We all have our share of disappointing travel stories when something just didn’t work out or our expectations didn’t match the reality. I have few such experiences which were unpleasant or uneventful, much different than I had imagined, and I am sharing them here today.
Morskie Oko, Poland
Morskie Oko is a stunning lake located in the middle of Tatra National Park on the south of Poland. I had seen some lovely photos of the area and couldn’t wait to go and explore myself. We eventually made it there on a long weekend 1.5 years ago. It was the first of May, and we did a long hike (about 2 hours) in the drizzling rain to go to the lake. Much different to what I had imagined, most of the hiking trail was paved, and there were no views to speak of, due to the bad weather. It was drizzling and rather cold. I still hoped that the lake and the surroundings would be worth the uncomfortable hike.
However, when we got to the top, the view of the famous lake was like this:
Not only was the lake still frozen, the mountains surrounding the lake were barely visible! It just looked like a giant frozen field engulfed in clouds.
When normally in clear weather, the lake looks like this.
I was so disappointed that I couldn’t even bear to be in the area for longer than 5 minutes. We walked down to the entrance with disappointed faces, wet clothes, and cold feet. All I wanted to do was go back to the hotel, change into warm and dry clothes and relax.
It wasn’t the weather that we had problems with in Athens. It was just that I found it to be very overrated. Besides few interesting and historical monuments, there wasn’t much to see. It was just a huge, sprawling city, like any other. I didn’t find any charm or uniqueness to it. I didn’t think that it was worth flying to Greece just for Athens.
Greek islands are a different story however. What would be good for me is seeing Athens for a day before going to one of the islands for relaxing. Besides, it was winter when we visited and about 4 or 5 degrees. With no internal heating in the apartment that we rented, I ended up having the worst flu I had in years right after returning to Poland. The circumstances were just unfavorable; and I was far from impressed with the city itself.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Okay, I am sure not everybody agrees with this opinion of mine, but I found Amsterdam to be very overrated. I visited during Easter break this year, and it was very crowded, noisy and just made me restless. I had heard on and on from people how amazing Amsterdam is, but I had a different experience. I just thought it was terribly crowded. Of course not everything was bad; I loved wandering around the canals and checking out the fantastic architecture, but I think it just wasn’t worth the hype for me.
I wouldn’t spend more than one day in Amsterdam if I were to ever go back to the Netherlands. What I found the best about our Netherlands trip were the places just on the outskirts of Amsterdam; namely Alkmaar town and a small village near seaside called Bergen. In fact we were so in love with those lovely, beautiful places that we were thankful we decided to book our stay outside the city as everything was fully booked in Amsterdam at the time. I found the Dutch villages to be very pleasant, well-kept and just beautiful. A world of difference from Amsterdam if you ask me.
Experience in Georgia
This wasn’t due to the fact that Georgia didn’t meet my expectations; it was primarily due to the circumstances that led me to cut short my 4 day planned vacation to just 2 days and the rainy/cloudy weather the ENTIRE time I was there! Georgia is a gorgeous, off the beaten path country that I had looked forward to going for the whole year, but then when I went there, it was rainy and cloudy the whole time! Luckily we had rented a car and a Georgian driver who showed us around.
We could continue sightseeing despite the rainy weather due to that, but it was a shame that I traveled to such a fascinating area (Caucasus region), only to barely see some of the beautiful mountain peaks, villages and fascinating scenery due to the hovering clouds. I still managed to see Kutaisi city and the surroundings and a beautiful mountain town called Mestia in the beautiful and faraway Svaneti area in those two days.
I would go back to Georgia in a heartbeat and it is undeniably worth a visit, but the weather was really not on my side this year! It was still a very memorable experience but I remember that grave feeling of disappointment bad weather brings you when traveling in a beautiful place.
Despite these experiences, I don’t regret traveling to these places as I learned lessons and made memories regardless. I would do a few things differently (like extensive checking of weather and right season to visit!) in the future, but I consider these valuable experiences anyway.
//Do you have such bad/disappointing travel stories yourself?