Has there been somewhere that after you went there you wished you hadn't spent the time or money to do so? Please share.
24 Hours of Le Mans, June 2012. Terrible weather. Unbelievably crowded. So crowded that the two ambulances sent to help people who had fallen off a hill due to the crowds and slick mud couldn't get through. Great seats, but between the race track and the rock band that was rehearsing for their performance that night. They were so loud that we couldn't hear the cars. That's loud. No toilet paper and mega filth in the nearest women's toilets after the race had been going only about 2 hours. Visions of the next few hours were not pretty. We left after about 3 hours. Even my racing-obsessed husband couldn't stand it. We didn't go back the next day. It was an expensive mistake. We won't do it again.
Malta. Then again, if we hadn't gone, we wouldn't know.
I wouldn't say that I regret going to these places, but they certainly aren't somwhere that we would return. They were disappointing but then again we wouldn't know unless we had gone.
Verona. I know so many people on this site love Verona but we just didn't get it. The surrounding countryside was incredible and we had a great winery tour in Valpolicella, but Verona-meh.
Bosnia. There just isn't anything attractive about Bosnia to me. At all.
Ed said it best: nowhere. I haven't ever been anywhere that I regretted going - except JFK airport, but that was just to change planes.
I didn't actually spend a lot of time or money on a tour of the Baltic capitals, it was a relatively inexpensive tour, but I now know they have no attraction for me. I found them dour and joyless. But there you are ..... I spent time in that part of the world and need never return, so not a waste of money.
I'm with Ed on this one.
I have been places that I thought were over-hyped and I was underwhelmed with them, but I never wished I hadn't gone and never truly felt it was a waste of time or money. It's all part of traveling and learning about what (and where) you like or don't like. I've never had a really bad experience such as Lo's and never actually 'hated' a place as George does Budapest. Lucky me!
For me, it's more about things and places I wouldn't do again. However, for everyone of us that doesn't care for a place, there are scores of others that do. We wouldn't go to Rome again on purpose and we won't do another river cruise until mobility becomes a problem, but we have good memories of both. We missed the attraction of Avignon, but I think that was because our guide was clearly feeling unwell and unable to convey the positive points. I do regret subjecting and smushing my husband into a second-class rail seat on our way to St. Andrews immediately after arriving at Heathrow. But, he got to play the Old Course, so he did forgive me. I think I would almost sleep on a park bench to be in Paris again.
I thought I had regretted going to Bamberg but the more I reflected on it I realized it was because I had missed breakfast and was grumpy and would probably have been grumpy no matter where I would have gone. I'm probably going back this year. I'll be less grumpy.
Leeds. Been there twice.
Cleveland (no, only kidding - nearly moved there)
The Berner Oberland during the shoulder season. For all the money I paid in three days, I had perhaps 30 minutes of clear views of the Jungfrau massief. The rest of the time, the cloud cover and fog restricted visibility to about 20 meters. Only one restaurant was open, and their menu was reduced. It rained more than it was dry. And the farmers were busy fertilizing the pastures, so the whole reeked of freshly spread manure. Never again during the shoulder seasons!
I was there for work, not for pleasure, but I see no reason to visit Skopje ever again. It gets my vote for worst capital city in Europe.
Atlanta. Actually, all of Georgia, although once again, business, not pleasure. Except driving through on the way to Florida.
I don't want to start a fight again, so I'll keep my opinion of the state of Ohio to myself this time.
Brussels, not the first time I visited...the second time when I forgot how much I hated the city the first time around.
I regret my participation in a medieval archaeology program in Belgium a few years ago. I did get to see a lot of cities in the country, plus a weekend in Amsterdam, but I spent 40 hours of every week for a month digging in the dirt with other students whose company I couldn't stand. The program was based at the French-speaking Catholic University in Louvain-le-Neuve, a town built in the 1970s as a result of the French-speaking university faction breaking away from the Flemish-speaking faction at UCL in Leuven. L-l-N must be the most boring town in Belgium - no old architecture for miles around. If I could change anything, I would take the amount of money I spent on the program and go to Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki for a week each.
The Edinburgh Zoo. We went to see the penguin parade (not sure if they still have it; this was in 1982). It sounded fun, but was actually hideous - zillions of little kids and their parents all trying to get close to the penguins as they went by. We had taken a bus out to get there, and it consumed way too much of the 24 hours we had in Edinburgh (a quick detour on our England trip). We loved Edinburgh so much, we took a trip to Scotland the next year and spent an entire week in Edinburgh. We definitely did not regret that, and we revisited it years later with our kids. It's still my favorite city.
My first thought was to say "nowhere" like others but then I remembered... Ft. Myers, Florida. Just the memory of it makes me shudder. Spent a week in the Ft. Myers area visiting my in-laws Christmas week 1987. It was 100 degrees and 100% humidity the whole time, day and night. And my father-in-law refused to turn on the a/c... "Costs too much!" It was hell... in so many ways.
Like others, nowhere. On the other hand, I know I've told folks I could have skipped Helsinki!?!
Charles de Gaul airport, Paris, France....hope I never see it again....
Dominican Republic. It was our honeymoon and still we couldn't wait to leave.
We loved the city and our week there. And not only will we return there, but we hope our adult children will go there someday also.
I don't know what George's problem is and why he has been on a personal mission to tell people that they can't go to Budapest.
Really, give it a rest already George.
Where do you get off being the harbinger of approval here?
As so many have said here, there is no right or wrong way to travel.
The Algarve in February.
No where. I always find something interesting every place I have ever been. People that don't, aren't looking very hard. They want the interesting things to come up and smack them right in the face, and when that doesn't happen, they label the place boring. Right under their stuck up noses may be the most fascinating things, but they never discover them. Then they spend time on travel forums telling people there is nothing to see there, in X,Y or Z, so don't bother.
Thought of another place....Cairo. It's noisy, dirty, and I couldn't enjoy the pyramids because of all the aggressive merchants that wouldn't leave me alone for even a second.
The pyramids outside of Mexico City are just as impressive and more satisfying to visit.
Make sure you point out the title of the thread to everyone who posted "nowhere."
You didn't like it, fine. Like I said, where do you get off constantly trashing Budapest, and putting down anyone who likes it?
Is there some anti-Budapest Tourism Agency involved that promotes this?
And most of the faults you find apply to Krakow (which we also enjoyed), and yet you choose to overlook these issues there.
Otter Rock, OR and Harrison Hot Springs, BC. (I also have to agree with H J and say CDG. Utter chaos with a vaguely sinister vibe. Unfortunately, it's occasionally the only viable option.)
CDG seems to be a recurring theme! I spent too many hours on my birthday there once!
Our last trip to the Costa del Sol - it was not Spain anymore - our first trip we loved all of the little towns but the last time we went it was pretty much British or German. We did enjoy some time n the hill towns and a trip to Jerez to the Equestrian School but were very disappointed in the coastal towns!
Geneva... But it was 30 years ago BRS (before Rick Steves). Someone told me it was just a banking modern city but I still went. Not much to do there.
Well last time I went to Honolulu I said "that was a waste of time". I had been there many times before( maybe 8 or 9 times) but this last time was just that.. the last time. Too busy, too dirty, too commercial ( its been like that for last 40 years but its worse now) .. . I don't regret the first 8 or 9 times though.
I would not go out of my way to visit Athens again. The islands yes.. Athens no.
To answer your question which place I "regretted" going to or to put it more accurately, a place I could have done without, this one place for sure after over forty years of traveling in Europe in several countries...Lyon. . Coming to cities/towns/villages in France, Germany, Austria, England, Sweden, Poland, etc, I get a positive feeling, a neutral feeling, ie nothing great or negative, or a negative feeling. Lyon was negative, didn't appeal to me.
On airports in Europe: some are a bit taxing on your patience, where you just have to get used to it, others range from being easy to very easy to adjust to.
I love most everywhere I travel... and the rest I like. If I have a suitcase, my camera and passport I can be happy almost anywhere.
Some places I don't need to visit again, but I have no regrets.
Well, George, I guess you told me.
But why don't YOU read the TOPIC this time -you've never been here.
Although I am certain you would not like it. It's an open-minded community.
This list just goes to show how different we all are... I've been to CDG more times than I can count and it's always been a pleasant experience. Now, Chicago O'Hare was horrible.
I regretted taking the unairconditioned train Istanbul-Athens which took almost 24 hours rather than flying which took about an hour. But hey I saved $20 which was a lot to me in those backpacking days. On the way I did get to watch old Turks play backgammon at lightening speed. So even that dreadful journey had benefits.
Re the comment about the Teotihuacan pyramids being as impressive as those at Giza, it's a big Uh-Uh. No way. Not even close. Cairo is indeed noisy and dirty which is the case with many cities in the Third World. If that disturbs someone then stick to Europe.
