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The tourist attraction that least impressed you. AND most impressed you.

Least: Lourdes. Sickening display of religion-run-amok.%0D %0D Most impressed: (mostly in the 50's & 60's) Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, Niagara Falls (the Falls itself), Southern California, German Alps/Colorado Rockies, San Francisco, Tivoli Gardens (Denmark), Bayreuth Festspielhalle (sp). And, of course, The Mineshaft.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 12806/20/2011

Plymouth Rock....we looked down on it and after 5 seconds said, "let's go"...pretty disappointing...

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 106/16/2011

Least impressive: Plymouth Rock. %0D %0D Most impressive: Chartres Cathedral...so beautiful I cried. %0D

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 206/16/2011

Least impressive: the grand canyon. Its a big ditch.

Most impressive: Mt. Rushmore.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 306/16/2011

The Temple of Abu Simbel in Egypt impressed me the most.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 406/16/2011

Least: Versailles

Most: Eiffel Tower

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 506/16/2011

Most impressive: London financial district. The buildings are built on top of one another like something out of Bladerunner.

Runner up for most impressive: Mamoth Cave. I was very stoned and was able to ignore the crowd.

Least impressive: House On The Rock. The house was clever, but the builder was a major hoarder. The tour was torture.

Runner up for least impressive: Tower of London. Jewels do nothing for me - who knew?

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 606/16/2011

Very white trash, I know, but Graceland was a disappointment. But it was a place you have to go visit, just because. Other parts of Memphis were much more amazing.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 706/16/2011

I was impressed by the vastness of the Grand Canyon. The Vietnam Memorial also made an impact -- all those names, all those lives lost.

Not impressed by Mt. Rushmore.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 806/16/2011

It's a tie-%0D %0D Standing on Las Vegas Blvd., sensory overload amuk, before The Bellagio, %0D %0D versus,%0D %0D my stupefied, shocked-in-a-good way presence in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan.%0D %0D Yeah, I'm low-brow and proud of it.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 906/16/2011

The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. Especially with all of the folk tales that surround it.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 1006/16/2011

Most: Lord Foster's Great Court at the British Museum. A gobsmacking coup de theatre in glass & limestone.

Least: Westminster Abbey. Looks way better on TV.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 1106/16/2011

Most: Taj Mahal Least: Mona Lisa

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 1206/16/2011

Most impressed by: The Grand Canyon. Having seen it so many times in photos and videos I was expecting it to be a yawn, but it was truly amazing, huge and gorgeous.%0D %0D Least impressed by: The Mona Lisa. WTF, that's IT? What are all these people looking at?!%0D

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 1306/16/2011

least: Diamond Head%0D %0D most: Grand Canyon

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 1406/16/2011

Most: The Eyrie

Least: Vaes Dothrak

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 1506/16/2011

R12 & R13 I know right? Before seeing it, one would assume it's a huge painting, but it's like, 8"x10". Tons of tourists crowded in the room , taking *flash* photos of the most famous painting ever. Um, ok.

Not impressed: Athens, Greece and Paris, France. Both are over crowded, smell like piss, and have terrible, noisy traffic. Very loud and stressful, too.

Most impressed: Central America in general. American movies would have you think that you will get kidnapped seconds after stepping off the plane, but in reality, it's a very nice, friendly place with little crime (and the crime is just property ie replaceable "stuff" crimes).

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 1606/16/2011

Most: sitting in the visitors gallery at the House chamber in the US Capital

Least. Looking up from the base of my old boyfriend's cock

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 1706/16/2011

Least: Edinburgh Castle

Most: Eiffel Tower

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 1806/16/2011

The Hollywood Walk of Fame was very blah.

The first time I saw Times Square at night, I was in aw.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 1906/16/2011

Least: Stone Mountain Georgia. I was visiting a friend in Atlanta and took a Sunday drive. The carving is TINY. The first thing I asked when we pulled up is where is it? There for no more than five minutes.%0D %0D Disneyland.%0D %0D %0D %0D Most: Sedona and Grand Canyon, Redwood Forest, The Mall in Washington, DC (everything surrounding it), Guadi's Sagrada Familia, The Prado, El Escorial.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 2006/17/2011

"Least impressive: the grand canyon. Its a big ditch."

