Friday, October 5, 2012

Top Five Euro Spots You Might Want To Avoid

Before I get into this latest top (or bottom) five, I'd like to say that I really don't HATE any of the below.  I'm just not particularly crazy about them, and would advise against seeing them if asked.  Then again, I'm an asshole, and what do I know?  If you were planning on going to one of the below, go right ahead, any of them would beat sitting in a cubicle for nine hours a day/ five days a week.

OK, so now that the disclaimer has been stated, lets hit some of the less exciting places in Europe that you may want to skip.

5) Malmo, Sweden

This picture makes it look tons awesomer than it actually is. 

First off, let's get something straight.  I have nothing against Malmo. In fact, I like Malmo. It's a quaint, little city. It has a very nice town square, and an old area (Lilla Torg, above) that can only be described as charming. It has some nice cafes I enjoyed.  Hell, I'd name my dog Malmo (C'mere Malmo!).

Now, having said all that, there's no fucking reason to go to Malmo.  I know why people choose to visit there; it's just a stone's throw from Copenhagen, and acts as a distraction for people who made their Denmark vacation a day too long.  I'm sure 98 percent of Malmo's tourism is based on the fact that people can travel 20 minutes from Copenhagen and cross Sweden off their "countries visited" list.  But, sorry, claiming you've been to Sweden, only to reveal that you just spent an afternoon in Malmo, is like saying you slept with Kate Upton when all you did was rub one out to her Sports Illustrated cover. When it comes to Swedish cities, its either Stockholm, Gothenburg, or get the fuck out. 

4) Christiania (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Interested to see how a village might run itself in a post-apocalyptic society?  Well, then you may want to visit Christiania. This self-proclaimed, autonomous area of Copenhagen is situated in an old military complex, has no roads fit for automobiles, and is obscured from the surrounding area by a wall and trees.  On the inside?  Dilapidated buildings, artwork, rubble, cannabis, crafts, bad graffiti, good graffiti, weird smells, mud, dirt, body hair, and inhabitants that seem wary of visitors, and aren't afraid to tell you about it.  On my one visit, just a quick walk through the dirt clod produced several middle fingers, and a few other probing questions about why I was there.  The town exists by its own rules, the police seem to ignore it, I believe it even has its own currency (though the Danish kroner is accepted), and while a simple description of the small area does sound appealing for a visit, you might walk out of there feeling more uneasy than when you stepped in.  And I'd like to think I'm a pretty tolerant person. 

3) The Bone Church (Kutna Hora, Czech Republic)

After my first trip to the Czech Republic, a few friends chastized me for not taking the 90 minute train ride from Prague, to the tiny town of Kutna Hora, to see the unforgettable bone church, which is, well, a church full of sculptures made from 50,000 human bones (or the bones from 50,000 people, I can't remember, whatever). "Breathtaking!" they said.  "A once in a lifetime attraction," they gushed. "OMG!" they agreed. Well, on my second go round in Czech, my friend and I made a point to see the storied church, but upon leaving, both of us thought ... "eh, kinda shit."  It's not that the church isn't interesting.  If nothing else, it's certainly unique and creepy.  If it were in old town Prague, it would be a must see.  It's just not worth a stuffy 90 minute + train ride in a car that probably doesn't have AC.  Plus, the church is literally one small room full of bones that smells horrible. Like your grandma's old musty basement.  In fact, I got nauseous fairly quickly.  Plus, what else is there to do in Kutna Hora?  NOTHING.  Even the adjacent ice cream store sucked, unless you call a teaspoon of crappy gelato atop a cone a satisfying snack. I don't. I doubt you do either.  Maybe 100,000 people needed to die for my benefit. It would, at least, have kept me at this questionable tourist attraction for more than 3 minutes. 

2) Pisa - the leaning tower, all that shit (Pisa, Tuscany, Italy)

I don't need to regurgitate.  Just click here to relive my thoughts on this tourist trap.

1) Charles de Gualle Airport (Paris, France) 

Or what I like to call...the seventh lair of hell.  And this coming from a guy who loves the airport so much, he often gets jealous while watching that crappy Tom Hanks movie where he gets stuck in the airport for a month or a year or whatever. 

Sure, de Gualle airport is not a tourist attraction, but unless you want to know what it feels like to be herded like cattle in tight spaces, you should avoid this hellhole at all costs.  Now, Paris is one of the most beautiful and storied cities in all of Europe, hell, all of the world, but the airport there is just shit.  Now, I've only been there once, but the experience involved an overcrowded busride from the plane to the gate (and the bus actually almost tipped over at one point), a horridly unpleasant customs instance, and the best part?  When I got funnelled into an overcrowded gate area with hundreds of other Europeans who didn't seem to understand the concept of a shower.  It was kind of like being at the front of the stage during a rock concert, except nobody was playing music, no one was having fun, and you were told it might last forever.

But, of course, this is all just my opinion.  If you want to see any of these places (well, except the airport), don't let me discourage you.  But, well, consider yourself warned.

1 comment:

  1. Funny that your visit to Christiania would produce the described reactions from the inhabitants. Rather sounds as if you have broken their rules, like taking pictures where you are not allowed. Signs with "NO PHOTO" should tell you of this.

    My visits to this wonderful place has always been pleasurable and I hav e felt exceptionally welcome, so it seems to me that you have done something to enlist the bad vibes.