruntled sightseers have taken to the travel website to leave a series of one and two-star reviews, branding Kew Gardens 'just a bunch of expensive trees', Hadrian's Wall as a 'heap of stones', and the Old Bailey 'just a big building that sends people off to the nick'.

Comments:

*Tripadvisor's daftest complaints are revealed after tourists slammed 'glorified violence' of Tower of London

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Reply 1 - Posted by: Strike3 1/2/2020 10:22:40 AM (No. 276407)
The joke is on the tourists for not researching these places before spending thousands of dollars to see "a pile of rocks." Much like the Disney attractions, travel destinations are so overhyped and overpriced that one can't help but feel taken and let down unless they choose wisely.
10 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: WhamDBambam 1/2/2020 10:25:03 AM (No. 276409)
Perhaps these visitors suffer from the poverties of lack of education and imagination.
21 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: earlybird 1/2/2020 10:37:54 AM (No. 276420)
They should really stay home and watch it on TV. Perfect travel venue for them, slouching in their La-Z-Boy in their wifebeater and jockey shorts, slurping a brew and munching popcorn. No travel woes, no hotels, no nothing Or is it know nothing?
13 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: ZeldaFitzg 1/2/2020 10:54:33 AM (No. 276435)
Historical context makes all the difference in travel. Having said that, some travel destinations are highly over-rated. Pick and choose the kinds of destinations that appeal to you. For example, our trips to Ireland and Scotland revealed that we are more impressed and happy when in the countryside. When we travel to England, we plan to make the countryside a focus and may avoid long time in Londonistan. Ten years ago, it might have been the reverse. Also to consider is your mode of travel. Long bus tours, for example, just wear us out, leaving us unable to slow down and appreciate what we are seeing. We have come to enjoy cruises on the small river ships. Having said that, our favorite is to stay in one or two locations and do focused side trips from there. Renting a car is top notch. So analyze your preferences and adjust to fit. We are traveling to Russia this summer----St. Petersburg and Moscow and countryside points in between, but we will have done our homework on the sights we hope to see.
16 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: Chuzzles 1/2/2020 10:59:45 AM (No. 276445)
Yet another result of refusing to educate our young in the history and context of these monuments they visit. Just the task of building some of these colossals in their day without modern machinery is amazing. The lawyers who practiced law at the Old Bailey set the stage for much of the legal system we now take for granted. Like having legal representation available when you get thrown into the slammer.
10 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: volksford 1/2/2020 11:00:01 AM (No. 276446)
Plymouth Rock...a real dud
9 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: NorthernDog 1/2/2020 11:01:37 AM (No. 276448)
To each his own. I was mesmerized by Crater Lake. Other tourists wondered why it was 'half empty',oblivious to the fact that much of the lake exceeds 1,000 feet in depth.
10 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: Highlander 1/2/2020 11:34:10 AM (No. 276476)
I can definitely say that Niagara Falls wasn’t nearly as big as it looked in the movies.
4 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: BeatleJeff 1/2/2020 11:44:34 AM (No. 276485)
This is why you take on-line reviews with a grain of salt. Anyone throwing down a one star review is either intellectually lazy, is pushing an agenda, or else is an insufferable crank.
7 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: Clinger 1/2/2020 12:19:57 PM (No. 276525)
So here's a theory, more of proposed law of human behavior: The more impressed you are with yourself, the less likely you will be to be impressed by the achievements of others and the grandeur of nature.
14 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: Kate318 1/2/2020 12:48:17 PM (No. 276550)
Interesting that most of these reviews came from non-Americans. I have traveled quite a bit and I have always found the “ugly American” phenomenon to be a myth. Americans are usually quite polite, friendly, and deferential. Most non-Americans are rude, arrogant, and completely oblivious to anyone outside of themselves. That being said, I do agree with some of these assessments. Most must-sees can never live up to the hype. My exceptions are Pompeii, Newgrange, the Vatican, Notre Dame, The David, The Highlands in Scotland, and yes, The Grand Canyon. Anyone who cannot appreciate The Grand Canyon needs to take #3’s suggestions.
7 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: Jennie C. 1/2/2020 1:19:42 PM (No. 276567)
You don't see Big Ben, you hear it. Big Ben is the bell, not the clock tower. I'll confess that I didn't enjoy Stonehenge as much as I'd hoped, because they wouldn't let us anywhere near it. The Roman walls that still exist in London were pretty cool. Even though it was November, and the days were terribly short, I loved England, especially Dover Castle and the Tower.
3 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: LadyHen 1/2/2020 1:23:25 PM (No. 276569)
Some folks should just stay home and watch tv. While obviously some sites are more initially impressive than others, all the listed tourist site are sites for a reason and learning the history and story behind them is key. And really, if the Grand Canyon does not impress you, you probably also require regular watering and occasionally some fertilizer.
7 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: kono 1/2/2020 1:55:23 PM (No. 276581)
After a generation of Hollywood treating fact and fiction as freely interchangeable, and steady improvements in the realism of special effects, movies are widely perceived as being either just as real as life, or even more real. We are headed in a direction that could blur the line between reality and realistic, and you probably already know somebody who actually believes The Matrix is revealed truth. When virtual reality becomes difficult to distinguish from reality, virtual tourism may replace actual tourism. And tourists might anticipate travel agencies offering 'improved' or 'enhanced' tour packages that promise to eliminate the elements of a trip that previous customers reported to be unsatisfying.
1 person likes this.

