The highlights of our earth come with a price. Still most of us want to see them, so we try not to mind the crowds as we rush through sites that really deserve to be gazed at for a long time. If we do decide that watching the Mona Lisa isn’t fun anymore, we end up looking for certain ‘off the beaten path’ destinations, where we hope to enjoy the worlds miracles, man made or not, in peace. Well, think again.
Like the big highlights, the smaller, lesser known attractions are actually aspiring tourist traps or fully grown tourist traps, but just on a smaller scale. Some are so tacky I would say you go to them, just for the fun of it. Others actually make me sad because they are slowly killing something that was really beautiful to begin with. So to avoid disappointment on your travels I made you a list of 3 experiences I thought were aspiring tourist traps, worth seeing or not. Of course you decide whether you go.
When I booked tickets (yes tickets) to go to the ice bar in Stockholm I knew I was in for a real rip off. Still I wanted to experience it with my own eyes (and I wanted to drink cocktails.). Now, you have these ice bars on various locations around the world, but I assume they work the same. In my case we were in for a scheduled routine situation, where we were sheep herded into a big frozen room, accompanied by the other sheep (or innocent tourists) who immediately started taking selfies. Not knowing how to fit in, me and my friends started doing the same. After 20 minutes of touching ice walls and drinking our ‘free’ cocktail we decided it was time to search for a real adventure, so we left the flock. I do have a lovely selfie as a reminder.
This is the story of the worst €1 spent, ever. Some of you might know that I love everything that’s tacky, camp or wrong in the right kind of way, so on this particular occasion I must say that the following tourist trap, which it really qualifies for, was actually a lot of fun to me. When I was in Sighisoara I spotted the restaurant Casa Vlad Dracul, where you can eat Dracula pancakes and see Vlad the Impaler’s birthplace at the same time, oh boy!
The pancakes were lovely, but that doesn’t kill the pain of the horrifying restaurant, where their idea of decorating is taping paintings to the wall.
But wait, the worst is yet to come! Upstairs is the room where Vlad the Impaler was born, or so they say. To get in you have to pay 5 RON, which is around €1. The cashier then goes upstairs and comes back again to let you in. As soon as you climb the stairs the creepy music starts, and the cashier starts flicking the lights switch. Now, if you don’t want any spoilers you should not continue reading, but I’m guessing you already know what’s coming.
Inside the room you’ll first see a stereo on your right, and you’ll wonder if you should’ve paid more, just to help them get a dark cloth or anything that would cover this thing.
When you walk further into the room, you’ll notice a coffin with a far too real looking doll inside. Of course you know it’s not a doll so when it suddenly starts to move it will not scare you, at all. Then comes a room with some random Vlad the Impaler statues, from which I didn’t really understand why it was there. All I remember is ‘Dracula’s’ face when we left, depressed, sick and tired of playing a corpse in a cheap tourist scam. If I could do it again I would actually consider pretending to shriek, just for the poor dude. So why did I like it? I have no idea.
They call it the pearl of the Adriatic, and it’s true, Dubrovnik is absolutely gorgeous! So how come a while ago I wrote a post about escaping this place? The answer is tourists. They are everywhere. The town is too small to handle the large crowds coming at it, so if you go (which you should) be prepared for souvenir shops, overpriced food and crowded streets. The biggest disappointment? Grown men dressed as… I want to say knights?! Whatever it was, I don’t think that’s what they intended when they built this beautiful city. Luckily there’s a lot to do in the neighborhood, just don’t expect to do it alone.