Friday, November 23, 2012

Disappointing Travel Moments

Poor Diane. While travelling in NSW with her TOH, the waterfalls they came across were nearly dry, or if not dry, severely depleted of water.

I am sure everyone has had disappointing travel moments and we are no exceptions.

In a similar vein to Diane, we travelled by chairlift to Kuranda out from Cairns and returned via a scenic railway. There were spectacular views of Barron Falls, but alas, there was barely any water flow.

We took R's sister and brother in law up into the stunning Blue Mountains from Sydney, only to find a summer mist had brought visibility down to a few metres.

I so wanted to go up the Blackpool Tower. I was disappointed to find that you had to pay an outrageous price, which included a circus. I did not go to Blackpool to see a circus. I went to see the tower, trams, the beach and the nightlife.

Then our most recent disappointment, the funicular train up Penang Hill in Malaysia was closed for maintenance the day we visited.

I would be happy to hear of your disappointing travel moments. 


  1. Colin6:38 pm

    Wow - Andrew, you set the bar high!!!
    Waterfalls do depend on rain, and I guess Barron Falls in FNQ was a disappointment, also the Ebor Falls etc.
    on what I still will call "The Dorrigo Pass".
    I think 3 and I will have to think carefully which one was the most unpleasant.
    1. Guam. Using my frequent flyer points with US Continental Airlines ( now amalgamated with United).
    First problem was frequent flyer points do not allow package deals!!! Shock #1.
    Shock #2. A typhoon hit Guam the day before I left Brisbane. I had no idea of this disaster.
    Shock #3. Arrived at Guam International after a very pleasant flight at 4.30am ( still pitch dark)
    nobody to collect me. Phoned my accommodation - no answer.
    Shock #4. Eventually a taxi appeared as the sun was rising. The taxi-driver asked me "what on earth are you
    doing here?" Then I saw the disaster. Roofs missing, dead animals on the street and then my "hotel" - roofless,
    windows smashed etc etc. They told me that they tried to tell me not to come but the phones were out.
    I was taken to a room in complete shock and didn't even unpack. Just dropped onto the bed which promptly
    collapsed. Actually it was one of the rooms not badly affected!!!!!! But it was.
    Shock #4. Trying to get out of the place! I did however move from this hotel into one that was still in one piece.
    Took a week with airline travel to get back here.

    2. New York in Winter: Pick pocketed in "Times Square" . Froze in one of their coldest winters and then that.
    Never again that wretched city, which seems a beckon for Aussies.

    3. Mexico City. (1976). This on rotary business before the convention in New Orleans. Accommodation was the
    newly built high rise, Holiday Inn. An earthquake rocked the city. I was out of the 21st floor so fast I even amazed myself.
    Booked into an old historic hotel - just 2 stories!!

    Otherwise, all great, just the usual little hiccups, no worries. After all public transport here, does have hiccups and we don't slit our throats - ha ha.

    Yep I think GUAM!

    1. Colin6:47 pm

      Sorry about a second Shock #4, should be #5. That's what Guam and typhoons do to the memory box!

    2. Great tales Colin. I don't know that I would like New York. Mexican built highrise? You were wise to bolt.

    3. Colin8:10 am

      It is quite interesting to learn about these "highrise" buildings in Mexico City. Well, I learnt after I vamvoosed from the Holiday Inn ( brand new) to the 2 storied old, colonial Hotel Geneva! I think this hotel might have been the first and at one time grandest in the city.
      Mexico City is built on earth that moves, told by very amused Mexican rotarions at a meeting. The buildings can sway with the quake!It is all in the new planning!
      Anyhow I was not prepared to find out just how much swaying they could handle.
      If you ever go to Mexico City make sure you go to this place just outside the city: "TEOTIHUACAN".
      It is remarkable and you can google it.

    4. Colin, I like the sound of Hotel Geneva. Ha, Mexican pyramids.

  2. crossing the Pacific to LAX with the New Zealand rowing team. They boarded wearing jackets and ties, but very soon were down to shorts and roaming the aisles swinging sixpacks of beer.

    Checking into a hotel on Noumea recommended by a rich friend, but our room was above the restaurant aroma and music, there were frill-neck goanna things rushing up the halls, and I checked out the next day.

    3am asleep in a hotel on Oxford St SYD and thought "is that smoke I smell?" dressed faster than an adulterer and was packed when the fire brigade hammered on the door to evacuate.
    The journey IS The Destination.