My soul weeps for your soul.

Oh dear! One tear just filled your whole, shallow soul.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 2106/17/2011

Least - The Hope Diamond%0D %0D %0D Most - The Kremlin

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 2206/17/2011

Least: mona lisa

Most: the pyrimids - just unreal, a must see.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 2306/17/2011

Least: Mt. Rushmore. Buy a 49 cent postcard, you'll have a better view.

Best: Alcatraz. It's every old Warner Brothers movie you ever saw come to life. You know what's around the corner before you turn it.

St. Paul's in London is a close second. Christopher Wren really got that one right.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 2406/17/2011

Most - The Eiffel Tower

Least - The first level of the Eiffel Tower. It's the freakin Eiffel tower, why does the first level look like an airport lounge from 1978???

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 2506/17/2011

"Take my hand, young man, and I will show you the wonders of the world..........."

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 2606/17/2011

Underwhelmed: Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" looks better in photos than in person, for some reason. %0D %0D Surprisingly overwhelmed: Venice. Yeah, it's a tourist trap, and hot and polluted, but... I adored it. So lovely, so mysterious, so unlike the everyday world.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 2706/17/2011

Least: The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

Most: Pretty much all of Washington, D.C.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 2806/17/2011

Least Impressive: any of the dams I was forced to get out of the car to look at during family road trips.

Most Impressive: pretty much any aquarium or museum/The Space Needle in Seattle -- when I was a kid, I thought it was pretty cool./Boys Town in Nebraska/The Great Salt Lake/Mount Rushmore/CN Tower/Hearst Castle/Niagara Falls/Notre Dame in Montreal

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 2906/17/2011

I agree R27. I was expecting Venice to be something of a disappointment after all I've read and how it appears in movies. But it really surpassed my expectations. Wandering around the streets where there were no tourists...it's a magical place. Otherworldly.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 3006/17/2011

R28, what about DC was impressive? I'm from here, and take it for granted, I think.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 3106/17/2011

Most: Iguasu Falls in Brazil%0D %0D Least: Las Vegas...what a horrible, awful destination.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 3206/17/2011

Least impressing: Brandenburg Gate, Berlin and Picadilly Circus, London. They are friggin tiny!

Most impressing: British Museum, London

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 3306/17/2011

The CVS clerks, R31.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 3406/17/2011

Least: The view of the Rocky Mountains from the Denver airport. They look tiny because you're already at over 5,000 feet.

Most: Tough choice, but I'll go with coral reefs in Fiji.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 3506/17/2011

+1 with posters who cite DC's Vietnam Memorial. %0D %0D The super-reflective, black, glossy tombstone owning the Vietnam dead is penetrating. %0D %0D In its reflection, as you read those names, at the same time, you see your still living being. The word "poignant" is a good start, but still, it doesn't begin to capture the soulful sadness.%0D %0D Thank You, Maya Ling.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 3606/17/2011

Oops, make that Maya Lin.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 3706/17/2011

Most: Bryce Canyon National Park, particularly hiking under the rim. The pastel colors of the strangely eroded rock formations, set against an incredibly blue sky, makes the entire scene look like a fantasy world.%0D %0D Least: The Overseas Highway to Key West. Looking at it on a map, it would seem the highway would be extremely scenic, but it really isn't. Plus it's a giant speed trap.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 3806/17/2011

As a kid: Least: downtown Prague; Most: Venice!%0D %0D As an adult: Least: Bangkok (hot, dirty, poor, smelling, banal, corrupt, workaday, all the splendor confined to Temples financed by Japan); Most: St. Johns Newfoundland, unexpectedly the most beautiful town I had ever seen

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 3906/17/2011

R39 - The major temples in Bangkok are circa 18th century. How was Japan involved?

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 4006/17/2011

Japan has restored them all. All the gold and mirrors.%0D

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 4106/17/2011

Least: The little Mermaid in Copenhagen, Denmark%0D %0D %0D Impressive: Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, Barcelona, Spain.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 4206/17/2011

Least - The blarney stone. I am sure people have pissed on it. Most - Angkor Watt.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 4306/17/2011

I think I'm lucky in that my brain seems to look back on most travel experiences positively. Nothing particularly underwhelming jumps out at me.