Can't say that I've regretted visiting anywhere in Europe. Many places I have no desire to return to again, and a few I just didn't enjoy that much. But no regrets per se.
If you regret going somewhere on vacation, you are doing it wrong!
So far I haven't found any place that I disliked so much that I regretted going. There are a few places that I didn't really care for and don't need to go back to, like Prague and Frankfurt, but I am still glad I went to them. I like going to new places, so I find it hard to think of regretting being anywhere once.
I can't this of a particular place that I regret traveling to at least once. On the other hand, there hotels/lodging where we stayed that we regretted staying at, or the people that we vacationed with. But sometimes the stories that come out of those less than stellar experiences end up being funny travel tails that we talk about years later.
If you differentiate those places you've visited but defintely have no desire to go back, ie, one visit suffices, then that view is not as strong as having visited a certain place and ending up regretting the visit. Of course, it stands to reason that not every place is going to strike you with the same degree of attraction, excitement, or passion. Certain cities/towns in Germany I have visited from a few hours as a day trip or a few days I would have to desire to do a return visit...Duisburg, Hannover, Essen, Kassel, and to a lesser extent Nürnberg and Bremen.
"...wished you hadn't spent the time or money to do so?" That's a very strict definition indeed, still my answer is Lyon.
FWIW, I loved Budapest (but then again, I also wouldn't refuse to fly on a budget airline).
The most disappointing destination on our last trip was probably Munich. It was rainy and very cold (we were there in late October), and there didn't seem to be too much to do or see. For lack of better word, I found it to be very boring. Also, the place we were staying ended up being pretty terrible, which didn't lend itself to a great impression of the city. We spent far less money and had a much better time in Berlin.
I think everywhere in Europe I visited I would return to...
But...we have regretted visiting Philadelphia, but that wasn't Philly's fault really - we arrived kinda late, and it rained and rained...and we didn't have time to do anything...but really feel no need to go back.
And my husband regrets visiting the scary horror UFO tourist trap thing in Niagara Falls (that may not even be there now, this was 2001)...and he chickened out (after trying to force ME to go first thru the dark scary hallway) and we went out the 'chicken/scaredy cat' door. LOL.
My travel regrets are not related to places, but more about certain activities and, especially, decisions about going-A-instead-of-B when time and/or money constrained.
I definitively regret trying to visit a couple mountain facilities (via gondolas/funiculars) on weather that was not great. A few instances I regretted to have spent time and especially money going up mountains that looked beautiful on photos but ended up being a trip into the inner guts of clouds and nothing more. Now, with much more accurate short-term weather forecast, I check it and just don't bother going up if low clouds or fog are expected.
I regret every money I ever spent on the occasions I went to some sort of "live folk dance/music/parade" performance. I just don't like it, I don't find it enticing to watch, it always look cheesy, kitsch, out-of-place-and-time or a combination of these. I deeply regretted the 3 or 4 "cultural experiences" for which I paid that included some sort of 'typical dinning with the folk stuff happening live'. I always went on these activities as invitation of other travel companions, today I just will not go unless it is something my girlfriend wanted to (and she doesn't like these things either, so all the better).
I also regret couple trips where I just stuffed my itinerary too much, and then had to hurry up to just take a glance of 4 nice places instead of enjoying a good visit 2 nice places. Served as a lesson.
Early in life, I would let bad experiences turn me against a place, but now I believe in second chances. My last vacation was a waste of time and money, but that had everything to do with timing and nothing to do with the places we visited. It is hard to enjoy any place during a heatwave, monsoon, blizzard or other weather-related event. A particularly bad event or encounter can ruin your whole outlook on a place. The heat wave across central Europe last August really cut into our enjoyment of Bavaria and Austria, but, like most of the people we encountered, we made the most of the situation. I expect to go back someday, just not in August.
On the other hand, there are quite a few places I would not go to a first time -- life is too short to go everywhere -- but that was not the question.
For me, it was Munich. Been there twice so far and I don't get it. I'll probable give it one more chance and then it'll be three strikes, you're out.
Barcelona. I visited in 1972 on a wonderful three week trip to Spain...the only place I just didn't care for. Tried again in 2013, and despite my best efforts to see the city with no prejudice, it just doesn't make it. I had to google "meh"... and that sums it up. Gretchen, you're more generous than I am...two strikes is enough for me :-) I know that weather or my energy level can influence my reactions, and I try to sort through those variables,and others, carefully when assessing my experience somewhere, but I can safely say that Barcelona simply leaves me cold and that I will not return. An interesting topic...thanks for asking. And safe and happy travels...no matter where.
I think you should give Middlesbrough a miss. There is the Transporter Bridge and that is about it. Other than that, like others I've never regretted going anywhere. Even with my personal bête noire of Paris I'm happy to have tried it, even if when I got there I realised I didn't actually like it.
The only place in the world I have ever regretted going is Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Gray & rainy, many things in disrepair, uber-touristy old town, architecturally uninteresting, roadways falling apart....never want to go back. I had to stay in the area for three weeks and couldn't wait to leave! Quebec City, on the other hand, was spectacular!
Anita, I agree with you about Montreal. It is in a pretty run-down state, and "Old Montreal" is too tourist-driven to be attractive. Add to that the present Premier and her anti-English, anti-immigrant, anti-anything that is not pure French Canadian (though she would object to the use of the word "Canadian") and it is a depressing place to be. I would not suggest it as a tourist destination until things here improve. Still, I like it better than Vilnius!
Ignoring some of the childishness here...
Maybe the OP only meant places in "Europe". I've never regretted going to any destination in Europe other than CDG, where a soldier actually waved his gun at me when I asked why I couldn't go to the train station (he could have told me that the police were dealing with an unattended bag without threatening me, but I found that out later from a nice attendant).
In the US, there are lots of places I won't visit again: Honolulu (it's a dirty city with a really overrated beach that just wants your money), Napa CA (pretty, but really over-the-top pretentious), Myrtle Beach (big tourist trap), Niagara Falls (biggest tourist trap).
I also wasn't a big fan of Montreal, but then again I was there in February on business, so I'd go back and try it again.
The Champs-Elysees in Paris. As good followers of RS, we did the walk one lovely day... and I just didn't get it; we walked a few blocks, skirting the crowds, and hopped on the Metro at the first opportunity. I do enjoy shopping and window-shopping, but not there. However, it was just an hour or so, out of ten trips I've done so far, so I feel very lucky! Interesting question; thanks for posting.
Oh, dear. Three of the places I am going to this summer, on my dream trip, are mentioned in this thread. :(
On the other hand, I've been to Montreal twice and had a good time, so perhaps I'll take this thread with a grain of salt.
For my part, I can't think of many places I've regretted going to. The world is always interesting to me, and I haven't had enough international travel to be jaded by it. I find beauty and fascination not only in the grandiose (e.g. the Rocky Mountains, a beautiful palace), but in places some consider plain and boring (travelling across the prairie in southern Saskatchewan and visiting a corn maze, for instance, ).
However, one tourist destination and activity that I did not enjoy at all was a whale and puffin watching tour in Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia. First of all, I was underwhelmed by Peggy's Cove, which was spoiled by hordes of people climbing all over the rocks at the lighthouse. I liked the lighthouse near the Fortress of Louisburg (Cape Breton) far more, especially because we were the only people there. Second, the boat ride for the whale watching tour was slow, tedious, hot, and boring. I literally almost fell asleep. We saw no whales at all (not the fault of the tour organizers, I realize) and saw perhaps one puffin, flying at such a distance away that I had to take the guide's word for it. It was a snoozefest. Mind you, the company did offer to take everyone on board on another tour the next day (since they had a guarantee to see whales), but this did us no good, since we weren't going to be in the area the following day. Anyway, I had no desire to be stuck on that boat again for another three or more hours.
In contrast, I took a whale watching tour from Victoria Harbour on a Zodiac. Not only did we luck out and hit a "superpod day" (where more than one pod of whales meet to socialize), and not only did the captain also take us to see sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks, but the boat ride itself was a lot of fun (bouncy and exciting) and would have been worth the price, even if we hadn't seen any sea life.
Kathleen.. sometimes ( and this will shock some Ricnics.. lol) RS is wrong..
I do not like the Champs and will always advise against making it any large part of a person days of sightseeing.. get up and visit the Arc ,, yes,, but as a destination in itself.. blech.. I also advise against eating or drinkng in the area.. you have a choice,, either McDonalds or Quicks.. or a super touristy money sucking cafe that will be one of the ones that sells the legendary 5-7 euro cokes that everyone complains about! I think the Champs is very exposed on tshirts, souvenirs. photos etc that people think of it as "the place to be" when in Paris.. but to me it is a souless street of chain shops and crowds..
