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A to Z Challenge: R is for Revisit

By Tuesday, April 21, 2015

This post originally appeared as part of the A to Z Challenge, and was called 'R is for Revisit'.

Have you ever traveled somewhere and despite all the promises just felt kind of 'meh' about it? These are the places I went but don't think I got as much out of them as I could have. Maybe I hadn't done enough research to find the good stuff, maybe I was tired out from traveling or work, or maybe they'd just been hyped so much that getting there and finding they're just a city was a bit of a let down.

Often, it's the rain that really, ahem, clouds my experience. That's not really fair for the city I visited

New Orleans


I thought New Orleans would be this magical city, with jazz and blues oozing from every alley way, haunted absinth bars and maybe even a little voodoo. But it turned out to be very similar to every other major American city I've been to.

Firstly, it rained, a whole lot. The weather was so bad when we flew in our flight got diverted to Texas! We got caught in some very heavy rain a few times which put a damper on looking around.
Yes, there was live music coming from many bars, but they were just your run of the mill cover bands. It felt more like a large party school - I could get that back at university. Probably the most memorable experience we had was at an absinth bar near the end of a pirate themed tour, so it filled up with tour guides dressed as pirates!

Why I should go back: The French Quarter (where Bourbon Street is) has many lovely, charming buildings, but there's a lot more to New Orleans than that, which I learned on our trip to the zoo. There's still a lot more waiting to be discovered and experienced in the city.

Stockholm

I was in Stockholm for work, so I had 5 really long, stressful days (some of our equipment was lost - it probably didn't make it out of Hamburg airport - and we had to make do without it.)
It was November, so the only day light we saw was between breakfast and arriving where we were working. It wasn't unusual for us to stop working at 7, without stopping for lunch. At that point I was so hungry and worn out that I just wanted to eat and go to bed.

I did make it to Gamla Stan, the old town twice. The first time I left my SD card in my computer, and the second time it rained.

Why I should go back: Since most of my time was spent either in my hotel room asleep or in a basement room working, I left a lot of things undone and unseen in Stockholm.

Barcelona

Let's just get this one out of the way: it rained. Not a lot, but it was a far cry from the sunny weather we were hoping from Barcelona in September. Our airbnb host was three hours late (despite agreeing on a time to meet before hand, we waited for three hours and then got an email from him saying he was ready to meet us) and we almost didn't go out the first night.

Parque Guell was painfully crowded (and it rained) and the Funicular to Mt Tibidabo was closed for the winter already. This really surprised me, and I hadn't thought to check about winter times because we were in Barcelona September 20-25th.

We also had really bad service over all, with people forgetting our orders and over charging us. We were refused any service twice (one place was too busy to serve customers even though it was an order-at-the-counter kind of place, the other the waiter kept telling us we had to leave because our table was for diners only, even though we were there for dinner and it was mostly empty).

Why I should go back: We wanted to be there for the Festes de Merced, which was too late in the year for dry weather and the beach. We should probably have done more research than expecting the Festes events to entertain us, since they generally involved a lot of standing around and less than tantalizing indie bands.

Amsterdam

This time we had great weather, but it was the last few days of our Belgium & Amsterdam trip and we were tired out. Some people are going to hate me for this... but... there's not that much to do there. Maybe we didn't look hard enough, or plan well enough, but there wasn't a whole lot that really stood out to us as things we wanted to do.

Why I should go back:
After I came back, I kept hearing it's a great place for cheese tasting.

And that's why I think I need to give it another shot.

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7 comments

  1. Great places to revisit. I personally have always wanted to go to Stockholm, but have not made it there yet. I must say that I preferred Rotterdam to Amsterdam, something about the city spoke to me more than in Amsterdam.

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  2. I LOVED Amsterdam. You should definitely give it another try! :) Great post!!!

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  3. I kinda felt the same way about Cuba. Many people love the place, and the locals were easy to talk with and the culture interesting, but I walked away with a very indifferent opinion.

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    1. Yeah, two of my friends visited there in December, but from looking at their photos I'm not quite sure I see the point. I know every place has it's unique charms, but it sounded like they spent three weeks doing the same things and eating the same food over and over again.

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  4. I have been to New Orleans twice, and I was lucky because both times I had local friends as guides. It is definitely a treat if you hang out with someone who lives there! :) I am a frequent visitor at the Amsterdam airport, but never actually visited the city... One of these days I will.
    Nice post!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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  5. Calgary is the place I'd like to revisit... :) but mostly I enjoy visiting new places :)

    A-Z challenge
    https://bookbug2012.wordpress.com/

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  6. Really nice post! I have a few places that I've been to and felt that 'meh' - but I never thought about trying them again. Maybe I need to learn to 'forgive' them, as you seem to be doing.
    I'm all about revisiting the places I've already been, but maybe it's time to break that habit!
    thanks for sharing!

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