I was underwhelmed by Salem. I thought they'd make more out of the witch trial history. But since I was only passing through I wasn't fazed by it.

The Temples at Angkor were disappointing due to the huge number of tourists and touts. You can't help but be impressed, but I couldn't wait to leave after a couple of days.

Bali is overrated. Beaches are average at best.

I have been most impressed by Uluru... the scale of it combined with the Aboriginal spirituality of the place was overwhelming. It is a shame that they don't make more of it as an attraction - hardly any trails, signs are all faded, interacting with local people is light on. But driving up to it for the first time blew my head in.

Canadian Rockies and Milford Sound NZ are up there.

In terms of unexpected surprises, I was blown away by the big bend in the Colorado river near Page AZ... I thought it was more impressive that the Grand Canyon, which was still impressive.

I really didn't expect much out of the Constitution Museum in Philadelphia, but it's the only museum I've stayed at til it closed. I left wishing I was American.

I loved Vegas and Disneyland and didn't think I would.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 4406/17/2011

It'a hard to beat the meh factor of Plymouth Rock. Of the places I've visited, I think I was most disappointed in Mykonos. Hordes of tourists, souvenier shops, and tacky restaurants.

Most impressed: I'd go with Uluru, especially at sunrise or sunset when it seems to glow from the inside.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 4506/17/2011

souvenir Sorry.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 4606/17/2011

{quote]The first time I saw Times Square at night, I was in aw.

As in, "Aw, shucks, that sure is purty"?

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 4706/17/2011

I also try to get at least kitsch value out of the undrewhelming ones, but the one that surprised me the most by how powerful it is was the Pergamon Altar in Berlin.

You walk into the room and see this BUILDING, where the people walking up and down the stairs look so small, and you see the carvings on it so close and realize how large they are.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 4806/17/2011

Least: %0D %0D The Mannequin Pis in Brussels, Belgium (an otherwise impressive city with people whose attitudes have changed considerably from the assholes they were 50 years ago to the truly international fabulous community it is today). If you turn the corner too quickly, you will miss it. It only takes 5 tourists to crowd up the entire area.%0D %0D Most: %0D %0D Tie between the Eiffel Tower and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. It would have been the former alone, had it not been for the fact that I've been able to appreciate its progress, from 1973 (with about 4 spires) and then next in 2006 (with about 8 spires). Just knowing that I will not live long enough to see the final structure is simply, well...breathtaking (figuratively and literally).

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 4906/17/2011

"its progress" should be "the latter's progress"%0D %0D

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 5006/17/2011

Least Impressive: The Little Mermaid. Of course it's modesty, cuteness and the irony of it being such a big tourist draw, is part of its very Danish charm.

Most Impressive: Machu Picchu. Magnificence for days!

Biggest Surprise: How much I loved Mexico City.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 5106/17/2011

Least impressive: Mona Lisa%0D %0D Most impressive: Delphi

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 5206/17/2011

Least: The Alamo.

Most: Disneyland. I know, I know, but the thing is a marvel of design--less than 100 acres including the backstage areas, and they manage to pack 50,000+ people into the damned thing without riots breaking out. 60 years after it was built Walt's original plan still works brilliantly, not only does the traffic flow still work, there isn't a visual dead spot anywhere, and the illusion is almost flawless.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 5306/17/2011

Least: Uluru. But it was raining.

Most: St. Peter's. It's Times Square with religion and a roof.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 5406/17/2011

Least: I agree about the Little Mermaid. I knew it was going to be underwhelming, but I had to go anyway.

Most: Sainte Chappelle in Paris. It's amazing.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 5506/17/2011

least = leaning tower of Pisa

most = boys playing soccer in their speedos on the beach in Calabria

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 5606/17/2011

Least:

Completely agree with r28. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was the first thing I thought of when I saw this thread. I was so surprised at how small and unimpressive it seemed, and I didn't realize that they don't even decorate it! They just throw some ugly cheap string lights around it. Entirely skippable. It's very easy to stumble across more impressive trees elsewhere.