Stonehenge. It was part of a day tour and while visually striking and iconic, I was not especially moved by it. You can't even get close to it anymore thanks to people being people and doing idiotic things like writing on the rocks or trying to chip bits off.
As for the Baltic capitals being dour and joyless, that can't possibly include the lovely Tallinn. I spent a week there and was captivated by the enchanting Old Town, as well as the beautiful countryside outside the city, and the Estonians overall give off a pleasant vibe. Helsinki was vibrant and fascinating as well.
Thanks to George, I am now anxious about the 4 days I'm planning to spend in Budapest this summer. His is the first negative commentary I've heard about it so I think I'll find it enjoyable. My grandmother was born there in 1899 so perhaps having a personal reason for going anywhere helps a traveler's perception of a place.
First: Christa, don't be anxious about Budapest. Very few cities have scenery like Budapest. View across the river toward Fisherman's Bastion is fantastic. Wide boulevards with stately buildings. A lot of history. Folklore: many restaurants and wine bars with an authentic hungarian music. In cuisine there is a turkish influence and in some architecture, too. Budapest was more than hundred years occupied by Turks and at that time Bratislava was capital of Hungary. Budapest looks like capital of much bigger country than today's Hungary which it of course was. One of two capitals of Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Sometimes Budapest is called Paris of the east. I think because of its wide boulevards and stately buildings. I think George must have had some unpleasant experience there and super high expectation.
I never regretted going anywhere. I think it is this way: you have high expectation which when is not fulfilled makes you disappointed. I always do my research and not just from one resource and am skeptical so it hasn't happened to me yet. There are places which I wouldn't go again but those are places where I did not go as a tourist anyway but for business or visit friends. Let's name few: Manchester (England), Baltimore, Buffalo, Detroit, Houston, etc. Actually many US cities could be in this category. I would rather name few which certainly are not there: New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Charleston (S.C.), Savannah (Georgia)- @ Tom from Huettingen: have you been there? In one of your previous posts you mentioned that Atlanta was disappointing as all other Georgia cities. I just wondered if this was your opinion about Savannah.
Daughter (raised in Germany) and boyfriend traveling around Europe and visited Prague and Budapest last year. They hated Prague and couldn't wait to leave, but loved Budapest and would like to return. Have heard this from many other people too, so there must be something to it.
"Tom from Huettingen: have you been there? In one of your previous posts you mentioned that Atlanta was disappointing as all other Georgia cities. I just wondered if this was your opinion about Savannah. " I lived in Georgia for two years, very close to Savannah. It's a nice place to visit, for about 10 minutes, but a Yankee like me got tired of the casual racism and superiority complex pretty quickly.
This list very much shows our very different tastes. There's a place for everyone in this world!
Worst place: New York City. I will never go back to NYC if I can help it. Hated it. Smelly & dirty city full of unfriendly people.
Favorite place: Munich. I went late June/early July & LOVED it! Lots of history, especially religious history, & I found that captivating. I LOVED the incredible architecture too. There were a lot of people at Marienplatz (for the Glockenspiel) in the evening time, but it wasn't too bad when I went during the day. I also took a private tour of the city center, & it made me appreciate the city all the more because I learned the stories behind the architecture. Just fascinating. (Munich also reminded me of home because there were so many Catholics there, so I'm sure that influenced my liking.) I can't wait to go back to Munich!
As a sidenote, I didn't enjoy Berlin very much. The history was nice, but it was much too modern & "big city" feeling for me.
Luckily, nowhere so far.
Totally agree with Kathleen and Pat (who said it perfectly)... I love Paris but I don't like the Champs.
"Napa CA (pretty, but really over-the-top pretentious)"... I agree!!
@Tom: yes, I perfectly understand your point. I did not live in the South but lived in small town Pennsylvania so I can imagine. Or maybe cannot. Sorry for butchering the name of your hometown. I should have checked and not rely on my memory.
@Lani: I think that people judge the cities by visual beauty and then by something like atmosphere, soul, some kind of feeling good there. So visually beautiful cities in Europe IMHO would be Paris, Prague, Budapest, Vienna. (Rome and Venice, too of course and many more, this is just example). On the other hand while being not particularly scenic but having some vibe or charisma would certainly be London and to some degree Berlin. Munich was OK but in competition with Paris, Prague, Budapest, Vienna in my eyes would lose. I agree that New York City is not very scenic (but has really impressive skyline), but is very cosmopolitan (probably the most in the world), it has enormous charisma. New York is just one. Everything is there. They even have saying: if you cannot buy something in New York it means it does not exist.
I have no regrets, although there are a couple of things I wish I could do over…but I agree, sometimes the biggest failures make the best stories! Here are my biggest failures :))))))
Versailles - wish I could have gone sometime other than August with hordes of people - I think I would enjoy it much more when less crowded. Had a minor panic attack due to claustrophobia from being penned in so much!
Helicopter ride over the volcano, Big Island, Hawaii - wish I hadn't listened to the staff when they assured me that a helicopter is smoother than an airplane:) Wish I had taken my motion sickness tablets with me on the helicopter rather than leaving them in the car :) Wish I had been able to see the volcano rather than sitting in the helicopter with my eyes closed for 2 1/2 hours trying not to throw up on my five companions! (As we landed, my hubby said to me, "Well, THAT was the best $900 we ever spent!") Wish I had checked with my Navy flier dad before leaving on that trip - when we came home and I told him the story, he said "heck no, helicopters are much bumpier than airplanes!"
Heidelberg - wish we hadn't tried to squeeze in "one more city" after a long four days of working and spending nights (until 2 AM) in the pub with German hosts. Wish we had just stayed in Mainz and slept late instead of trying to see Heidelberg Castle. Wish I had taken the funicular and told my husband I'd meet him at the top when he insisted we didn't need to pay 5 Euros to take the funicular, that we were perfectly capable of climbing those 315 steps on four hours of sleep. Wish my husband and I had spoken to each other during our last 24 hours in Europe!
Deanna - try Versailles in January! The palace is fantastic - no crowds - the gardens - weeellll - it is January!
Omg, this is one of the funniest postings I have seen on this forum. Reading someone who says this certain place was one of the worst I have seen, I wonder if we are talking about the same place. I love a recent poster who related her "bad choices". From our numerous trips, some of the best memories are the "stupid" things we have done and it brings back so many great memories. First trip twenty five years ago did not want to be seen in same outfit every day. Took seven sweaters, seven turtlenecks and matching socks for a February trip so most of outfits covered by coat for seven day trip. Now go with backpack for seven day trip. Giving son 200 euro to buy a round for friends at pub in Ireland. Next day asked for change, he had none. He bought rounds many times for everyone in pub. Yes there are places that are not my favorites but am never sorry for at least doing it once.
These ARE interesting replies that show the diversity of taste. Obviously, nobody is wrong because it depends on your interest.
For example: Versailles--I was there in November and booked a private guide, who was fantastic. We mentioned the crowds to her, and she laughed and told us to come back in summertime if we wanted to see real crowds. I love the art/architecture/history side of things, so couldn't care less about the dead gardens. Even with pushy gaggles of tourists, I loved the place and would go back in a heartbeat.
Champs Elysees....come to think of it, we walked about 200 meters on it, and reversed course because there was quite a bit of touristy tackiness (and horrendous noisy traffic) about it. Later in our stay we jumped on the Metro and got off at the Arc, and loved it.
Speaking of tackiness, I hated the vicinity of the Eiffel tower. Crowds, cheap souvenir hawkers, generally nasty. Love to stand off and just marvel at it. The Champ de Mars is my favorite place to gnosh on fruit and cheese.
Funny, there are some places that I've regretted going, but there are tons of places that I've regretted NOT going. Call me weird, but I never got to Pere Lachaise or the Catacombs in Paris. Missed St Paul's in London because of protestors camping out, didn't get to the Tate, the Musee d'Orsay, and the National Gallery due to my family being burned out and not big art people. Plus, we didn't get into the Louvre because we had the misfortune of being there on free Sunday. Big mistake.
With my keen 20/20 hindsight, there are many things I would have done differently, but I can't think of one trip abroad I've taken and regretted. There are several places I would never return to, but that's quite different from wishing I hadn't gone. Maybe it's a mindset, but no matter the disadvantages, the bad weather, the physical hardships, there were always wonderful sights to see and experiences to savor. Money spent - yep, wish I hadn't bought some of those souvenirs.
Living in Nova Scotia, I have been to Peggy's Cove numerous times - but my fav was last year when we went in the early evening on a Sunday - barely a soul around. And a lovely sunset to boot. I guess it's like Venice, best enjoyed early morning or evening to avoid crowds! I just like to go and crawl around the rocks and gaze out to sea. The Swissair Memorial is a quick lovely stop.
