“That’s a pike. I don’t like pikes. They’re bitey but not tasty.” (American tourist couple overheard at the local public aquarium.)
Since acquiring its very first marble sculpture 500 years ago, the Vatican museums have grown to become one of the largest museums in the world with over 70,000 works attracting some 28 billion visitors a year.*
Behold the Laocöon sculpture, the Raphael rooms, the Transfiguration, St. Jerome in Wilderness and the ticket line longer than the 3.2 kilometre Vatican state perimeter!
See the Sistine Chapel with its ceiling and Last Supper by Michelangelo and its silence continuously broken by guards shouting Silenzio!
See the crowds, see the back of the person in front of you, get a contraband selfie stick poked in your ear.
So I recently visited the Vatican Museums for the first time in ten years. Not much have changed since my last time. I still love the place. I still tried to beat the crowds. I still failed spectacularly.
* number based on a rough guesstimate.
Giddy tourists petting stone genitalia. Families collecting pokemonkeys. Terrified small children whose fathers, inspired by the sculptures, try to juggle them. Yup. It’s the Vigeland sculpture park.
My girlfriend and I rented a lighthouse on an uninhabited islet.
That’s the ratio between townsfolk living in Geiranger year-round and cruise passengers visiting during the tourist season.
When Wikipedia declares the place a “tourist village” you know it’s going to be bad. Cruise tourism in Geiranger can be traced back to summer of ’69. That’s 1869, of course. Since then, Geiranger, with its year-round population of 255, has grown to be the second busiest cruise port in all of Norway, with an estimated 320,000 passengers from close to 200 ships. Jeez.
Unremarkable photographs from an unexceptional place. For my friend Njord.
Paris is trying to one-up their competitors by building their own “Eiffel tower” three times the size of the original monuments in gambling cities Las Vegas and Macau. Tourists are thrilled though.
Pardon the sillyness. But really. Not five minutes had passed before a timid, young Hong Kong-fellow had asked me to help him frame his Eiffel-tower-as-erect-penis-selfie. Classy. And classic.
And umbrellas, also. (A short series on tourists trying to keep dry while visiting a wet city.)
The Japanese tradition of hanami – the celebration of the transient beauty of flowers, observed through enjoying a nice picnic in the shade of a cherry tree – is a brilliant concept that lends itself very poorly to Norwegian weather.
Oh, look. More water. (One of the world’s most stunning water journeys, represented by the dullest portion of it.)