Most:

Toledo, Spain. Gorgeous, breathtaking, and you feel transported back in time. The stunning vistas, the art, the architecture... I was completely blown over.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 5706/17/2011

[quote]Most: Lord Foster's Great Court at the British Museum. A gobsmacking coup de theatre in glass & limestone.%0D %0D Apologies, R11, but the Great Court ranks among the sites that least impressed me. The undulating roof is beautiful, but the superabundance of white limestone and the stuffy, thinness of the air and the absence of any art or artifacts at the core of a great museum disappoints. The old reading room, now sheathed in limestone, is somehow not a focal point but reduced to a giant kiosk for toilets and the sale of post cards. Foster messed up on the reading room aspect, otherwise it's a beautiful space sadly underutlized by the museum. In robbing it of any reference to art or artifact other than the TOILETS signs and a couple colorful banners, it's reduced to a big, rather pointless circulation space, a vast food court, except one that is too stuffy and noisy and meanly furnished to serve even that purpose (in the small corner allotted it.)%0D %0D Most impressed: The Alhambra, glimpsed everywhere in and near Granada each time in different views, so near by so far, hovering in another climate. By the time one starts to ascend to the entrance the many distant views have built upon one another to form an expectation of the mysterious and otherworldly. Once inside it shocks all over again; it's everything expected, but much better and more beautiful and beyond imagination.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 5806/17/2011

Least impressive: the Salem Witch Museum. Worst. Museum. Evah. Can you say witch kitsch?

Most impressive: the Palenque ruins in Mexico. They were deeply mysterious and magnificent.

Also, agree with R51 that Mexico City is wonderful. The people are warm and friendly, the food is amazing, and there's an abundance of fun and fascinating things to visit -- everything from its great anthropology museum to the basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe to Trotsky's and Frida Kahlo's houses to the Diego Rivera murals in the Palacio Nacional to the Teotihuacan ruins to lucha libre. Plus it's all quite cheap!

Not to mention that Mexico City recently legalized gay marriage.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 5906/17/2011

Most: Times Square, Cape Neddick Lighthouse, The House of Seven Gables. %0D %0D Least: Quechee Gorge.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 6006/17/2011

Most: Angkor

Least: Wakiki Beach

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 6106/17/2011

Most: Cathedral of the Sacred Family (Barcelona), Carcassonne (France), Roskilde (Denmark), Yellowstone (US), Topkapi Palace/Blue Mosque (Istanbul),

Least: Notre Dame (France), Las Vegas Strip, Myrtle Beach (US), Bethlelem.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 6206/17/2011

Least: The Sistine Chapel

Most: Sedona and the Grand Canyon

And, really, someone was unimpressed by the view of the Rockies from the Denver Airport? That's because you're still pretty far away, idiot. What you saw them while you were changing planes and thought you'd "done' the Rockies? The Rockies are amazing when you actually explore them.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 6306/17/2011

Mona Lisa has been mentioned a few times. I had been told it was not much, so was not surprised, but the Louvre itself was not the greatest experience. They allowed flash throughout the museum, and since it gets so crowded, all the flash gets distracting by the end. I would agree Versailles is a little overrated, but I was more impressed by the grounds/gardends than the castle itself.%0D %0D For most impressive, first view of Petra, Glacier and Banff. I thought the Eiffel Tower would be a tourist trap, and in a way it was, but the view was worth it. The statue of David was another work of art I was told was overrated, but it impressed me. That marble seemed alive.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 6406/17/2011

The Washington Monument is among the least impressive, IMO.%0D %0D When I was in the Academia Del Arte in Florence, looking at Michelangelo's David, and then his remarkable, "unfinished" slave sculptures, I knew I was in the presence of a genius who's like we will never see again. %0D %0D But when I saw The Pieta in that tiny niche in St. Peter's basilica, I actually wept. That is the most quietly powerful piece of sculpture I have ever seen. The only other sculptor who moves me at all, is Camille Claudel.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 6506/17/2011

Least: The Sistine Chapel. I know it's beautiful and impressive, but I couldn't stand all those tourists.

