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One-Star Reviews of the World’s Greatest Landmarks

World travelers know: wanderlust is something in the blood for some people. The pleasures of exploring new places, meeting new people, and connecting with new cultures strike chords deep inside you. Many are simply born to travel.

That said, we’ve always felt that, with the right introduction and support, absolutely anyone can enjoy the profound experience of discovering new horizons. Throughout the years, we’ve helped countless guests visit regions they never thought they’d be able to see on their own. Our belief is that everyone should be able to savor time on the road.

…Or, at least, it was our belief until we read these reviews on Tripadvisor.com. It seems that some people can find fault with even the world’s greatest highlights. Here are a few (ahem) interesting takes on some of our favorite destinations. Names have been redacted to protect the unpleasable.

Subject: The Eiffel Tower

Tour the Eifel Tower
One-Star Review:
“Better to look at than from. Like most things in the world that you’ve seen on television, when you get there and look at it, it’s really not that big of a deal or awe inspiring.”

Our Take:
As any guest adding our Tour Extension can discover, the experience of climbing high above Paris—tracing the arc of the Seine, the ribbon of the Champs Elysees, the convoluted grid of arrondissements, and the distant dome of Sacre Coeur—is breathtaking. Simply put, there’s no better view of the City of Lights.

Decide for Yourself:
Add a Paris Extension to our France: Normandy & Brittany Adventure >>

Subject: Prague Castle

Majestic Prague Castle
One-Star Review:
“Not really a castle in the real sense. This is a collection of buildings on the top of a hill.”

Our Take:
Calling Prague Castle “not really a castle” is like calling Da Vinci’s The Last Supper “not really a painting.” Technically it’s true (The Last Supper is a fresco and Prague Castle is the world’s largest palace complex), but entirely beside the point. With buildings dating to the 9th century, numerous gothic and romanesque churches, and a hive of courtyards, alleys, towers, and gardens begging to be explored, it’s one of the most remarkable architectural feats in the world.

Decide for Yourself:
Explore Prague Castle on our Czech Republic: Vienna to Prague Adventure >>

Subject: Gullfoss Waterfall


One-Star Review:
“12 meter waterfall. Not impressed by it. It’s a waste of time, the waterfall is tiny.”

Our Take:
We’d sincerely like to visit wherever this writer is from; she’s clearly experienced waterfalls on a different scale than the average person. With a massive, multi-step “staircase” of cascades culminating in a drop of over 100 feet, Gullfoss sends 140 cubic meters of water per second plunging into a narrow gorge, where the entire river seems to vanish entirely. One of the most iconic spectacles in Iceland, it will hopefully impress most travelers.

Decide for Yourself:
Visit Gullfoss on our Iceland: Reykjavík & National Parks Adventure >>

Subject: The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone


One-Star Review:
“Too many people. Hated the entire canyon area.”

Our Take:
We’re willing to concede a point to this reviewer: if you limit yourself to spots near parking lots and scenic overlooks in US national parks, you’re going to run into lots of other travelers. That’s why we make a point of following trails away from the crowds and into the heart of the park’s natural beauty (many that you won’t find in the typical guide book). Do so beside the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and you’ll soon be alone among the lodgepole pines, listening to birdsong and looking out at a 2,000-foot precipice of white rhyolite streaked with red and and green oxidation all leading to the roiling white water of the Yellowstone River. To us, that’s hard to hate.

Decide for Yourself:
Visit this canyon on our Montana & Wyoming: Yellowstone Adventure >>

Subject: Machu Picchu


One-Star Review:
“Tourist trap alert. I can’t begin to describe how disappointed I was with this place.”

Our Take:
What a place to be trapped! When we bring our guests to experience sunrise in Machu Picchu—watching delicate light chase the morning mist across the intricate stonework of Incan temples—disappointment is the last thing on people’s minds.

Decide for Yourself:
Visit this spectacular city on our Peru: Machu Picchu & the Sacred Valley Adventure >>

Subject: The Roman Colosseum


One-Star Review:
“Stay home and use google images…Stay in bed, open up the laptop and check out a couple of tour videos in YouTube.”

Our Take:
This architectural marvel was built to hold over 50,000 cheering Romans and has a footprint of more than 6 acres. If you can find a screen big enough to capture the awe of that, we salute you. However, we’d encourage guests to reserve a Tour Extension to Rome and view it for themselves—plus, then they can stop for gelato afterwards.

Decide for Yourself:
Add a Rome Tour Extension to the following adventures…
Italy: Maremma >>
Italy: Tuscany & Umbria >>

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