Earlier this week I wrote about my favourite places, those that I loved and wanted to return to.
Today my thoughts turn to those places that I found underwhelming and would never want to return.
The French Riviera
Not all of it but Nice, St Tropez plus near neighbour Monaco.
We were on a driving holiday through Europe and stayed in Antibes, visiting Saint-Maxime, Frejus and Cannes among others. All of which were wonderful places with their own charm and attractions.
St Tropez was awful, full of people just wanting to be seen and those desperate to see someone, anyone, who might be slightly famous. Over-priced and over-rated.
One thing we didn’t have in St Tropez was any issues with the local police.
Unfortunately, that was not the case in Nice. A nice enough city in itself, bordering on the gorgeous blue Mediterranean.
We were minding our own business walking down the wide Promenade des Anglais, with barely anyone else around. Walking towards us were two local Police, both giving all the macho vibes that they could muster, with their machine guns and pistols and almost paramilitary uniforms. They had no-one else to intimidate so they decided to alter their path so that they were walking directly in front us, forcing us to move out of their way. They can keep the place.
Finally, on my personal rogue’s gallery of the area is Monaco. We drove into the Principality, driving on some of the streets we had seen on television during the Grand Prix, and somehow found somewhere to park.
We had a walk around.
We bought an ice cream, an incredibly expensive and small ice cream.
We looked at the high-rise apartments.
And we left, been there, done that.
A number of years ago I was part of a delivery crew sailing a yacht from its summer base in the Canary Islands to its winter home in the Mediterranean. Trust me that sounds much more glamorous than it actually was.
Gibraltar was one of our stops and we were in port for a couple of days while repairs were made on the yacht, it had been a rough crossing.
Did I enjoy my short time there? Yeah, sure. Would I return? No.
I have seen the caves and the military museum, protected my belongings from the Barbary Macaques, sampled the bars and window shopped in the numerous “cheap” electronic stores.
I also witnessed the massive queues to cross the border into Spain and the nervousness of people waiting for the border to be closed at a moment’s notice. I also watched sharks feeding on the waste being pumped into the sea.
Ceuta (North Africa)
We were on a yacht so took a day trip from Gibraltar to Ceuta, a Spanish autonomous city on the north coast of Africa.
It just felt like a trading post that didn’t really know if it was supposed to be African or European.
Worth half a day on shore but no more than that.
I know many people who love Blackpool. I hate it.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach has some great rides but I always feel I am being ripped off when I have been there for some reason.
If you love the constant thrill of hen parties and stag do’s then maybe it is a place for you but it quickly grates on me.
People seem to think that there are different social rules in Blackpool and bad behaviour seems to breed further bad behaviour.
I know this makes me sound like an old miserable person but even in my late teens and twenties, when I enjoyed a good night on the town, I struggled to see the appeal of the place.
Chaweng (Koh Samui, Thailand)
The first time we stayed in Chaweng I loved it. In fact, I got married in Chaweng.
A few years later we were returning to Thailand and decided to return to Chaweng as we had enjoyed it so much the first time.
The amount it had changed was amazing in a few years.
A modern shopping mall had appeared and many of the locally owned shops and stalls had disappeared.
It seemed less well cared for and more corporate than before.
We travelled in a group and many enjoyed it there. I just think that I was disappointed to see that it had lost some of its charm in the search of big bucks.
Things may have improved since. Friends who were in Chaweng with us were in Lamai on Koh Samui earlier this year. They visited Chaweng on a couple of occasions and said it was much quieter there than when we visited. In fact, it felt that Lamai was busier than Chaweng.
We spent the night in Geneva.
I don’t remember much else, that is how much of an impression it made on me.
That may not be factually correct but the last time I was in Belgium I drove over the border and within 2 minutes it started raining. We travelled through Belgium until we reached the Netherlands where it stopped raining and the sun came out.
On the return journey it started raining as we crossed into Belgium and had stopped with 5 minutes of entering France. The sea, which was very rough off the coast of Belgium, was much calmer for our ferry from northern France.
My memory is just of rain and wind.
I have been there a few times, due to business and stayed over night a couple of times.
I am not sure where the attractions are in Reading but I have never found them if they do exist.
It just strikes me as a sterile, modern, boring town. Probably not on many, or any, list of tourist destinations and it should stay that way.
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What do you think of my selections? Do you have a place or places that you dislike so much you would never visit there again or just somewhere where you have been there and would not feel the need or desire to reurn? Leave a comment or contact us.
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