Most: The Gorge du Verdon in southern France.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 6606/17/2011

Nothing underwhelms like the St. Louis Gateway Arch.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 6706/17/2011

Most: the view from the top of the Empire State Building. %0D %0D Least: The Universal Studios theme park in L.A. Complete and utter bullshit, especially after taking the Warner Bros. walking tour, which gives you an idea of what an actual working studio is like.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 6806/17/2011

R65: If the Washington Monument had had its intended base, it would have been much more impressive.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 6906/17/2011

Least: Stonehenge

Most: Iguasu Falls, but you need to do both sides. First, the Brazilian side, for the sheer beauty. Then the Argentinian side, for the sheer power of the falls...

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 7006/17/2011

I'm from St. Louis and I have to agree about the Arch. It's just kind of...there. The only time I like it is when I see it from the air.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 7106/17/2011

Most: swimming in the biobay on Vieques on a clear night. It was like swimming in the universe.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 7206/17/2011

I loved Lourdes, OP. The twilight scene of wheel-chair patients with blue-caped nurses was very moving to me (I realize it sounds hokey).

Least: I agree with r3 = Grand Canyon.

Most: Tie between British Crown Jewels and Westminster Abbey. The most beautiful site, though, is Notre Dame de Paris.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 7306/17/2011

WORST: The Hoover Dam. How completely fucking boring.

BEST: The entire city of Venice, Italy.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 7406/17/2011

Sounds like I need to go to Venice

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 7506/17/2011

"Least: Mona Lisa"%0D %0D I wouldn't call a legendary masterpiece a "tourist attraction." And I think it can be rightly assumed that anybody who was "least impressed" by it is a dumb cluck with no appreciation for art, and no understanding of it. %0D

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 7606/17/2011

BEST: The views from Santorini and the Left Bank of Paris, especially Boulevard Saint-Germain.

WORST: The Polynesian Cultural Center on Waikiki. A Mormon nightmare.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 7706/17/2011

r70, did you see Stonehenge recently or years ago? I was there before the fence when you could walk inside among the stones. It was not just the appearance, it was the feeling you got from being inside that circle of stones. %0D %0D My first time at the Grand Canyon was in summer. It was OVERcrowded and hot. You actually had to stand in line at some of the overlooks in order to look into the canyon. Parking lots were overflowing with tour busses.%0D %0D My next visit was in winter. Some lookout areas had no visitors, just a few deer wandering around. Snow on the ledges highlighted more of the details of the canyon. I took a flight through the canyon in a small plane. It was a fantastic way to see the canyon and the Colorado River.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 7806/17/2011

Least - Disneyworld and South Beach. Plastic, ugly, dull, stupid. Feh!%0D %0D Most - Angkor, the Pyramids, the Vatican, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Venice, Sukothai, Red Square and St. Peter.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 7906/17/2011

What gay person goes to the Grand Canyon? It's a red state attraction.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 8006/17/2011

Least: Valley Forge. The best part about visiting there was reading the visitors' book. Every entry was along the lines of "This place sucks" or "What a fucking bore"

Most: Sainte Chapelle, Paris.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 8106/17/2011

Least: Fisherman's Wharf San Francisco. Not sure what I was expecting.

Most: Venice and Prague both magical, and hugely exceeded my expectations despite all the prior hype and cliche. But first prize has to go to the Taj Mahal. I have seen many beautiful buildings in my life, but it is in a league entirely of it's own. The tiniest change would detract from it. It is truly a vision of paradise on earth; a physical metaphor for love.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 8206/17/2011

The Grand Canyon maybe located in a red state, but it belongs to all of us. Its a national park. Arizona does not own it. Its also one of the great natural wonders of the world. %0D %0D Shamefully as a life long Arizonan I have yet to visit the canyon. %0D %0D Least impressive for me: Mount Rushmore.%0D %0D Most Impressive: The Emperor's Room at the Palais Garnier, the old Paris opera house. %0D

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 8306/17/2011

What a great idea for a thread...%0D %0D MOST: I am a history buff, especially the Holocaust--so I'd have to go with Auschwitz. It was so powerful walking among the buildings and grounds where such horror took place.%0D %0D LEAST: Montreal, Canada. Meh.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 8406/17/2011

