In the age of social media, Trip Advisor, and blogs, it’s rare to visit somewhere and have no idea what to expect. Maybe you’re visiting a destination because it’s at the top of your bucket list, maybe it’s been recommended by a trusted friend or website, or maybe you’ve read about it in your favorite guidebook. Whatever the reason, however, we are rarely blank slates. We go into each destination with preconceived ideas about what it should be like: good or bad.
Fortunately, we usually hear about destinations because they are pretty awesome. So, for this week’s discussion, I want to know what destination most lived up to the hype. Which destination or sight did you hear a lot about before visiting and didn’t disappoint when you finally saw it or experienced it for yourself.
For me, it has to be the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. We’ve all heard amazing things about the Colosseum, and the pictures you see on the Internet and in books make it look magnificant. So, when I visited in 2006, I had very high expectations.
I can still vividly remember my first glimpse of the Roman ruin. I was exiting the subway station nearby. Once I reached the top of the stairs, there it was, towering above me. It was simply breathtaking.
It’s a moment that is permanently imprinted in my mind. Had I first seen the Colosseum at a distance, it may not have been as instantly impressive; however, catching a full view of something so magnificent as you reach the surface from underground is simply awe-inspiring.
Of course, my visit to the Colosseum wasn’t over once I reached the top of the stairs. Once inside, I was equally impressed with the size and condition of the ruins. Having never visited a Roman ruin before, I was blown away with how something so old could be so well preserved and so huge.
No matter how much I had heard, read, or seen prior to visiting, nothing could prepare me for that first magnifient view of the Colosseum.
What about you? What destination or sight totally exceeded the hype when you visited it? Let me know in the comments section below.