Just some comments.
"Taking with a grain of salt." When it comes to others opinions about places and things I add, salt, pepper, and other seasonings and cut into small pieces and chew well before swallowing. This at least lets me think about it more and check other books (not just other guidebooks) before making whatever decision I need to make. Usually works. Which doesn't necessarily mean it will be more palatable than without all the seasonings. But sometimes it does make it better.
Murphy Insurance or Murphy Deterrence: If you have the stuff for what it--like rain gear or medicine for motion sickness if you get it--then you will be covered. Also it could be within the realm of possibility that you won't need it. Checking with the family expert is also a very good idea. Or friend that is.
I have enjoyed this thread.
This always come down to personal perception. Some place or thing you may like will be completely different than someone else. That being said, here are my top three places I regretted going to or spending time to go to:
(1) Stonehenge - You cannot get close to the location. After a few moments on the tour of Stonehenge, I could not wait to leave.
(2) New Orleans - In my opinion, the city is dirty and over priced. I also tired very easily of the drunken morans on Bourban Street. Making a fool out of yourself when you are an adult is not a grown-up thing to do.
(3) Capri - horribly over-priced and very full of itself. I could not wait to get off that island. Capril remided me of Palm Beach, Florida and places like Southhampton New York.
As a said before, these are only my opinion. I know many people who loved New Orleans and Capri.
Colmar, France. Rick raved about it in his book, but it felt like the "French Jersey Shore" to us. Roving groups of teenagers and lots of American shops. We left early and won't go back.
Amsterdam. Packed with tourists, mostly American students there for one (maybe two) reasons. After one day, I wanted to turn around and head straight back to Belgium. The hostel was nice, though.
I have not regretted going to any of my travel destinations. That being said there are a few places I won't be going back to.
Nigel, I have to agree with you on Cleveland.
Las Vegas had a few good restaurants and some expensive entertainment, but it was mostly a phoney wasteland populated by corrupt people legally siphoning money from tourists who willingly gambled it away in the pursuit of the American dream of getting rich quick. Not my idea of a good time. What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas any more than it stays in any other city.
I have never regretted going anywhere even camping in torrential rain was fun because of the company of friends and neighbours you meet. ( nothing brings people together quicker than having to share a dryer and a tarp) I have regretted leaving places though such as Washington before I saw EVERY museum and New York the day before the Counting Crows were to play a free concert in Central Park :(
Uluru - Kata Tjuta, Australia. It was just ungodly hot, tons of flies everywhere, in the middle of nowhere so the prices you have to pay for food were really high, and even though we wanted to climb Uluru, we did not do it out of respect. It wasn't all bad. Had an excellent time riding motorcycles around there (it helps to stay cool if you are zipping around at 60-70mph). But to be fair, it would have probably been a much better experience overall (even with the high prices) had it been a Fall/Winter visit, but in hindsight, I would have rather have spent that time in another part of Australia along the coastline or added on those extra days to Tasmania.
Cruise ship. I know some people love cruising, love waking up in different ports every day or two. Thousands of people herded like cattle on a ship and the stop overs are just too brief to even get a true sense of whether you want to go back. I know there are some routes (like Bermuda) where the ship stays docked in one spot for longer than a night or two, but overall, the large cruise ship experience just is not my thing. I would consider something way smaller like SeaDream Yachts, but even then the port visits are still pretty short.
I'll jump on the Budapest question mark bandwagon. I found it a tad eerie, but interesting so I don't regret it. What I do regret is the time and money spent on the House of Terror. Too minimalist and symbolic without enough explanation.
Most underrated town in Europe so far? Wurzburg, Germany. Loved it.
I cannot think of anywhere that I have really regretted visiting. That's not to say that I don't have travel regrets, mostly about timing and especially that I wished I had slowed some of my itineraries down and saved some stops for later trips. I somewhat regret not saving Greece for later, because we went at the height of the trouble there a few years back and the whole trip I worried a lot about being impacted by strikes (as it turned out we were impacted negatively but nothing catastrophic). That trip was a cruise with time in Athens before and after, and I am very conflicted about the pros and cons of a cruise approach to the destinations covered, even years later. Mostly the cons outweigh the pros, but you do get to visit a lot of places that are hard to reach in quick succession. I regret going to Versailles on a Sunday, RIck was right - but I would go back on a different day for a third visit. I regret standing in line for three hours for a third visit to the Vatican museum (on our third trip to Rome) when we only had two full days in town. I regret five nights in Dublin on our Ireland trip, it left us too little time for the countryside of Ireland (especially since I tacked on a three day side trip to Edinburgh on the same trip!) Three would have been plenty in Dublin, even though it was our arrival city. I do not regret Budapest, that's for sure. We spent five nights there in 2010 as the first stop on our Hungary-Czech Republic trip, which was one our best ever.
It is very personal and depends on how you feeling as well as the circumstances on that day
I have no regrets on any of the places I have travelled to
But the first time I arrived in London I just hated it, the crowds, the yellow bricks even though it was a nice day.
Having been brought up n a culture that regarded London as the mother lode I was surprised at my reaction , probably a reaction of jet lag and 30+ hours of travel
No big deal, we were out of there early next morning
Next time we flew there, we got up early the next morning , walked to Liberties to buy scent a sister had ordered, explored the almost empty streets and well known shops as we walked back to Marble Arch. Later in the day went out again and was just amazed at the crowds (all walking on the wrong side of the street proving them to be tourists) and a cousin 10,000 miles from home walked past
I decided London was ok
So different trip, different opinion, maybe a third trip will allow me to love the place but we going to Spain this summer, so next year?
Hallstatt. RS hypes it, and the salt mine was interesting. But the main street is perhaps 200 yards long if that, you've seen everything after 20 minutes. If you enjoy walking down streets and looking at houses blocking the view of the lake, thinking to yourself "I bet they have a wonderful view of the lake from their house!" then Halstatt is the place for you.
Only one real regret that I can think of.....The House on The Rock in Spring Green, WI. It was a trap. Once they get your $20 admission (yes $20!) you are trapped trying in vain to get your money's worth seeing a poorly up kept creepy house and warehouses of what must have been a hoarders crap. You leave with a headache from the mildly smell of the place. That is a day I will never get back! I have visited some kitche places, but this seemed intentionally unpleasant. Otherwise no, I don't regret. Prague wasn't what I hoped it would be (crowded and everything I owned smelled of roasted meat when I left) and Avignon was a little disappointing (but I loved our wine tour day trip outside Avignon). But I don't regret either. Each has pluses. Just not the WOW I was expecting.
Dijon...it may have been because there was a large amount of construction going on which made it hard to get around, but I didn't see much that interested me.
We toured the Golden Ring of Antiquity in Russia (i.e. Yaroslav, Kostroma, Ivanov, Suzdal, Vladimir) for three days in a van rather than go to Saint Petersburg following several days in Moscow. This was in 1996 and while fascinating these cities were a little bleak (except Suzdal which was pleasantly touristy). Also, our lodging was isolated so we couldn't really explore once we got to the hotel (I called it Iron Curtain residue - this has probably changed some since then). I had hoped to go to Saint Petersburg instead but my travel partner had visited SP on several occasions and wanted to explore a new area. I regret not yet visiting SP - especially since my neighbor went there several months ago and had a wonderful time.
Villefranche su Mer - there was really nothing much to do or see there and what there was to see was touristy (shops and restaurants). We have in fact cautioned friends from making that a stop in a trip.
Arles, France - we had a lovely dinner, but not worth the effort for not much else to do.
We do not regret going to Monaco, but would likely tell anyone interested in going that it is over-rated.
Reading many of the comments made me understand, once again, that 'beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.' Case in point: Arles, France. I like Roman ruins/museums, but if you do not like that, it probably is not the city for you. I always do my due diligence before I travel and I do not think I can honestly say that I have ever regretted going anywhere, although it is true that some places are not worth a second visit. I always try to adapt, stay flexible, enjoy what I can and not let the unpleasant experiences (street hawkers in Cairo, etc.) ruin my visit.
I'm willing to go anywhere. In the Air Force, I asked for a fighter to Europe and they assigned me a bomber to Guam. I guess I regret going there. Still, Guam had pretty good scuba, warm beaches and lots of traveling opportunities to see Asia - so I'm not really sorry I went.
There are places I'd like to visit again and others I have no interest in seeing again - Neuschwanstein comes to mind as something I've seen and wouldn't go out of my way to see again.
I'm enjoying this post because several places mentioned would definitely not be on my list:
Verona - lovely town, our first Italian city where we spent 4 wonderful days.
