Which places changed your mind about them after visiting?

RooFlyer

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... as the title suggests. I wonder which places, after you finally got there, changed your mind about them - for better or worse?

Mine was Italy, both for better and for worse.

For some reason, I had long had a disinclination to visit. I thought too chaotic, too loud, too .... Italian. A work trip sent me to Pisa and Tuscany (yes, really) and Florence, and after that I weakened a bit and then I thought I should give Rome a chance and well, OK, its worth seeing :) . I took a 'before the crowds' Vatican tour and was second one into the Sistine Chapel for the day! Wonderful! I was converted ... until ...

On the other hand, after breaking through my Italio-phobia I really looked forward to visiting Venice. Splurged a bit on a historic 5 star hotel. Loved the history, art and architecture, but didn't like the experience! Too crowded (yeah, I know .. who's the problem, then), everyone's rude, I got the wrong bus, dog cough everywhere, hassle, hassle, hassle. The final straw was when I got a cup of coffee on a street cafe near the Grand Canal; sat down to enjoy it, just by steps up to one of the little foot bridges over a little canal. A dog pissed on the top step and I had a cascade of steaming urine cascade down the steps right next to my table, landing next to my shoe.

Who else has been 'converted' one way or another after arrival?
 

MARTINE

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Hi
This is a good topic
For me it was Prague - so hyped in respect of beauty/culture/history/St Charles Bridge…. Found it dirty, crowded and any number (probably all) the cities of Europe I have visited have stunning squares, Bridges, churches etc. It did not feel special to me at all. I felt a negative vibe whilst I was there and -not sure why- just unsafe.
I felt it was the most overhyped place I have ever been.
However, I fully accept people will totally disagree which is fine.
 

jakeseven7

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Perth - looks great in a postcard but the CBD is still a dump and the new waterfront development is an ugly concrete wind tunnel. Food is still average, coffee worse and you still pay 1.5 times Melbourne prices! Honestly it’s my least favourite capital to visit.

(PS I do love Freeo though, much better food and coffee, vibe and people)
 
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jakeseven7

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... as the title suggests. I wonder which places, after you finally got there, changed your mind about them - for better or worse?

Mine was Italy, both for better and for worse.

For some reason, I had long had a disinclination to visit. I thought too chaotic, too loud, too .... Italian. A work trip sent me to Pisa and Tuscany (yes, really) and Florence, and after that I weakened a bit and then I thought I should give Rome a chance and well, OK, its worth seeing :) . I took a 'before the crowds' Vatican tour and was second one into the Sistine Chapel for the day! Wonderful! I was converted ... until ...

On the other hand, after breaking through my Italio-phobia I really looked forward to visiting Venice. Splurged a bit on a historic 5 star hotel. Loved the history, art and architecture, but didn't like the experience! Too crowded (yeah, I know .. who's the problem, then), everyone's rude, I got the wrong bus, dog cough everywhere, hassle, hassle, hassle. The final straw was when I got a cup of coffee on a street cafe near the Grand Canal; sat down to enjoy it, just by steps up to one of the little foot bridges over a little canal. A dog pissed on the top step and I had a cascade of steaming urine cascade down the steps right next to my table, landing next to my shoe.

Who else has been 'converted' one way or another after arrival?

Our Euro family told us only to go to Venice in shoulder season, made a list of local restaurants to go to and we had an incredible time and the complete opposite experience to you!

But yes I have had friends who did the ‘touristy’ Venice experience by mistake and hated it.
 

Ric

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For me, it's definitely Turkey.
Originally was to travel with Ric Jr as I didn't want Mrs Ric to come along being a female going there. Yeah, I admit. Stereo typing.
The more I did research on the country the more I was enlightened. After a week, Mrs Ric was also ticketed!! Enlightened even more when we were there! Only stayed 10 days which is definitely not enough. Visited Istanbul, Troy, Gallipoli, Izmir and Ephesus only. Such a wonderful place and can't wait to get back soon enough ..... but still there are so many other countries to visit.
 

TonyHancock

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Sydney for me, having moved to Victoria from Blighty and listened to the locals I expected Sydney to be crass, populated by poseurs lacking any sort of fashion sense, automobile drivers with no spatial awareness, grotesque architecture, a culture of pretentiousness, and a population lacking any sort of self awareness, but in reality it was much worse. :p
 

jakeseven7

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Sydney for me, having moved to Victoria from Blighty and listened to the locals I expected Sydney to be crass, populated by poseurs lacking any sort of fashion sense, automobile drivers with no spatial awareness, grotesque architecture, a culture of pretentiousness, and a population lacking any sort of self awareness, but in reality it was much worse. :p

You missed the cough coffee (though that has improved on some pockets I will admit).
 

AIRwin

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Libya (before the Civil War) - infrastructure was better than I'd expected with highways connecting Tripoli with the ancient Roman city Sabratah by the sea near the border with Tunisia...
 
