Friday Five: Places I've Traveled to but felt 'Meh' about

March 04, 2016
I've been fortunate to have done a little bit of traveling in my life so far. Some of these were amazing experiences, some of them were difficult but still rewarding, and some of them were just kind of... meh. Maybe a little too similar to where I was living, or too expensive for me to really enjoy them. You'll notice this list is incredibly Eurocentric, mostly because I was living in Germany at the time and it was easiest for us to travel cheaply in Europe. I also didn't include anywhere I'd traveled for work, since I didn't usually have time to do much besides work and dinner in some cases.

+ Porto - small, pretty, but a lot of the things we wanted to do were closed or conflicted with each other. The Port tastings are scheduled to compete with each other, a few restaurants we were looking forwards to were closed, the famous Livraria Lello & Irmão book store is tiny and crowded.

+ Milan - the Duomo is beautiful, but despite it's reputation as fashion capital, Milan is really a finacially driven city. Lot's of office buildings and business suites. Also lots of scams, (other) tourists and confusing buses. If you find yourself in the area, I strongly suggest you visit Bergamo instead.

+ Amsterdam - Maybe it was because we spent the last few days of our Belgium & Amsterdam trip here and I was tired, maybe it was because we hadn't planned it out well enough, but I didn't feel like there was much to do in Amsterdam. (if I returned I would try to do a cheese tasting). It's a very pretty charming city, with lots of bicycles and canals, but so is Hamburg, where I was living at the time.

+ Copenhagen. Similarly, I think this place reminded me too much of Hamburg. My husband really wanted to go here for the beer, otherwise I'm not sure we would have gone. The old town is lovely to walk around, and Nyhavn is pretty, but it was also cold, rainy and expensive. Freetown Christiania wasn't nearly as interesting as we thought it would be (It's really just people doing people things like sitting in cafes and walking around. The murals are interesting, but unless you're planning on living there for a while, it's just people going about their everyday lives.)

+ Athens. We went for the Acropolis, which was under a layer of scaffolding, and the other ancient greek ruins which weren't usually as impressive as I was hoping. The economic crisis hit there hard, and there were deserted buildings next to tourist oriented restaurants with pushy hosts. We did venture into a beautiful neighborhood called Chalandri, but it was late and pouring with rain so we didn't get much chance to look around. I was also sick, and it was unseasonably rainy while we were there.

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