Munich - wonderful science museum, walkable center of town, etc. One evening we wandered into an Italian restaurant area and had the best wood-fired pizza.
CDG - my favorite European airport
Bologna is our least favorite Italian city, but it has some great food.
We didn't love our time in Baden Baden, and found it to be a bit dull. We were just coming off a few days in the Berner Oberland so I suppose that was a tough act to follow.
Oh - I guess I thought of somewhere -Milan. Other then the Duomo, it really did nothing for us. We were only there for a few days in 2010, and one of those days we took a train to Lake Como, but the city was too - I don't know, not industrial, but expensive, impersonal? I'm not a fashionista, so the high priced designer shopping is not my bag. Kinda boring, lots of people moving fast, wearing suits, rushing about. Maybe it was residual angst from our train debacle there two years earlier...lol.
I'll join the "nowhere" crowd. Anywhere can be interesting once. Even El Paso.
I am struck by how the weather and time of year affect my perception of destinations. It's easy to overrate places where the weather was beautiful and underrate the rainy spots.
Larry and George: Enough already.
London at Christmas. We knew some things would be closed, but didn't realize everything would be closed for three days (Christmas eve and day plus Boxing Day): museums, restaurants, movie theaters, live theaters, pub kitchens, tube, buses, etc., etc. We had found a nice Indian restaurant for Christmas Eve, but ate dinner at KFC Christmas Day, as we could find nothing else open. (I assume some large hotels have restaurants open.)
If stuck in London at Christmas the walking tours run and it is their busiest day of the year.
I agree with weather, time of year, and similar things mattering a lot in how you perceive a place. We have been lucky on most of our trips, but it rained quite a bit on us in Vienna. I always wonder whether better weather would have given us a more favorable impression, and I really want to give the city a second chance (and we will for part of day on our upcoming river cruise, which is sure to be agonizingly too short). In four visits to Paris, I never enjoyed it so much as in May 2010 when at last we had sun rather than rain, which we had lots of on all of our previous trips.
I could add Madrid. I loved the Prado, and liked (Egyptian) Temple Debod. After that, my things to see and do list gets short in a hurry. The city is too new to have historical interest and most of the buildings are less than impressive (compared to both elsewhere in Spain and elsewhere in Europe).
For sure, weather makes all the difference in the world. Went to Rouen when it was 100 degrees, raining and very, very high humidity... we were absolutely miserable. Could not enjoy Rouen at all. But I realized then, and now, it was not Rouen's fault and I'd give it another chance in nice weather.
The Pitti Palace in Florence. Its supposed to be the inspiration for the Luxembourg Palace and Gardens in Paris. Have you seen the front of this palace? It is ugly! The Boboli Garden attached to it was huge but not very well kept. We spent a couple hours trekking around the garden and enjoyed the views. But at least now I know never to go back!
Brussels. Been there twice, and can't say I liked it either time. The Grand Place is breathtaking, but other than that there's not much to do except drink beer(which you can do anywhere else in Belgium). However, I recommend other cities in Belgium like Bruges or Ghent.
Susan- Please come back to Rouen and give it another try! It's really a beautiful city in the Spring, and lots of neat things to do! If you come back to Rouen, contact me, and I'll change your opinion!
Basel, Switzerland. But that's not fair to Basel since it wasn't a destination, but rather a place to stay overnight.
Lauren, thank you for your kind offer. I'll definitely give Rouen another chance if I have the opportunity. I know it must be wonderful in nice weather... : )
Ok so I just needed to post to get this thread to 100:))
Well, the post was at 99,,, then I posted, i and now is back to 99???
Did someone delete their post? Or maybe the new website doesn't go to over 100...
really fun posts anyway.
Edit... post is now at 100...guess I didn't refresh it:)
Terry, congratulations on being 100
I just wanted to finally admit that my favorite town is Budapest!
"I just wanted to finally admit that my favorite town is Budapest! "
Who knew!!... : )
It surprised me too.
What's with the Cleveland haters? It's a fabulous city with a great food scene!
I would not go out of my way to go to Dublin again. After traveling around Ireland for 2 weeks, ending in Dublin was disappointing. It didn't feel like Ireland...
London, yes *that * London, it was the one destination I wanted to see when I was growing up, being a child of the '60's, Beatles and all. Finally made it in 1999, what a big disappointment! Rude people, horrible food, (I knew this going in, but it even exceeded my wildest imagination). Just not what I had hoped it would be. Partly my fault, as I had probably put it on too high a pedestal, I did enjoy the museums, but changing of the guard overrated. Ironically, London did have the best weather of the trip, which also included my favorite destination so far, Florence. So go figure.
Like others, I've never regretted anywhere I've traveled to but a few I probably wouldn't go back to. I also had to chuckle at some of the responses from a few people.
We have been to Hallstatt at least 6 times and think it is one of the most beautiful places we have ever been. Yes, there are hordes of tourists during the day but in the mornings and afternoons when the tour buses leave, it is magical.
Houston has some of the finest restaurants in the US and at reasonable prices. Also some world class museums. Not a lot of charm, I'll admit, but there are some things to recommend it. But don't come during the hot, humid summer months!
We also loved Budapest and Prague. Coming into Budapest on the Danube took my breath away. The first 2 days we were in Prague it rained all day and I was miserable. But the city itself was lovely and I really look forward to going back.
Meteor Crater in New Mexico was a long drive out of Flagstaff for not much. Yes, NASA astronauts trained for moon landings there. Yes, Starman (Jeff Bridges) got his pick-up ride home from there..... But all of them got to go IN the crater. It cost 16.00 per person to get in the gates as it is not a national park but a privately owned piece of land. And all you get to do is walk around a ramp and take pictures. Yes, it is a big crater in the ground but google earth will show it to you and you can save the drive out. We love NM but this is a total waste of time and gas money! The time we spent at the observatory in Flagstaff where Nepture was first discovered was much more compelling -- and I'm not an even astrophysicist like my husband is.
In Europe, I would say Brussels isn't worth a return trip for us. I took my mother there in the 1990s and we loved it. We had a lovely seafood dinner on the narrow lanes behind Le Grand Place-- the big square -- at the little Belgian cafés with welcoming Belgians showing you their fresh fish on ice. Fast forward to 2008 and I take my husband there, and the square is still there -- just dirtier. The cafés now have Turks or Middle Eastern men trying to "hawk" you into the cafés now which sell more falafels and fewer mussels and fish. The experience of the city has changed -- do any Belgians live and work in Brussels anymore? Maybe they have graduated from service jobs into something else? Or maybe the Belgians are now selling fish under the Galatea bridge in Istanbul? I totally recognize that this is a sign of the fluid/ no borders/ EU times when you get Polish accents instead of Gaelic ones in Dublin pubs, but does change the European experience we sometimes expect for those of us who have spent 40 years traveling to Europe and want to repeat a good travel experience. It is one of those "you can't go home again" things I guess.
NOT Malta! Who said Malta? We went to Valletta on a cruise, and entering the harbor was like no other we have seen. The incredible fortifications (built by the Knights of St. John) were beautiful and unbelievable, going on for miles around every inlet. Our walk from the pier into the city was unique and lovely. We toured the stunning St. John's Basilica on our own, and fascinating church of the Shipwreck of St. Paul. We had a wonderful relaxing and delicious lunch in an upstairs bistro/bar overlooking a charming plaza, with a memorable dessert of limoncello sorbet served in a frozen lemon! We shopped in some great boutiques before heading back to the ship. There was so much of this beautiful and warm island that we could not see in a day, we would love to go back for a few days, rent a car and take it all in.
I believe that much of the travel experience depends on how well you research and plan before you go, your attitude once you are there, and sometimes extenuating circumstances, like major rainstorms or accidents. Attitude is everything, and if you are looking for the good things, you will find them. Likewise if you are looking for the bad, it will be there, too.
What often happens is people don't do their home work. I cant imagine spending the time or the money to spend say six days someplace without having first done the homework to determine if the attributes of that place are compatible with what I enjoy. Worse would be if I didn't have a Plan B in the event that things were not as I had hoped. With all of the resources today its pretty inexcusable. But that's only half of the reasons I guess that people have a miserable time someplace. The weather, the first person they meet, etc. can all color the experience. So its interesting to hear the stories but that doesn't mean you would go away with the same impression.
Well said, James! Especially about the arbitrary six days with no forethought.
I regret going into that last bar in Prague after I'd already drank my limit, then thinking, "Perhaps I'll give absinthe another try". I felt like a train rammed into me the next morning.
I'm in the group of "I have no regrets". If there's something I don't like about a place, I change my perspective! (Sound familiar?)
