‘No culture at all’: Angry mums slam Australia
LEGENDARY resource for internet drama, Mumsnet, is on form as usual - and this time mums are spilling their secret disappointment over popular and famous tourist destinations.
The answers make for juicy - and sometimes baffling - reading.
And Australia has been absolutely roasted.
In a thread titled "What famous landmark or must visit place/thing were you secretly underwhelmed by?", Mumsnet user Midge1978 elaborates on her provocative question.
"I went to Stonehenge this year and whilst I was trying to get in touch with my inner druid, trying to project historical importance and mystery onto the place, I just couldn't escape the feeling that I was just looking at some very old stones and it was actually (whisper) a little bit boring!!" she said.
"My husband thought it was all marvellous though so I have never told him!!!"
Mums were not shy in answering Midge's siren call, and so the vitriol flowed freely.
"The Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef," said one mum, declining to elaborate.
Another mum seconded her, "Yes, Great Barrier Reef - sadly, and only because there is so much coral die back it is depressing. Genuinely disappointing as diving here was a long held dream of mine."
The Grand Canyon was a controversial pick. "Bloody hell, the Grand Canyon is officially the least underwhelming thing I've ever seen, or maybe tied with the Northern Lights, which I saw by accident on a motorway and my first thought was that we were being attacked (Cold War childhood)," someone said.
Another added: "It's just a brown hole."
The Little Mermaid at Copenhagen often comes up in these threads, and sadly this discussion was no exception. She got a lot of nominations.
Paintings were often underwhelming, according to Mumsnet. "Many famous paintings have been disappointing, in particular The Scream," someone said.
Midge, the original poster, agreed. "Oh gosh yes The Mona Lisa - queued for bloody ages to see a small dull painting that I had already seen emblazoned over every item in the gift shop!" she said.
"The pyramids/sphinx," said another mum. "I expected a mystical, magical place in the desert. I got … lots of beggars/sales people/McDonalds. Gutted."
Another mum agreed: "Yep Midge, sorry. I have a fabulous photo that everyone aaahs over of the sphinx with a pyramid behind it and a clear blue sky. When I look at it all I can think is "I was standing in front of McDonald's when I took that …"
Other popular nominations for overrated attractions included London's Big Ben, the "small" Statue of Liberty, India's Taj Mahal, the "small" Giant's Causeway, the "small" Manneken Pis statue in Brussels, the "so small" US White House.
The Prague Astronomical Clock, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Burj Khalifa, The Sistine Chapel, Great Rift Valley, The Epcot Center, Madame Tussauds, Disneyland and Disney World and the Sydney Opera House also got a scathing mention.
Whole cities were written off, especially Dublin, Las Vegas, Hollywood ("awful, scummy, dirty, dangerous sh**hole"), Barcelona, Bangkok, Cairo, Venice, Sorrento and Paris.
Some of the most scathing comments were reserved for Australia.
"The whole of Australia frankly - no culture at all apart from the Aboriginal history," someone wrote.
"The Aborigines were treated like sh*t by the white Australians which disgusted me. Didn't hear a single one have a good thing to say about the indigenous population - notice how there's never any on Australian TV."
New Zealand also didn't escape notice by these UK mums. "Another vote for the various different landmarks in New Zealand. I went expecting awe-inspiring views and to be blown away by the scenery, but I wasn't," one said.
"It's all really nice, don't get me wrong. But the mountain views aren't as good as those in the European Alps, the fjords aren't as good as Norway's, various bits of Scotland etc. It's like a 7 out of 10 of everything all in one country, compared to 9 or 10 out of 10 of other things scattered around the world."
Another woman listed "Bay of Islands, NZ" along with "The Republic of Ireland" and "Stonehenge" as her most underwhelming holidays. She does not elaborate.
Another New Zealand hater did elaborate. "New Zealand in general, yes the scenery can be good, but I have seen better, and was fed up with being ripped off and so many rude, miserable people serving in stores. And the drinking culture.
"A huge success for marketing a quite pleasant, but not outstanding, set of islands a long way away. Like parts of the UK for the countryside, or for the fjords like a smaller Norway. And hugely expensive too get to and away from."
One woman pointed out it was not helpful to write off whole countries.
"I am amazed by those who say they were underwhelmed by or actually disliked an entire country, i.e Australia and Republic of Ireland," she said. "Really, there was absolutely nothing of interest and/or not one friendly person or non-racist in the entire place?"
Some responses were especially eyebrow raising.
"Too my shame - Machu Picchu. Although I think that was mainly to do with all the steps and the heat. In my defence I didn't know any of the history before I got there either."
"The Acropolis in Athens. Looked like a Shell garage on top of a hill."
But one of the best comments was from this mum.
"Pompeii, Mayan Ruins - I just don't have the imagination to enjoy them as they are literally mainly rubble!!!" she said.
"Was so disappointed by both and would never go and see any 'ruins' again."
This article originally appeared on the New Zealand Herald and was reproduced with permission