Let's not go to...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I recently picked up 101 Places not to Visit, a guide to the world's most depressing, ugly, boring and dangerous destinations. The book's premise is that you're better off staying at home. Adam Russ' list of 101 cities tells us why we really should just stay away. All in the tradition of Great British xenophobia, the reviews are not to be taken seriously, very tongue-in-cheek and quite funny.

Some of the worst destinations are: Mogadishu, Astana, San Salvador, Murmansk, Atlantic City. Ulaanbaatar is described as the ultimate destination for those wanting to get away from everyone and everything. Western cities do not escape criticism with Copenhagen (amongst others) labelled boring. The Little Mermaid statue, he claims, looks mournfully at the water wishing she could swim away.

In the spirit of fairness, I'm going to test the accuracy of his criticisms for places I have been to.


London, he claims, is full of angry commuters, and workers who must get their drinking in before everything shuts at 11pm.
TRUE
Barcelona is full of street entertainment - only mildly entertaining unless you like pickpockets, political rallies and fires.FALSE-ISH
Norwegians in Oslo are "most unbearably smug people that you'll meet in Scandinavia".TRUE-ISH
Riga's red-brick cathedral is like any old library or STD clinic in Britain. FALSE

So, only about half right, then. I finished the book and found myself really wanting to go to all the places he'd listed, just to see them!

9 comments:

Adam said...

Of all the places in Britain not to go London wouldn't even be in my top 100. Did Adam Russ not visit Aldershot or Grimsby?

Adrian said...

Slough made hislist. If I remember rightly, the other UK places were Scottish - Edinburgh and Glasgow - and Northern Ireland (Belfast).

BostonPobble said...

Atlantic City ~ ah, now there's a destination. It's actually so bad it's worth a visit. I can give you a long list of those. ;)

Anonymous said...

Did Limerick get a mention? Or even the Godforesaken Athlone?

Anonymous said...

that was me by the way, Cathy

Adrian said...

Cathy - No, Ireland was conspicuous in its absence! I was quite surprised at that.

traveller one said...

Is Albania in the book??

tobias said...

The author didn't like Riga? Well, burn the book, his judgement is not to be taken seriously anyway... ;)

Pål the Norwegian said...

Hahahaha... Smug my arse. Oh well, guess it actually is trueish. *lol*