My one and only regret was spending almost 6 hours RT driving to set foot in Liechtenstein. What a waste of time. Ok, it's not ugly. But it is not one tiny bit nicer or more interesting than virtually anything within 300 miles of it.
But there is absolutely nothing else I have regretted spending the time and energy to see. Some things are better than others, yes. But regret? No.
By the way, Uluru in July (and the entire region around it & up to Alice Springs) is fantastic. Sunny and 70F and no flies. And I just returned from Turkey and Cappadocia, and found both wonderful (although three days in Cappadocia was one day too many - two would have been perfect). You have to choose your seasons....
Where have I regretted going ?
Back to this thread.
You know that crossed my mind a few times too. :-)
Ruidoso, New Mexico, in the middle of the summer.
So many people in West Texas go to Ruidoso (which is in the southern most part of the Rocky Mountains) to "escape the heat", we decided to try it. Well, it was over 100 degrees, and nothing is air-conditioned. It was a miserable trip, and we have never gone back.
Otherwise, we have enjoyed every place we have been in both the US and Europe, and we have traveled a great deal.
I'll agree and disagree with Sarah,
Dublin isn't like Ireland. I like the rest of Ireland better. Dublin is a city. Like all cities it has some great things to see and do - but it isn't like the rest of Ireland.
Cleveland? I've been there once when I was 17. Long story short, I was beat up by a gang of Italians during the Feast of the Assumption in Little Italy. I definitely regret going there. In fact I wish I were elected President, just so I could very publicly decline to visit there.
I've cleaned out a number of posts that were a part of a side conversation that didn't belong on the forums. Those that need to be reminded of our expectations have been contacted. Please do not continue that discussion in any way. As our number one Community Guideline indicates, please stay on topic.
Thanks so much webmaster for stepping in again! Good work for keeping this site helpful not hurtful!
"Please do not that discussion in any way."
I'm afraid I didn't understand this sentence....
And here I was, after reading this thread before webbie cleaned it up, regretting coming back and reading this thread. There are a few other threads I have regretted going to, as well, seeing the raw emotion and hurt feelings displayed at times. But that's life on the web. Anyway, as I turn away from my computer for a while, I am glad I have an actual life to return to, where I can chat with folks face to face, agreeing sometimes, arguing at others, being offended at times, offending at other times, but mostly accepting others' blemishes and hoping they accept ours as well.
Honolulu-Absolutely hate it!!! Over crowded metropolis, noisy, and it isn't the Hawaii I like.
Knokke-Ugliest beach I have ever seen.
London-Just don't get all the hype.
I vote for, " Please do not discuss that in anyway. "
What I love about this site - the Webmeister. I am truly in love.
I have never regretted where.
I have regretted how (e.g., on a cheesy cruise, or with a bad tour, or in a bus full of snotty, self-absorbed tourists, or simply my own lack of preparation); or when (e.g., bad weather, or overcrowded with tourists). But never where, because I have learned from each new place.
There are times when I might not have felt I was having "fun" in the moment, but when I look now at the photos and notes, I am grateful for having been there.
Frank, thank you!
Milan and Rotterdam are two places I spent a bit of time. And that was really too long for both of them.
I've not regretted any...I have found places that aren't high on the list to go there again. But that's not saying I would not give it the old college again try if the opportunity arose.
I have found events/things I won't do again or try to avoid: eating at a McDonalds late at night in Berlin, taking the night train during the height of college backpack season (you kids be quiet and go to bed), traveling with someone who only will eat at McDonalds and Applebees (that was here in the U.S., but still), etc.
No regrets. No plans to ever return to Brussels. But I must say that the Brussels airport was a breeze to fly home from.
I guess I haven't experienced enough to have regrets. I have enjoyed, to varying degrees, all places I've been. I only regret not staying longer!
Lyon, France. Sells itself as France's 'gastronomic' capital, living off the Paul Bocuse connection. To be frank, the food is quite gruesome - plenty of weird things like snails, frogs, pike perch, dog fish, calf brains and practically no options for vegetarians. On top of it, prices are extortionate and service and ambiance in most the city' 'top' restaurants is cold, standoffish and completely customer-unfriendly.
This is a city that gets HOT in summer but there is little aircon to be found anywhere and when you crave sitting outside to catch some rays of sun, the only fresh air you will get is cigarette and diesel fumes. Almost everyone seems to smoke in this city and if you ask politely for them to kindly blow in the others direction, they will deliberately blow in your face to be spiteful or laugh at you.
People in this city are extremely cold and unfriendly and it's a paradise for boredom as thee is absolutely nothing to do here.
Some people love Lyon, I personally think it's the coldest, most unfriendly, boring and overpriced place I have ever been. And hated eating out here, due to bad service and poor quality for the price they charge.
Like others have said, I don’t necessarily regret going anywhere but wish I had done things differently. We spent a few nights on the island of Miljet in Croatia and although it was very beautiful, we wished we had gone to one of the other islands instead. A lot of it had to do with where we stayed- away from the main towns, without a car, and our sobe ended up not being very accommodating (e.g., advertised activities on their slick website that that weren’t available after all, only served dinner when they felt like it, etc.). Although we enjoyed the beauty and solitude, we felt rather stuck and wished we had gone somewhere where we weren’t so dependent on our hosts. It was a good learning experience though.
@ Mindy....I agree with you on Lyon as being the place. I was there in summer too, just the vibes there, or your sixth sense, etc didn't give a neutral or positive feeling about the place, unlike any other city I've visited. It was definitely negative, went there twice, (on two different trips), still the same feeling as you are walking through the centre ville. As for the food I didn't mind that since I am not against eating viserals, didn't mind the lack of AC, but the atmosphere I didn't feel was one of welcome or being neutral. Seeing the locals did not strike me as a friendly place in contrast to elsewhere in France.
Okay, I can't resist saying it any longer. The Cinque Terre. We were there once, several years ago; and my reaction was, "meh." Then, a few years later, we were in Liguria with my brother and sil. They insisted that they wanted to see the CT. I warned them that they wouldn't like it. The sil describes my brother as indifferent to the beauties of nature. However, they wouldn't be dissuaded, despite my cautions that there was no art, no museums, no churches of any interest. They wanted to see what all the enthusiasm was about. The day we went, it crowded beyond belief. Probably thousands of tourists walking along the Via d'Amore. After about 20 minutes, my sil turned to me and said that if she had to spend more than a day there, she would die of boredom. When I reminded them that I had said they wouldn't like it, my brother replied, only half-jokingly, "you weren't strong enough about it." G-r-r-r! While those circumstances color my opinion, I still cannot for the life of me understand the incredible hype that surrounds those 5 rather insignificant villages. Italy is full of beautiful scenery and interesting small towns. When I see people bracketing the CT with Rome, Florence, and Venice as must-sees, I can only think, "everyone is different."
CT is fine for a rest from an otherwise busy vacation. We went late October.
The good news was it was quiet - we could have even parked in the tiny lot above Vernazza (but we parked in La Spezia). Quiet is the way to see CT, since there are no sights and the point is rest. I can't imagine facing crowds to essentially do nothing.
The bad news? When it's quiet, everything (what little there is) is closed. Italians are famously late eaters yet we found restaurant workers champing at the bit for us to finish our dinner before 9 pm, so they could close and go home, and no place to sit overlooking the ocean and buy a glass of wine after 9.
Regretted not asking my B&B hosts if the busses in York ran after 6 p.m. (they didn't and we were 3 miles out of town, got on the wrong bus, but the driver had pity on us and showed us where to get off and on). Basically York rolls up the rug after 6 p.m. I love the scenery in Yorkshire, but that left-side driving can be perilous, and if it rains, there's not much to do in that countryside.
Lake Como. Beautiful, but unless you pay for top dollar, the hotels are um, interesting. Also thought Bellagio was highly overrated, but worth seeing once (I guess). It was hotter than Hades that trip, so that may have something to do with it, although Florence the next year was also having a heat wave and I still liked that town. While we're in Italy, Bergamo is about a 2-hour place, as is Burano (outside of Venice). Skip that tourist trap and head to Murano--beautiful with its colorful houses (when everyone goes straight off the boat, turn left and wander around with your camera).
Have to say that we ate in the Bocuse Brasseries in Lyon and the food was amazing, but agree that Lyon's food can be unpredictable. Other than that, for a big city, I really enjoyed wandering around and seeing the painted buildings and eating the baked goods. Interesting to see on this post how many didn't like Lyon.
Padua is another 3-hour town, although we stayed there 2 (rainy!) days, but Scrovegni Chapel was transcendent. (Do your homework on that one!)
After reading all of the replies, I can see that weather has something to do with it, as does fatigue and food. (What does this say about us?) Glad to hear some liked Budapest because we're heading there shortly!
