|Subject: Re: Great expectations - Was: In Berlin - NY Times|
<< I wonder if some of the Ziners have felt like that. If they have been let down by their great expectations, if those expectations have been confirmed. How was your experience? >>
Concerning Berlin... I've been there twice (living in South-West Germany), so it wouldn't be new to me. What I'd expect if I'd go there now (and it seems I'll be there for a few days in late spring next year - biggest German ecumenical church conference with about 200.000 people) is that I won't recognize all things I know from the past - cause especially the centre where the wall has been is being remodelled completely. And if possible (remember the 200.000) I'd like to visit the new Reichstag, stroll round the Hackesche Hoefe, make a boat trip thru the centre...
concerning general experience... I know quite well how you felt. There have been a lot of examples in my travels where people were telling me wonderful things about a place - which seemed quite normal to me when I finally was there (e.g. island Ruegen, Bretagne (which has not much of the promised Scotland feeling), Loire (except the castle I don't like that river very much)).
But don't get me wrong - of course those mentioned areas are not completely ugly, they have their share of charming landscape for instance. But at least the people who talked to me beforehand must have been exaggerating - or didn't know anything about certain other areas they used as comparison (like the Scotland example).
On the other hand, especially in France I found several areas who were entrancing (for me!) - which nobody ever (or very few people) talked about, e.g. Auvergne, Pyrenees, pays Cathare, some river valleys near the Tarn (which I liked better than the Tarn itself), some areas in the Bourgogne.
So - yes I can confirm your general comments even though my impressions of London and Paris are completely different: Paris was nice - but London was (and is) a lot more special to me. Even though I get always blisters from hours of walking everytime I find something new I like very much and I also have to revisit certain places I don't want to miss.