Reply 15 - Posted by: Vaquero45 1/2/2020 2:25:34 PM (No. 276609)
I've traveled some over the years to different continents and countries (I won't count that trip to S.E. Asia that the Marine Corps sent me on) and I've left a few reviews on Trip Advisor. I'm always amazed at some of the brainless things people complain about when they travel. Sometimes I feel like writing to them and asking "well, of course - what did you expect?" When traveling, sometimes you just have to expect the unexpected and roll with the punches. That said, I wasn't impressed with the Colosseum either. Although it's being "restored", I have a feeling that when they're done, it still won't be that impressive.
3 people like this.

Reply 16 - Posted by: DVC 1/2/2020 3:27:33 PM (No. 276660)
So? Some people are fools, why is that surprising?
4 people like this.

Reply 17 - Posted by: Terry_tr6 1/2/2020 3:30:49 PM (No. 276663)
what we were most impressed with in our trip to scotland were the cliffs and Dunnottar castle on the east coast and Urquhart castle on Loc Ness. How they were built in that kind of land way back then is unbelievable. Take good walking shoes especially if you want to the the path to up to Dunnottar!
3 people like this.

Reply 18 - Posted by: ussjimmycarter 1/2/2020 3:46:59 PM (No. 276673)
If you have been to the Grand Canyon and not had your breath taken away, you are dead inside! My wife and I hired a personal guide for the day. When I saw it I saw catastrophe! Noah’s Flood! It is spectacular! Then he brought us out through The Painted Desert and back to Sedona! Awesome fun! He does horseback tours into the Nevada Desert too! Next on our list!
4 people like this.

Reply 19 - Posted by: Folsomguy 1/2/2020 5:17:54 PM (No. 276737)
I think many of the man-made places mentioned aren't meant to be "impressive"; they're meant to be a reflection of our history. Now the Grand Canyon...that's another story.
2 people like this.

Reply 20 - Posted by: BigGeorgeTX 1/2/2020 8:38:51 PM (No. 276875)
As long as you recognize that all the exciting footage on The Travel Channel and other venues touting the magnificent wonders in the world are specially selected photo ops, often unavailable to the casual traveler, promoting travel to places you wouldn't likely go see otherwise. Travel can be exciting but, more often than not, an extreme letdown from expectations. Certainly something left to those with deep pockets, who can afford to travel at a higher level than the majority. There's still so much here in the USA I want to see, and I don't have to travel thousands of miles, or spend thousands on airfare, to do so.
2 people like this.

Reply 21 - Posted by: DVC 1/3/2020 1:43:56 AM (No. 277077)
Excellent advice #4, but watch out driving in Russia, they are really, REALLY crazy there, we always hired a driver. And the train from St. Pete to Moscow is pretty good, actually, German built and at least some of the track permits high speed, although it has to go slow on a lot of it. St. Pete is pretty interesting, make an effort to get to a ballet, and the Hermitage will take two days to see even half way well. St, Isaacs is impressive, but no Russians did much, all imported craftsmen. Take the roof tour, it's worth it if you can climb a jillion stairs. But, IMO, Moscow is pretty overrated. There are a couple of halfway decent museums, and St. Basils and the Kremlin Museum are well worth the time, but not much else. There are a couple of halfway decent aerospace museums (no English on the displays). Actually, spending a few hours in the beautiful shopping center (GUM) adjacent to Red Square, opposite the Kremlin wall and Lenin's tomb (don't bother) is pleasant, although prices are pretty high. Take the time to walk the Arbat, lots of standard Rooskie souvenirs, more reasonable prices, and sometimes they have some interesting art installations in the center walkaway of this long, linear shopping district. TGIFridays on Tverskaya is excellent, if you want some pretty decent approximation of American food. DO NOT drink the water in Moscow, only bottled, and that goes for any ice in a drink, too, even in fancy restaurants. No matter what they tell you.
0 people like this.

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