Often when we go to a city with many well known sights, several of which are considered to be must-sees, we end up missing quite few of them.
And we don’t feel guilty about that.
Many do; there’s the invisible pressure of expectation and the foreknowledge of rebuke to come. When you get home and are talking about the experience, there is often an aghast exclamation from someone who’s been – “didn’t you visit the Imperial Palace?!” (Kyoto) to which I’ll happily respond, “No, but we spent the most wonderful few hours taking a private cooking class in the home of an elderly Kyoto lady”. What about Kiyomizu-dera, surely the most famous of Kyoto temples? No, but we stumbled across a charming shrine with an enormous boulder through which you crawl one way to break the bonds of a poor relationship and the other way to ask for help forging a wonderful one.
We have learned that we’d rather enjoy the things we see, chosen according to the vagaries of what we feel like doing. Instead of racing around to tick everything off a list, or working top down from the sight that is most highly rated by the guide books, we choose what appeals the most to us. Often we will linger long in places that others might spend minutes in, but leave very quickly a sight that others dwell in, because it hasn’t caught our imaginations or interest.
There’s no deliberate attempt to eschew the most popular attractions – after all they are usually popular for very good reason. Certainly, we do visit many of them, if not on our first visit to a place, then perhaps on the second or third…
But we’ve still not been to the Imperial Palace!
In December 2014 I was invited to visit Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. I much admired the city’s beautiful historical architecture and enjoyed browsing the Christmas market in Cathedral Square. Another highlight was the day trip out to nearby Trakai, a popular local holiday destination in a region of several beautiful lakes. We visited Trakai Castle, a 14th century castle that was heavily restored in the late 20th century. Trakai was one of the main centres of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and as such, the castle held significant strategic importance in that era.
More Kavey Eats Travel Quotes.
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Please leave a comment - I love hearing from you!19 Comments to "Travel Quote Tuesday | Augustus Hare"
I’m guilty of trying to hit all the major spots on a holiday, but the sound of cooking with an elderly lady in Kyoto sounds a million times more memorable.
It was such a lovely experience, a really memorable part of our first visit to Kyoto and surely one of the reasons we loved it so much.
We always plan but often when we get to a place we just go with the flow and simply enjoy the experience. Travelling is not all about ticking off a checklist.
Vilnius was indeed a nice city. I liked Tallinn more though. This quote is true. The most important is to get the feel of a city rather than visiting every single thing that is recommended for tourists to see.
Yes I adored Tallinn, though I visited much longer ago, in the days before I was on digital camera so I must see if I can dig out my photos – the negatives will no doubt be somewhere hidden away in some box!!!
Great read. Loved the quote by Augustus.
Lithuania! When will be able to visit!
I too would love to get involved in a bit of local cooking. I did something similar in Goa too.
It’s fun to cook with the locals isn’t it?
Travel is definitely much more than ticking off names from a bucket list. It is more of an immersive experience that gets you close to the place you are visiting. This may not necessarily happen if one sticks to the standard and “Expected” places of interest.
I totally agree. I have met some travellers who seem to make an actual point of deliberately not visiting any of the big sights, and I can’t say I agree with their stance either – they are so focused on finding the “off-the-beaten-path” gems that they forget that the really famous places are, in most cases, famous for good reason. So we like to try and see at least some of those, and then mix it up with following our noses, having a meander and explore, and taking time to do a few local things such as cooking classes or a pottery class.
I love the premise of this quote and post, and I totally agree. Travel for me is not in the act of ticking cathedrals and sights off a list, but in actually experiencing the destination, getting lost among the streets, talking to the people you meet. Once you’ve seen one palace, you’ve seen them all. But the people of a village, the hidden nooks and crannies which give it a specific character – that’s what makes a destination unique 🙂
Yes I like to get an insight into the place from those who live there whenever I can!
Completely with the quote. Why rush? It’s far better in my opinion to take your time. That’s why I love slow travel.
Its a lovely quote and travel is different for everyone. I aim not to visit the same place twice, because there are so many places in this world i would like to see, so on every visit I plan meticulously to make sure I see everything I want to see. I don’t allow myself the luxury of ‘next time’. I’m a part time traveler and my time is precious.
Such a perfect quote – I felt the same in Paris – I spent so long trying t tick off every sight that I forgot to experience life and breathe. And ended up hating it. Thanks for sharing.
So glad you understand where I’m coming from! Thanks for your comment, hope you can go back to Paris and enjoy it at a more relaxing level!