Alex, you are absolutely right, especially when comparisons are made to Paris. The city is also quite corrupt but efforts are being made to correct this. Francophone Quebecers in general do not feel "cousinly" toward people in France, just as I don't feel any particular affinity to Scotland. I disagree with you, though, about Montreal being an ugly N. American city. Surely you confuse it with Toronto? (Montreal joke)
"One of the places I really disliked in Montreal"...refering to the Quebecois, that would not be because of their accent in French, Alex, ...lol. Your perception is, however, valid.
Alex: first of all most Québecois have never heard of Voltaire, so I doubt they are offended by the "acres of snow" thing, and secondly, there are English book stores and there are French bookstores. Apparently you did not see the former in your extensive travels here in Montreal. Pity.
Darn - someone said Colmar, France. We're staying there for three nights in December while we visit some of the nearby Christmas markets. Hope it's not as bad as they said :(
Colmar is beautiful! One of my favorite Christmas markets. Was there 2 days, but I could see being there a 3rd.
Haven't regretted any of the places I have visited, I only regret my choice of travel companions. Our trip to Morocco, I hate to say was almost ruined by my son. He whined about everything! So, daughter and I left him in the hotel room while we went to the beach, etc. The funniest photo we have of that trip is of him on a camel on the beach, he looks like he wanted to be anywhere in the world but on that camel. Daughter on the other hand, still remembers the name of our camel. Today, he laughs about it. Just a typical 15 year old not enjoying a trip with mom and little sister.
The other trip that was a disaster and that I totally regret, was having a travel colleague that has a drinking problem that I didn't know about before hand. You know how some people get giggly, or silly and others get nasty? This person was the nasty type of drunk and was like this every day, all day long. Rude, insulting, and just a complete pain in the neck. Each day was torture and a wonderful trip was ruined by her constant nastiness. The trip couldn't end quick enough for me. Traveling with a drunk is no fun at all.
I understand jo,'s post, because anywhere you go can be at the very least somewhat enjoyable with the right companion.
@Jo... I am surprised you didn't dump the drunk:))
Only Rotterdam, so far. My friend insisted we go on our way to Amsterdam and I thought it was boring! Then we find out that it was completely destroyed during the war and everyone we spoke to about our trip was like, "why in the world would you go to Rotterdam?" Why indeed.
Got a private message from "Joe" from Fort Pain, Alabama, USA
"John: i have been to Europe on 9 separate vacations; incl Hallstatt a couple times. I am also a native ( 58years) Crappyphoneyan. HOW anyone in Van Nuys can call Hallstatt "regrettable" or "disappointing" is beyond me ? I guess there is no accounting for one's right to prefer filthy,dirty,congested, noisy cities to a truly BEAUTIFUL place !!!!!!!!!!!"
Sorry Joe, but I stand by my opinion. Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. And while I'll agree Hallstatt is beautiful it is a boring place to visit unless you enjoy wandering down the street along the water and thinking how nice it must be to live in the houses facing the lake, the houses blocking your view of said lake.
What's a Crappyphoneyan?
Alex: first of all most Québecois have never heard of Voltaire, so I doubt they are offended by the "acres of snow" thing,,,,
Your facts are based on what study? I find this remark tasteless.
I have no regrets. I would probably go back to all the places I have been to.
I find it pretty unfair to judge a city by its roads, the weather, the prime minister, etc. I prefer to try to see the glass half full I guess.
My best memories are nothing like ''oh my god" the roads were perfect in Austria....or the weather was never rainy and gray in Bosnia....or I agree with the view of the president of Russia'' (all fake e.g.)....It is about what I saw and felt and the people I met for the most part.
If I must choose place...maybe Bratislava is not at the top of my favorite places...I would actually go back and experience it during another season. So, no regrets at all!!! Mostly because I met wonderful people in every country.
Val.. you live in California.. Norma lives in Montreal.. so I guess she is more likely to be aware of who or what would be common knowledge in Quebec.. and I do not find it tasteless at all.
Reality is most people ( if just thinking in general terms of majority versus minority ) are not familiar with Voltaire.. but glad you are ! Most people simply recognize the name.. but are not familiar with any of his writings..
@traveledmind: Burano is the island with different color houses (see film "Summertime"); I found it much more interesting for glass art (many artisans have studios there) rather than the Murano factories.
@pat Always be careful what you say...I do live in Long Beach but I have lived in Quebec also. I find the affirmation untrue and tasteless. Everyone has their opinion and that is fine ;)
Val maybe you hung out with a more literary minded crowd. They are many people here who don't know who Emily Carr is, and that almost surprises me,,but not quite.
Well I agree with the posters who say there is no right way to travel and everything is a matter of personal taste. Some of my favorite places are listed above! I don't think I'd return to Vancouver, BC. It would probably be a decent place to live, but not being the "outdoorsy type" I didn't find that much to do (although the museum on the UBC campus was interesting.) It was a good city, glad I went, but not my cup of tea.
It is difficult to imagine my regretting going anywhere because I am a Ricknik who loves travel.
One place I am unlikely to return to is Bruges, Belgium. It's too chi-chi, with men in scarves, women walking poodles and lace shops. There is some great bicycling around Bruges, and I would return for that reason alone. I am also a little skeptical of Salzburg, Austria, mostly for the same reason, but the scenery there is beautiful. I would go back there for the scenery.
In May and early June, my wife and I did a trip starting in Nice (3 nights) and ending in Barcelona (3 nights), with one night or more in Lacoste, Nimes, Belcastel, St Cyprien in the Dordogne, Albi, Carcassonne and Cadaques in between. In retrospect, I would have allocated the night in Carcassonne somewhere else, either in the Aveyron or the Dordogne. We arrived late, after most of the crowds had left, but other than a delicious dinner, it didn't float my boat.
Jim, I agree about Carcassonne but trust you liked Albi. Last time we were there, in the Cathedral, there was a choir of English school girls giving a short concert. It was so moving and the girls themselves you could see were thrilled to death. One of them burst into tears when the concert ended. Isn't it such small unexpected events that make travel so wonderful?
Being fans of Talouse-Lautrec, Albi was definitely a highlight. We also had some great meals with wonderful service at Le Clos Sainte Cecile and Le Papillon, and a nice view looking over the river and old town from our room.
Agree about Bruges. Way too touristy without much to show for itself. We arrives after two nights in Ghent and preferred Ghent a million times more. We had attended the opening of the STAM museum in Ghent and loved the museum and entire town.
I can find something interesting just about anywhere. On the Champs Elysees, there was a Peugeot showroom with crazy concept cars. More like a museum. There was an Abercrombie and Fitch store with a line as long as the longest lines at Disneyland. Lots of very creative store windows. Not someplace I'd go again, but fun for one time.
But everyone is different. I can't imagine going on an ocean cruise spending days at sea. But my best friend goes on 2 or 3 a year.
I've known people who hate everywhere they go. I'm pretty much the opposite.
Cruises never appealed to me, but friends go and love them.
Ft. Myers! The absolute worst place I ever visited, though we tried to have a good time..tried hard!!
Just shows how people have different likes and dislikes. Ft Myers is one of my favorite places and I go there once a year. Now, I do bird photography and some of the best places in Florida for birds are near Ft Myers.
Agree with those who say that there's no point in "regretting" going somewhere, everything is a new experience. There are places I've regretted going BACK to:
Rothenburg OdT: Once was enough, but had to do twice because the second set of family insisted on it. It's not that I mind the town, I mind the drive as we're passing dozens of equally charming towns but we have to schlep to THAT particular one, because it's famous.
Munich: I'm happy to go for a purpose these days (Like seeing a concert) but going to Munich for the sake of going to Munich? Nope. Will not be returning to Oktoberfest, either, I only went to meet some friends who flew in from the U.S. and to check it off the list.
Bucharest: Maybe in 20 years if/when they get their shit together. Would consider visiting Romania again for the stuff outside of Bucharest, but it's not at the top of my list. Bucharest is, without a doubt, the worst city I've been to in Europe. I'm glad I went there, to have seen it, and I love the food, but that's all I can say for it. And it's not about being a delicate flower - I spent all my adult life in Oakland, CA (an underrated city that visitors to SF should check out!!), love Marsielle, don't mind grit or some dirt, but Bucharest just felt like it had nothing to offer aside from a tiny tourist center that was relatively overpriced and still way more dangerous for the tourist than a European capital should be. Everyone I know who has gone there has been mugged or pickpocketed - and these are savvy European travelers.
Napa: My mom is from Napa, my uncle and aunt live there, but as a tourist destination it's awful. The much lovelier Sonoma Valley is a short drive away, and there's a million great wine areas in California, yet everyone goes to Napa. A travesty. For a great off the beaten path northern California wine expedition, btw, Anderson Valley is THE place to be.