In defense of the Arch in St. Louis, which is ridiculous but underneath is The Museum of Westward Expansion which is quite wonderful and interactive. It helped me to understand fully the making of the US, and as a European I had no idea.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 8506/17/2011

Least: Madame Tussaud's in London (I have a photo of me with "Mr. T" so the afternoon wasn't a total waste)%0D %0D Most: Grand Canyon

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 8606/17/2011

I agree with R85 about The Museum of Westward Expansion. It was great. The St. Louis Arch was so forgettable that I don't even remember if I rode up to the top or if I just saw pictures of the ride.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 8706/17/2011

Most: My entire experience on my first visit to Paris. I was in awe every time I turned a corner. The style, vibe, pace of life, culture, history, views. It was almost overwhelming. I always wished I could experience NYC like that but I was born and bred there.%0D %0D Least: Crown jewels in London. I was expecting far more bling. At least I went in the off season and didn't have to wait in a line and wasn't rushed along. I thought the Tower of London was worth the visit so it wasn't a wasted trip at all. I was just surprisingly underwhelmed by the jewels.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 8806/17/2011

LEAST: A 374th vote for the Mona Lisa. Skip the Louvre altogether and head for the Museum of the Middle Ages instead (near the Sorbonne).%0D %0D MOST: Cathedral des Images, in Les Baux, France; the Catacombs (Paris)

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 8906/17/2011

Least- Tower of Pisa and the Sistine Chapel (so small)%0D %0D Most: Vatican itself

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 9006/17/2011

Most: the Amalfi Coast%0D %0D NO least

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 9106/17/2011

Most: Everything in Rome from the moment we went through that wonderful gateway to the Palozzo del Popollo (sic?). Rome was dizzyingly wondrous and I'll never forget it (I'm including Vatican City even though it's technically not Rome).

Least: Ellis Island

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 9206/17/2011

Least impressive: Las Vegas strip; Times Square; The Alamo.%0D %0D Most impressive: Alhambra; Ayasofia; Verdun ossuary; Topkapi palace.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 9306/17/2011

[quote]Least: The Alamo. %0D %0D If you'd seen the basement you wouldn't say that.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 9406/17/2011

The Alamo gets more interesting if you ask the docent which door leads to the basement. It's a sign that you watched "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" and those docents get very upset when a tourist asks about the basement.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 9506/17/2011

most- grand canyon%0D %0D least- ruby falls

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 9606/17/2011

I wouldn't say I hated Venice, it's obviously very pretty, but it was just way too touristy for my taste. I felt ready to leave after an afternoon of it. It all starts to look the same and everything on the streets is a fucking tchotchke shop with the masks, ugh.

I was surprised by how affecting I found The Last Supper to be. They rush you in and out of the room too quickly but the time you do get to stare at that thing you feel like you've stepped back through time. And those apostles have some BIG feet.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 9706/17/2011

I see the flyover gays have taken over this thread with all the Grand Canyon posts. I've never heard a single fabulous gay person say they were going to the Grand Canyon on vacation.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 9806/17/2011

Hey R97, what did Jeezuz say just before the Last Supper was painted?

Everybody who wants to be in the picture, get on this side of the table.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 9906/17/2011

r98, I was a babygay when I first saw the Grand Canyon and thought "that's it? huh." I went back to the car while my parents oohed and ahhhed. But it wasn't the least impressive thing I ever saw. I wonder if I would see it in a different way now as an adult.%0D %0D

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 10006/17/2011

[quote]I've never heard a single fabulous gay person say they were going to the Grand Canyon on vacation.%0D %0D So glad I'm not fab. In addition to the Grand Canyon, I've also enjoyed Machu Picchu, the Str. of Magellan, the Panama Canal Miraflores locks (109 ft. wide while our ship was 108 ft. wide), Salzburg, the Blue Mosque, sailing into Sydney Harbor, the Queen Mother's 90th birthday celebration, and a trip around the world. %0D

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 10106/17/2011

Most: I agree with r92, I lived there for a year and never stopped being awed by all the "big old things."