    1. Noumea Ann, with prices that match or are higher than Paris. I would have expected better accom.

      3am in Oxford Street? Time to go clubbing and don't worry about the raging inferno.

  3. I don't disappointments here. Although that may change in about five years when I retire.

    1. Yeah there was River. Grey and windy day on what is normally a sparkling blue Sydney Harbour?

    2. That wasn't at all disappointing, I love that kind of weather. The choppiness of the water made photo taking quite challenging.

  4. Expensive ritzy old hotel in Sydney. A deluge of biblical proportions. Mutant American cockroaches streaming from the walls.
    "So? We have cockroaches..."
    Did not bother with breakfast.

    Sydney with a hotel chain. Poky but new room. Septic waste oozing up through the shower drain after flushing toilet. No wonder the cleaners left the window open. Moved to a new room, no apology though. Stench throughout the entire wing was hideous.

    Backpacker places O/S [esp Rome]one expects to find filth and cockies, but not in Sydney at normal or high hotel rates.

    1. Ewww FC. You have struck it unlucky at times.

  5. Took friends to the top of the Swiss Alps on the highest railway in Europe and the cloud cover spoilt the view.

    1. Diane, that would be disappointing. We almost did not see Mt Fuji, but then as if by magic, the cloud cleared.

  6. Berlin has a famous Museum Island, right in the Spree River. They started with King Friedrich Wilhelm III who ordered a Royal Museum in the first half of the 19th century.
    -Old National Gallery
    -Old Museum
    -Bode Museum
    -New Museum and
    -Pergamon Museum

    We were in and around Berlin for 8 amazing days, but 3 of the 5 collections on Museum Island stayed firmly shut :(

    1. Hels, I suppose things must be closed for maintenance at times, but what a pity.

  7. Have just read FruitCake's comment. May possibly avoid Sydney for the foreseeable future.

    1. River, roaches in Sydney are horrible, but I only see one at a time.

  8. Anonymous8:19 pm

    After years of dreaming about it, finally booked a trip on the Ghan - Alice to Adelaide - only to have it cancelled due to a 'once-in-100-year' flood. The replacement bus wasn't quite the same... V.

  9. They generally involve arriving in a new town with a killer bakery - on Sunday, when everything's closed!!!

    Seriously, the day we drove to James Price Point in the Kimberley, site of a possible oil drilling operation that has polarised local opinion with the usual 'preserve natural beauty/make lots of money' tension. Halfway up the road we ran into a protestors blockade. While I applaud their activism, I've possibly missed out on seeing James Price Pt in it's natural glory! Bummer!!

    1. Red, I think in Victoria you are much less likely to find things closed on Sundays. You left you self wanting, so there will be something to do in the future.

  10. Not so many here in Australia, which leads me to think our travel system can't be that bad..many, many in Europe. But my worst disappointment was when we arrived in Paris and checked into a hotel enthusiastically recommended by a (French) friend, only to find it was truly awful. We stayed a night and moved out next day, there was no way I was going to have my stay in Paris anything less than fabulous haha!!

    1. Funny how people's perceptions of great and awful are different Grace. We almost moved out of our London accommodation, but they found us a better room instead.

  11. Whilst living in China in the early 1980s we made a trip up a small mountain with an alleged connection to Confucius. 'Every one should climb it once in their life and view the sunrise', we were told. So we did.

    The only way up and down again was on foot, thousands of stairs, endless, calf killing climbing, up uneven, slippery steps. Climbing without a break for over five hours. Once at the top was a very basic hotel for our overnight stay, with the smelliest, dirtiest toilets in all of China. None of us could sleep it was mind numbingly cold up there.

    Come the dawn and it was so cloudy and misty the sun was not visible at all. Our escort assured us the sun had risen and so it was time to return down the stairs to the bottom of the mountain, another five hours or so almost falling head over heels the 'walk' down was so steep.

    1. Truly awful Victor. I wonder if they still rip off tourists like that in China.

      To a much lesser degree, I can remember a really hard walk when we took a guided tour of the Blue Mountains. It was meant for backpackers, not forty and fifty year olds.

  12. Anonymous11:13 am

    I can't remember the exact time but it was after I came back from my year away in 1994/95 and before I moved to Japan! V.

  13. We must have been a bit out of touch V. I can't remember it.


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