That's it, really. I can return to many of the places mentioned in this list over and over and be happy as a clam (Berlin, Budapest, Paris - don't find CDG to be a problem, actually -, London, etc.
We're all different, and that's a good thing. I really dislike Oakland and avoid it like the plague. Oakland Hills nice, rest of Oakland pretty awful.
Maybe it shouldn't be regret, but more somewhere you don't want to return to?
Ft. Myers in August...humid, overtaken by mosquitoes, and really not somewhere I thought highly of. That was many years ago, though.
It's too bad you have that opinion, Susan. Oakland is an undiscovered gem in the bay area, but there are prejudices associated with the city that are mostly racial and class-based in nature, which is unfortunate.
When I first moved there, in 1997, it was very different, but it's undergone a genuine renissance. Downtown is actually pleasant again, and Uptown went from a "no mans land" to the home of the trendiest restaurants in bars in the entire bay area - yes, including San Francisco - in the the last half decade.
My former neighborhood, Grand Lake/Lakeshore, retains the charm it always had, but it's definitely improved. Well, if you can call gentrification "improvement" for the tourist, I suppose it is. Just last week I was walking around the lake with my husband, poking into amazing used bookstores, admiring that unique california spirit at rather neo-hippy cafes, feeding the birds and California's oldest wildlife preserve (yes, in Oakland), enjoying the new clean, safe promenade at the estuary end of the lake, which used to be a hellhole and is now amazingly gorgeous. The people of Oakland have a communal spirit and civic pride the is unrivaled in the area. It's the Brooklyn of the bay area, as in, high prices in San Francisco have forced all the creative and interesting types out to the sunny side of the bay, where artists mix with entrepreneurs and the food is amazing everywhere you go. (Ramen funnel cakes? Yes, please!)
But people will continue to reject Oakland, as they reject Marsille, and Berlin, and other vibrant, fascinating cities because...they heard it was dangerous? Ended up on the wrong side of the freeway and assumed that was all the city had to offer? It's a shame.
FWIW, one of my best friends, an expat, is visiting San Francisco next week. I've given her a way too long list of places to go, including biking across the GG bridge, but I told her to stop to take pictures on the Marin side then bike on back - nothing of interest on that side but the view. Unless she wants overpriced, boring food at a yuppy cafe. Different perspectives, I guess.
Your problem with Ft Myers was going anywhere in Florida in the summer. I love Ft Myers for bird photography but only go there Jan through April.
I was in Ft. Myers for a week at Christmas in 1987... it was 100 degrees and 100% humidity. Might be unusual that time of year, I don't know, but it does happen.
Agree completely with Napa. Worthwhile visiting to experience Napa once, but we prefer wine tasting in Sonoma County. We have some favorite local wineries, but are always looking for new ones to visit. Maybe because I live in the heart of Sonoma County.....
Sorry, but I avoid Oakland and Oakland airport due to the traffic on 80 and 880.
Manta, Ecuador is the worst place I've ever been. Although we had a wonderful 5 course dinner there for less than $20 per person.
Next in line is the airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Every long layover I spent there I would sit in the same place in the cafe and wait to see a rat run across the ceiling rafters. Never failed. Always brought my own food to munch on there.
By contrast, I've never regretted a trip to Europe.
I never thought I'd be adding to this thread (note my post of 03/15) but here I am. Today I took a much advised day trip from Budapest to Szentendre, biggest mistake I made on any of my trips and definitely a regret - big waste of time and money. Won't go into any details just suffice it to say it's not my cup of tea and I would never recommend it to anyone.
I also did not care for Szentendre (took the train, walked to town, walked around an hour, did the walk back, took the train back). Reminded me of Trogir, Croatia (which I also didn't really care for). Other regrets: Milan, Italy; Bautzen, Germany; "Norway in a Nutshell" day (but I loved Oslo and Bergen); and Carcassonne and Collioure, France.
Kyla, I had originally planned to spend a half day there and take the boat back to Budapest because that sounded lovely. However there are no afternoon boats, only at 5 & 7 pm. The thought of staying there 4 more hours just to take the boat back was more than I could handle. So I did what you did, shlepped back to the station and took the train back just to get out of there. I do not understand the draw there.
Bautzen? I have to look into that, had in mind to go there as a day trip from Dresden for historic reasons as well as WW2.
Nancy and Kyla: I have visited Szentendre and really enjoyed it. I took the train, walked to the town, visited lots of churches, walked through the parks and the shopping area, walked along the river and took a LOT of photos. It was a lovely day out.
@LeeB - I intended to do exactly as you did but for some reason the place turned me off the minute I stepped off the train. Couldn't find any signage saying which way to walk to the centrum so I just followed a bunch of people who seemed to know where they were going but it wasn't the right way so had to backtrack to the station and try to find someone who could point me in the right direction. Found a very nice lady that showed me the way, even walked part way with me. But then I didn't have a small enough money amount for the toilet so had to wait on that until I got change - sheesh. After walking to the main square I found out one of the churches I wanted to see is being restored so couldn't go in there. The other church charges to enter and I don't usually do that unless I know it has good art in it. So just wandered around, checked a couple of shops but I wasn't interested in shopping and it was just the same stuff as in Budapest but more expensive. I had thought there would be good photo ops but all of the little alleyways and quaint colorful buildings that I would normally take pictures of were covered with graffiti (and not the artistic kind I've been seeing all around central Europe, the gang tagging kind). The town itself was dirty, the buildings are crumbling, has a very rundown feeling to it. It was just very disappointing - I guess I was expecting too much because of the way everyone talks about it and it didn't live up to my expectations.
As many on this thread have commented - different strokes for different folks.
I regret going almost nowhere throughout my 20's 30's 40's and so on. (This despite almost giving up on life at the age of 17 because I thought I would never get out of Hartford.) Work, cats, fears of being unable to communicate, fears of getting too lost. My wife finally forced me to go back to her home town Amsterdam and crashed my paradigm. Now I am 68 and have maybe one or two weeklong trips in the bank. Decisions decisions, or coins to toss. I should not be on this thread. Let me get back to my RS videos.
I do not regret going to any place. I love to explore and see new places whether with family or on my own.
I only regret travelling with people that have a different travel style from me. I makes for a long trip.
Frankfort airport; especially if you are changing planes. I try to avoid any itinerary that routes me there. Each time I am there (6), there is a paucity of signs giving a gate update. Each time I get to the gate there is no staff or sign to tell you that the gate has been changed to one a mile away. Give yourself at least an hour to change planes.
The only place in Italy I would not return to is Milan. Uninteresting, big cold city and was only there because of the airport.
Prague was disappointing more because of the cold, wet weather which precluded any extensive walking. Sorry they didn't have an esplanade along the river, as the buildings are build right up to the banks. Will have to return when the weather is right. (Their subway, along with the one in Berlin were more user friendly than anything we have on the west coast.)
Loved Budapest, especially lit up at night. They have a remarkable history, so do your homework before you go!
On my first European trip I left my RS guide in the sheets in Munich so was flying blind, except for what I'd memorized.
Went to Cologne and, while staying there, decided to take a brief day trip to Koblenz. Regretted it because there seemed
to be nothing to do. Just wish I had decided to go somewhere else.
This is a fun thread. I've laughed out loud a couple of times.
Happy trails, everyone.
"I only regret travelling with people that have a different travel style from me. I makes for a long trip."
Janet's so right about that. I've never regretted where I've gone, but for one trip I regretted going with a particular person. I didn't let it ruin my trip, but I did learn a valuable lesson.
First of all, Welcome! to the many first-time posters here!!! Don't be strangers...
Secondly, Americanized Colmar? I can't even recall a McDonalds (not that they bother me), much less "lots of American shops". "French Jersey Shore"? Teenagers are everywhere...As we say around here, 'more room for me' ;-)
Deanna, if my husband EVER tries another 'nah, let's skip the funicular - it's just a 10-minute walk; I've done this before', he knows my next visit to Europe will be my honeymoon...with my new husband :-|
I can't recall any regrets! I always have a specific reason for going to a particular place, so no surprises. Cities will be loud, dirty, an assault to the senses; small towns will be quiet, things will close early, and there may not be 'lots to do'. Variety is the spice of life. As with people, don't try to force your expectations on places then blame them for your disappointment. If Rome (Prague/Bruges) is too crowded, then get off the main drag and instead walk to your destination using a street one or two blocks over = Sleepy Street. I may not want to recreate every one of my experiences, but I have no regrets. Does anyone else hear Edith Piaf right now? ;-)
- If I ever send a PRIVATE Message to someone who then posts it on a thread.........
OK, jackbrahms, get back to enjoying your RS videos :-)