The Pantheon in Rome when rain is falling through the hole on top of the dome that was made so the Gods could come in is magical if you can ignore how the church added on all the catholic crap.

Wrigley Field

The old city of Jerusalem

The Dali museum in Figueres. It might have helped that I was stoned.

Least- The Louvre, but loved the Mus%C3%A9e d'Orsay.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 10206/17/2011

Oh get a load of her.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 10306/17/2011

R98%0D %0D "Fabulous gay person" sez.......%0D %0D "I'm going to the San Francisco Club Baths and I'm not leaving until they announce the departure of United fligh 62." (Emory - fabulous New Yorker)%0D

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 10406/17/2011

Least: Venice, Italy. %0D %0D Most: The Palio horse race in Siena, Italy

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 10506/17/2011

"Far away places with strange sounding names...%0D %0D Far away over the sea...%0D %0D Far away places I've been hearing about...%0D %0D Are calling, calling to me."

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 10606/17/2011

[quote]and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. It would have been the former alone, had it not been for the fact that I've been able to appreciate its progress, from 1973 (with about 4 spires) and then next in 2006 (with about 8 spires). Just knowing that I will not live long enough to see the final structure is simply, well...breathtaking (figuratively and literally).%0D %0D Couldn't agree more. I posted it as one of my favorites upthread. What's so fascinating about it is that there is simultaneous restoration and construction work going on at the same time because some parts of the cathedral have been damaged or eroded in the 100+ years that it has been around.%0D %0D IIRC, the construction is reliant only on private funds (I was there in 2000)) and donations from visitors. I can't imagine why Cataluyna and more private corporate investors don't step up and provide funds so there can be a finished product.%0D %0D One other point, I think that George Lucas pilfered his design for the Star Wars storm troopers from the design of the Roman sentries at the front of the cathedral.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 10706/17/2011

Most: Wiamea Canyon in Kauai - a lush grand canyon on the edge of the Na Pali Coast%0D %0D Least: Trevi Fountian in Rome (huge fountain in a tiny little square).

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 10806/17/2011

Most: Yellowstone National Park. Everything about that place is amazing.

Least: Neuschwannstein Castle

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 10906/17/2011

Most- Grand Canyon

Least- Vail, CO

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 11006/17/2011

As for poor Mona (she has a name in French, but I forget what it is), the lady is overwhelmed by the crowds and her setting. I saw a B/W photo of her being uncrated at the start of her historical visit to America (Thank you, Mrs, Kennedy) and even though she was canted as they pulled her out of the wrapping, she looked magnificent. I think the glass she's trapped beneath also deadens her effect when you visit her in the Louvre, and she belongs in a house, not a museum. But you need a few weeks just to become familiar with the collections in all the Louvre's wings and rooms. I was lucky enough to have seen the museum before IM Pei inflicted his pyramid, but his interiors in the Richelieu Galleries aren't as jarring.

In college geology, we learned the names of all the layers exposed by the river erosion. When I finally saw it, it was from the air on a commercial flight, high enough to see the earth suddenly crack open open and drop, seemingly to China. From the air, it is very clear how large it is, and you can take in a lot of it at a glance from 35,000 feet. Yet even at that height, it takes awhile to travel from one end to the other.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 11106/17/2011

Sorry, what? Did a giant rift open up in Paris?

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 11206/17/2011

Most: The Eiffel Tower & Paris in general, the Vietnam Memorial, the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Grand Canal in Venice.

Least: Venice in general (too crowded and as someone else mentioned, too much junk), Las Vegas, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the winner, Plymouth Rock, which is a rock. In the ground. At the bottom of some kind of well, or something.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 11306/17/2011

Yes, R111, what exactly are you referring to in your second paragraph?

My most: Grand Canyon - went at sunset, which was nice. But perhaps I actually enjoyed the drive back to civilization in the pitch black... pulled my car over and smoked a bowl and enjoyed something I so rarely see, thousands of stars in the night sky.

Also, Venice.

