Enter the Tourist Zone

Teesha's Trip 553I think you see them in every big city that is a tourist destination: those open-topped, double decker, hop-on, hop-off tourist buses with their passengers hanging over the sides to see what there is to see. Yes, they are very touristy, but are they any good? Interesting? Worth the money?

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I think yes to all of the above. One time I was traveling with a friend who is a resident of Washington DC. She wasn’t too sure of the idea of spending the day touring on a hop-on, hop-off bus. She said that they laughed at the eager-eyed tourist as they were driven through the streets of their city. When the day was over, she said she wouldn’t laugh at them any more. It is a good way to see the great sites of the city that you are visiting.

Picture this, you are in an exciting new city that you have dreamed of visiting. The sun is shining (not too hot, just perfect),  you are on the top deck, you have your ear buds in and are listening to the commentary as the bus rolls past the sites of the city: Eiffel Tower, Arch de Triomphe,  down the Champs Elysees, Louvre, Notre Dame.

It’s not cheap, but neither is it expensive. Think of it as being in the DIY section of travel products.

My tip: know the layout of the city before you get there. Know the sites that you want to really visit and explore and those that are more of a photo stop. This is the day to make sure that you get the photo stops in. You might not have time to really explore the sites that you have traveled so far to see. Save them for tomorrow when you can use cheaper mass transit. Today is for relaxing and enjoying the unique view that you get from the top deck of the bus.

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What are your thoughts? Do you like the hop-on, hop-off buses? Too touristy for you? Too costly?

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I Really Should Have Tossed a Coin In

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Have you ever dreamed of seeing the Trevi Fountain? With it’s over the top baroque architecture, the pictures were always so beautiful. What the pictures didn’t prepare me for, was the people! I was amazed when we turned the corner and run into the mass of tourists there.

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A few mornings later, we were out for an early walk when we rediscovered the fountain without the tourists. It was between eight and nine and the fountain was shut down for cleaning and it was very interesting to watch them clean and remove all of the money from it.

p1020226We bought some breakfast from the McDonald’s (I know, I know, but it was what was open) just down the street and sat there at the fountain and enjoyed our breakfast and coffee. It was lovely.

The legend has it that if you stand with your back to the fountain and toss a coin into it, you will return. We didn’t toss any coins in and we haven’t been back. I really should have tossed a coin in.