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Iceland - many years ago when friends from France said they were going to Iceland for 10 days, my thoughts were "why in the world would anyone go there?". Well we went a few years later (2010 not long after the GFC) when our cruise to the Arctic stopped a few places on the northern coast and we disembarked in Reykjavík. We spent another week in Iceland - found it wonderful - amazing really - fortunately due to the GFC (and the crash of the Iceland economy) prices weren't too bad (except when some places charged tourists in Euros instead of the local currency) and it hadn't been 'discovered' by the throngs of hip-hop and happening tourists.
 

MikeG

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Prague has good and bad points for me. We visited in January 1999.

- We arrived by train from Dresden and were approached at the train station by two guys wanting to take us to accommodation. We were dubious but we thought what the heck, and went with them. We ended up and clean nice accommodation and it was fairly cheap (middle of winter, so...)
- The accommodation wasn't mainstream, and they gave us a referral to a "local" restaurant - we went there and enjoyed nice (not awesome) food and drink for roughly AUD$5 per person. As good as an average family restaurant in Australia.
- We tried some of the tourist zone restaurants and it worked out to be closer to $40 per person, and it wasn't much better.
- In winter its cold. The top temperature there one day was -22C (yes minus), but the snow covered views were sensational.
- Met up with a friend we knew from Sydney who lives near Prague

Overall, far better than I expected.
 

Pushka

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The fabulous. Malta - had no expectations and was blown away. Loved it.

Never Again - Vietnam - appreciating that the food was glorious, we had a less then stellar time. Food poisoning from a junk boat trip in Halong Bay and I have never seen MrP so ill, (I was fine, I didn't eat prawns) and we were shadowed by a group of thugs in a market in DaNang where we tried to elude them by ducking into various corners until they re-formed and we ran to a taxi and got in, the driver saw what was happened and said to shut the doors and wind up the windows. As the thugs caught up with us they started banging on the windows as he drove off. We stayed in a luxury hotel that was run by Russians.. Enuf said. On our last night we were walking across the street and until then we had our money stashed around a pocket in MrP shirt but it was so hot he developed a rash so I thought, we were in the middle of safe ground near a five star hotel so I had it in a bum bag. As we crossed the other side of the road a cycle driver and his passenger facing the rear slashed the bum bag off me - so fast - and they drove off waving it in my face. Lost phone, glasses and small amount of cash and a credit card. Then we had to go to a police station with a hotel rep where basically the prisoners and victims are in the same room. A week later a woman in Thailand was killed by a cyclo driver when he slashed her by accident. Honestly, nothing on earth would make me go to Vietnam again.

The Vatican in Rome - not religious so had not much interest but when in Rome.....and was converted there and then on the doorstep of the Basilica. Wow.
 

OZDUCK

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Naples - my views might be a little out of date as I visited it in 1976. Anyway, it was crowded, noisy, run-down and with the streets full of rubbish. Goethe may have said "See Naples and then die" because once you have seen such a beautiful city then you needn't see another place. But in my opinion it was probably because you had been carelessly shot by one of the numerous guards armed with pump action shotguns standing in the streets outside all the banks
 

MelMel

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At the risk of being flamed - the Sistine Chapel. I appreciate the achievement of it but it didn’t blow me away like I thought it would, to me the artistic style was in many areas quite basic and the overall effect just not “wow”
 

Pushka

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At the risk of being flamed - the Sistine Chapel. I appreciate the achievement of it but it didn’t blow me away like I thought it would, to me the artistic style was in many areas quite basic and the overall effect just not “wow”
Well, I somewhat agree as it was crowded and noisy and guards yelling at people trying to take a sneak photo.

But one thing that I stood in awe at was the residence where The Borgia Pope bath tub was located. My son and I had been watching The Borgia series on TV and many shots were taken while the Pope was in the bath. Centuries later and I was actually standing in the Pope's bathroom. Made me realise no matter how powerful and important you may be in your moment of glory, its just not that important in the overall scheme of life.
 

VPS

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My first visit to Glasgow was very memorable for all the wrong reasons. The youth hostel was disgusting (remember them) it was cold wet grey and dingy and I vowed not to return. 30 years later I revisited and discovered the Kelvingrove Museum and Pollock park and had a lovely visit and would go back again anytime.

Las Vegas - wasn't sure I wanted to go - will never visit again
 

OATEK

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I was dragged kicking and screaming to St Petersburg. I knew the palaces would be great, had a book on the hermitage that was well thumbed. But the thought of travelling there, the intimidating visa application process, wondering how safe it would be for family (5 people across 3 generations). Got there and realised I was right about the palaces and other historical places, but was blown away by the locals. They were unfailingly polite and helpful, very good with "sign" language. I so enjoyed the visit that I signed up to return the next year.

Have not been anywhere that I would not return to, although some would be in the category of do I need to having been there once.
 

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