Even if you read my recent post on why one person’s favourite place is not always a reliable indicator of whether or not you will enjoy it, you’re probably going to judge me on this one. At least you might screw up your face a little…
Here I present to you my three most underwhelming places in the world.
Egypt was the first country I landed in, travelling solo, on my first ever proper big trip back in 2011. The country is amazing – everything about that place is steeped in history and completely unbelievable. It was top of my bucket list and at its core was the very essence of what I hoped to get from travelling. But it was also tainted by the experience of being put in lock down at the hotel (hello Egyptian Revolution) and spending a lonely 2 weeks on a very small tour. The pyramids were amazing, Abu Simbel took my breath away, but to be honest, it was EXACTLY what I was expecting. I’d seen the pictures, I’d heard the Sphynx was small. And while underwhelming might be a little harsh, it was the places I visited afterwards that blew my mind.
Paris is another place regularly touted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. You know what? It’s a nice place, it has its good points, and the cheese and wine is superior. But the first time I went there it was nudging 40°C, and let me tell you something – you do not want to be stuck in Paris at those temperatures. It was hot and there was no wind, and no relief. To make matters worse, the place I was staying in had no air conditioning, and a very loud bar down the street. So at night I could choose to not sleep from the noise or not to sleep from the heat. Thumbs down.
The Greek Islands
And I hear you asking, what could possibly be wrong with the Greek Islands? So a quick tip for all of you out there. Do not go to the Greek Islands before Easter if you want to party. Nothing is open. Nothing is ready. We went from a jam-packed Turkey just before Anzac Day (about a million rowdy Aussies on their way to Gallipoli) to the Greek Island of Samos just before Easter and everything closed down.
Could we escape the island? Not easily. We could have gone straight to Athens but we didn’t want to do that – we wanted to party on Mykonos and see the beauty of Santorini. Instead, we were stuck on the very non-touristy island of Samos for a few days until the next ferry could take us to Mykonos. And Mykonos… not really a party island at that time of the year. AT ALL. We stayed one night in prison-style accommodation in the backpacker area, and everyone just kept asking us why we were there so early. We swam, but it was pretty cold, and we made the best of it, but I’ll definitely be going back someday to make new memories.
I’ve been back to Paris since – it improved only a little. My flight got delayed, cutting a big chunk out of the weekend we’d planned. So I will probably avoid Paris in the future – there are other places in France to go to that are nicer… like Nice… pun intended. The Greek Islands are definitely on my list for a warmer time, and Egypt… well I ‘d like to take hubby there some day, because it truly is an amazing country.