Least: Harder to pick, since I generally enjoy seeing famous landmarks... but maybe the Colosseum? Aside from imagining gladiators fighting lions thousands of years ago... kind of just some boring ruins, with fake gladiators outside selling pictures.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 11406/17/2011

Sorry -- in R111, I was referring to the poor Grand Canyon, which isn't getting much love here.

Of course, I've yet to see it at ground level

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 11506/17/2011

One of the reasons I put Venice under "most impressed" is that I arrived at night. No heat, no crowds, most of the stores were closed, so the senses weren't assaulted by all the touristy crap. Leaving the train station and taking a boat to my hotel was like stepping into another, older world. The city's age and disrepair seemed romantic at night, and when we walked through the narrow streets with our luggage, we heard nothing but quiet pedestrians and distant songs from the gondoliers.%0D %0D By the time we had to deal with the crowds and touristy stuff, we had already fallen in love with the old city.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 11606/17/2011

The Alamo is kinda disappointing.

I was surprised how much I liked the patriotic sites in Philadelphia. I was a federal prosecutor then, and visiting with another prosecutor, and the park guide spent a lot of time with us going over the history of the Supreme Court when the judges met there. (My coworker was very cute, which probably helped.) I also liked seeing the Liberty Bell. I wish I'd had more free time when were there.

Mammoth Cave bored me to tears, but I was a fidgety child at the time.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 11706/17/2011

R95 Speaking of Pee-Wee, the world's largest roadside dinosaurs in Cabazon, CA were pretty cool to see in person! Fulfillment of a dream.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 11806/17/2011

Wow I guess I should drive to Venice Beach.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 11906/18/2011

[quote]I've never heard a single fabulous gay person say they were going to the Grand Canyon on vacation.

Another good reason to go.

All of you size queens who are saying "Least Impressed" because something was "so small" are making me laugh. Who cares about historic importance or artistic achievement... if it aint' big it ain't worth a damn, eh? All those roadside attractions such as World's Largest Frying Pan must make you weep with wonder.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 12006/18/2011

The same trip to Las Vegas (horrible, as I mentioned upthread) included a day trip to the Grand Canyon. It was February, the Canyon was layered with snow and there was a full moon. It was the most astonishing silver/blue I've ever seen. I think I stood on the rim that evening for nearly an hour taking it all in.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 12106/18/2011

Everything in LA is much smaller than you think having seen it on TV. The court yard at Grauman's Chinese is a postage stamp. Totally underwhelmed.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 12206/18/2011

I never thought about the Pantheon when it's raining. It was sunny when we were there. I'll bed that would be magical.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 12306/20/2011

[quote]Leaving the train station and taking a boat to my hotel was like stepping into another, older world.

I'll never forget walking out of that train station and seeing Venice for the first time. My friend and I just looked at each other with amazement.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 12406/20/2011

Most exciting trashy thrill: Las Vegas Strip at night when you're a little tipsy.

Most depressing tacky sight: Las Vegas Strip in the cold light of day when you're hung over and broke.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 12506/20/2011

Least: The Seattle Space Needle. It's so tacky looking.

Most: The Place des Vosges in Paris. I had never seen pictures of it before, and a friend said, "I have to show you something," and he took me through a little arch and suddenly we were in the seventeenth century. It was unbelievable.

Runners-up for most impressive would be:

*The Istanbul skyline

*the interior of the Palais Garnier in Paris (particularly the Chagall painting on the dome)

*The Teatro Olympico in Vicenza

*the cliffs of the Aran Islands off the coast of Ireland

*the Arena Chapel in Padua with the amazing Giotto frescoes

*the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice with the equally amazing frescoes by Tintoretto

*the Hong Kong harbor and skyline

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 12606/20/2011

It's not the Grand Canyon's fault it's located in a red state. What a ridiculous thing to say.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 12706/20/2011

[quote]Everything in LA is much smaller than you think having seen it on TV. The court yard at Grauman's Chinese is a postage stamp. Totally underwhelmed.

The first time I went was very early on a Sunday morning, and it was raining. I had the whole place to myself, and it was magical, especially since the rain made everything so clean and fresh looking.

But Jesus, those old stars had tiny feet.

by Cackle Cackle (don''t get around much anymore)reply 12806/20/2011
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