By EJ Galura
Have you ever been fooled because you trusted your eyes too much? Have you been delighted by something only to find out that it will eventually fall short of your expectations? It was not one of the cringe worthy destinations you were expecting.
Looks can be deceiving.
It is a fact of life that people are drawn to what’s beautiful and physically appealing. Ever wonder why such a phrase as “fall in love with your eyes closed” existed? Basically, it is our nature to adore the beauty of things. We just can’t help it. People continuously find comfort in their pursuit of chasing the finer things in life. However, we always have to remember that there’s more to this than what meets the eye.
In finding the next tourist destinations before kicking that bucket off, one would always look for picturesque views. The search for breathtaking landscapes and charming places as seen in fairy tales also begin to happen. Only a few would dare to be different.
To shake things a bit and make your next quest more exciting, why don’t you try out new places that only the brave would have the guts to go. Instead of looking for sparks and butterflies, try finding bacteria, microorganisms and different kinds of germs in your next trips. Sounds exciting?
Do not fret and do not fear. Get ready to get your hands dirty with these 7 cringe-worthy tourist attractions.
Gum Wall – Seattle, Washington
This landmark’s name says it all. It literally is a 50-feet alley filled with chewed gum located nearby Unexpected Productions in Seattle. While most of us think that an assemblage of used gum, reeking with saliva is gross, people still flock to see this attraction. They even add their very own gum to the multi-colored collage to complete the whole experience.
The tradition of sticking gums has been practiced since the early 1990s. People waiting for shows at the theatre kill their time by chewing gums and of course, sticking them to the wall. Through the years, there have been lots of efforts to clean the brick wall facade as it threatens the stability of the structure. However, it just keeps coming back rendering all those hard work worthless. This only means that Seattle’s Gum wall will be sticking for quite a while (if you know what I mean).
Blue Mosque – Istanbul, Turkey
Some of the boxes we check for good tourist destinations are for their beautiful architecture and rich history. We just can’t help but take part and witness such wonderful places and appreciate them. The Blue Mosque (also known as Sultan Ahmet Camii) in Istanbul checks all of these boxes. The historic site has a beautiful facade that can surely bring good photos that tourists would surely love.
It was built in 1609 and was dubbed the Blue Mosque because of its interior featuring over 20,000 handmade ceramic Iznik Tiles. For its staggering size and superb beauty, we have all been lucky to visit the site free of charge. Too good to be true? There’s a great catch though. The mosque is adorned with beautiful carpets and visitors are only allowed to enter with their bare feet. Can you just imagine all the bacteria absorbed by those carpets and the stench that comes with it? The idea alone is enough to make me cringe. Well, if you’re the kind of person who can take it, you’re welcome to enjoy the rest of the experience.
Oscar Wilde’s Grave – Paris, France
It’s quite rare that we meet our idols within their lifetime. Often times, their deaths come first instead of us meeting them. While it pains us that we can no longer spend time with them, their passing can never stop us from continuously loving them.
Oscar Wilde was an esteemed Irish poet and playwright whose remains are kept in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, France. His writings remain alive even up to this day and his followers are still dedicated to his art. In memory of this great man, people would go to his grave and plant kisses on his tombstone.
Wilde once wrote in his famous composition, “A kiss may ruin a human life”. Now, these kisses have been ruining his resting place. In 2011, his descendants have decided to clean the stone and a glass barrier was even erected to prevent the obsession from happening again. However, even the newly erected glass didn’t escape all the love (and lips) of Wilde’s followers. There’s so much kissing and vandalism going on that you can never tell what kind of organisms are already there.
Want to take the kissing challenge? I personally wouldn’t dare.
Xinghai Beach – Dalian, China
Are you alone and seeking for a good time? Then, a trip to the beach is an easy choice. It is an avenue where you can meet new people while you enjoy dipping in the waters.
Xinghai Beach is well-known in China for its accessibility for locals and tourists alike. When you’re trying to meet new people here, there will be so many to choose from. In fact, the beach was extremely-loved that its popularity has already become a major issue.
China’s population reaches to over a billion people. With so many of them close enough to the shore, “overcrowded” is such an understatement in describing the beach during its peak season. It is regularly housing crowds so large that constant clutter and trash couldn’t be avoided. Lifeguards are also consistently on the move because it’s so hard to keep track of everyone and everything.
While Xinghai beach is beautiful when taken care of, too many people seeking to have a good time can possibly bring ruin to destinations as stunning as this.
John Harvard’s Statue (particularly, his toes) – Harvard University, USA
If there is a school all of us should dream to enter, we can never go wrong with Harvard University. It is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world and people from all walks of life aspire to be a part of its growing history. Founded by John Harvard in 1683, this University is branded as the United State’s oldest institution of higher learning.
For the charity of the clergyman who was instrumental for the establishment of the university, a statue was built in 1884 to honor his generosity. According to the legend, students who rub the left foot of the statue will be bestowed luck in their academics.
Desperate for higher success in their educational journey, students do the expected act of getting their germy hands to touch the statue. It already sounds a little bit (okay, a lot) gross but it can even get worse. If there are believers in this myth, there are also a lot of people who get annoyed by the idea of it. As a testament to their irritation, some of them sneak through the nights and frequently urinate on the statue.
While infuriated students consider these acts as mockery and rebellion to the institution, some of the persons behind the deed actually are unapologetic. And with that, it’s safe to say that they’ll probably continue with their mischievous acts.
Have you gathered enough courage to visit any of these unusual destinations? If yes, congratulations and good luck as you embark this extraordinary journey.