THElife can be full of disappointments and disappointments – the first time you taste beer as a teenager and wonder why all the noise is there; that feeling when you open a giant package to find a small gift and a lot of plastic packaging inside; this first date, quickly abandoned, with the guy who, it turns out, looks nothing like his Tinder profile.
The travel world is not immune to such shortcomings. The breathless opinions of your friends and the hyperbole of glossy brochures might lead you to believe that this or that city / hotel / restaurant is the best thing ever – only for your own experience to unearth hell / a hell infested with rats. Overpriced slum / mess of posing hipsters, rude waiters, and food as bland as the portions are tiny.
Then there are the monuments which are very famous and very much visited – but which, on closer inspection, turn out to be smaller than the legend says. Not in terms of popularity or the number of other tourists gathered, but in terms of actual physical size.
Take the Mannekin Pis, an icon of Brussels, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary today. That notorious fountain of a naked little boy happily urinating is a constant source of camera clicks. But it’s really tiny. How small? Barely 61 cm of sculpted bronze. Don’t plan a weekend in Brussels around.
Are there any other tourist-adored wonders of the world whose outlines have been a bit exaggerated, if only in spirit? Why yes, there are a few. Such as…
The little Mermaid
Tourists flock in their thousands to this famous statue, which can be found on the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen. A portrayal of the titular heroine of one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most touching fairy tales, she is a reasonable walk – about three kilometers – from the city center, but many visitors still make the hike to her. research.
It wasn’t until they arrived that they realized the mermaid was really small. Specifically, it measures approximately 4.1 feet (1.25 m) in “height”. Better to hope your camera has a decent zoom feature.
By artistic definitions, Leonardo da Vinci’s 1503 portrayal of the wife of silk merchant Lisa del Giocondo is a Renaissance titan – a captivating creation on canvas so significant in impact, influence and fame that it practically has its own. gravitational field.
It’s only when you try to catch a glimpse of that slight smile as you make your way through the crowd of the Louvre, that you realize how small âLa Jocondeâ is in the flesh. Specifically, the painting measures 77 cm Ã 53 cm (30 in Ã 21 in). Look where you wave that selfie stick, you almost gouged my eyes out.
The accompanying piece of the Pyramids of Giza was carved from the limestone of ancient Egypt by the gods who oversaw this early civilization. They created a figure of size and splendor, half human, half lion, to inspire awe and devotion through the ages.
Well, that’s pretty much the spiel. In fact, Cairo’s most notable cat-man hybrid is significantly smaller than the legendary tombs it strolls alongside. His stats – 238 feet (73 m) long, 66 feet (20 m) high – mean he’s tall, but nothing as tall as many imagine. Oh, and it was made by deadly craftsmen between 2558 and 2532 BC. Obviously.
Christ the Redeemer
Never has a statue dominated the skyline of a city so much as Christ the Redeemer – hovering above the beaches, bars and barrios of Rio de Janeiro, the crowning glory atop the swarthy jungle-covered peak Corcovado.
What do you find when you reach the top of the mountain? The slightly deflated truth that this particular Christ is a “mere” 98 feet (30 m) in stature. To put this in context, the Eiffel Tower pushes the clouds to 1,063 feet (324 m). Now this is an urban giant.
Statue of Liberty
Perhaps the same case of slight throwback applies to the most famous American lady who is carved from copper and lives on an island opposite the skyscrapers of lower Manhattan.
Again, it’s not that Liberty is tiny. The torch-pointed statue is 151 feet (46 m) tall. The entire construction from ground level is 305 feet (93 m). And yet, all of these depictions in movies, TV shows, and American mythology leave you expecting a little more.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The same principle. Only in Tuscany.
In reputation – very great indeed. In fact – 183 feet (56 m). Obviously, if he didn’t sag so much, he would be a little taller.
It looks huge, seismic, a timeless temple assembled by the hands of Neolithic giants. It’s only when you see it in person – or when a bunch of Midsummer revelers are allowed to fetch the sun in the middle of the main circle – do you realize these colossal slabs aren’t as colossal as you could do it. think. Each standing stone measures 4.1 m (13 ft), roughly the combined height of two men of average height. Impressive but not gargantuan.
It is not that this characteristic is determined to castigate America’s best-known monuments. “Do you call it fat? It’s not fat. I should have gone to Russia.”
It’s just that, for all its image as the Grand Canyon of the Northeastern United States, all foamy water and spray clouds, Niagara Falls is not really one of the best waterfalls in the world. water. At least not when it comes to height. Consider these numbers. The Horseshoe Falls segment of Niagara Falls drops to 188 feet (57 m). Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe reach a plunge of 355 feet (108 m). Angel Falls in Venezuela goes all out at 3,212 feet (979 m).
When you say it like that …
Seven Mile Beach
Beware of false advertising. Seven Mile Beach is found on the west coast of Jamaica, stretching around the town of Negril. It’s nice. It has sumptuous sunsets. It is four miles long.
The very idea of ââcarving the faces of four US Presidents into the living granite of South Dakota’s Black Hills suggests size and scale. MM. Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, and Roosevelt were political juggernauts. Their similarities must be huge enough, you would suppose.
Well, uh. Mount Rushmore itself is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) high. Each face represents 60 feet (18 m) of chisel work. Still, there’s plenty of space left if the current White House holder decides he deserves a spot on the rock face. You know he thought about it …
Honestly, America is not a character assassination. But only you would build part of your national psyche around a boulder on a rainy part of the Massachusetts coast.
Letâs take a quick look at this. The legend – the spot, the same place, where the Mayflower Pilgrims landed on New World soil in 1620, giving rise to the modern United States. The reality – a piece of granite that snapped in half when someone tried to haul it to Plymouth Town Square in 1774. Oh.
The Blue Lagoon
No visit to Iceland can be complete without a dip in this aptly named attraction about 40 km from Reykjavik. With reason. The water is indeed blue (or appears to be). It is also hot. People bathe in its soothing warmth and feel happy – seemingly settled in a steaming inland ocean. Look at the image above for proof.
Everything is fine and dandy. It is only when you see a larger photo of the lagoon that you realize that it is a) not huge and b) an offshoot of the adjacent Svartsengi geothermal power plant.