Actually, this is for sure a serious topic – especially the residents of Venice, Florence, Barcelona and some other highly popular places in Europe that are struggling a lot with mass tourism definitely would agree with this statement. Yes, it is… and there are a lot of side aspects in this issue to mention as well, above all the significant ecological impact.
The problem is: I’m tired of taking it as serious as it is today. My yesterdays’s post about human dignity was serious and sad enough, maybe even for the few next articles taken together. Therefore I will try to cover the issue from another angle; a more winking and ironic approach. Sometimes humour is the only way – at least for the moment.
Let’s try to sum up things at this point: What will we see when we – exhausted and dehydrated from summer heat and from strolling through the alleys for hours – sit down on the pavement – all benches are occupied of course – and open our eyes? Right, we will see feet. Many, many feet, to be precise.
Large feet, small feet, thick feet, thin feet, naked feet and – still more often than you would think – even feet with white socks in sandals, but that’s a completely different story. Summarized in one sentence: We are surrounded by an incredible crowd of people! Almost everywhere we go – at least if there is even the slightest ‘attraction’ to see – someone is already there. Yes, I know, we are not SURROUNDED BY, we ARE the crowd. But that’s just splitting hairs and not the point here… and anyway! 🙂
Sometimes absurdity has taken such dimensions that traffic signs have to be set up to show the crowd the correct and proper way to master even the most serious bottlenecks within the pre-set course – unfortunately, some stupid diehards are always causing the largely feared tourist jams.
More seriously, the overall situation starts to become not funny at all in the afternoon. If you manage to stand up from the ground again – a task not as easy as it may seem because meanwhile the number of people around you has increased dramatically – you are confronted with a completely new challenge: As a newcomer to the higher level of existence – the standing WITHIN the crowd – you might not be welcomed as heartily as you might expect by the endemic or at least by the slightly earlier arrived species. Then there’s only one thing that can be done: Slowly going backwards while maintaining a confident eye contact with the person opposite. It is said that this also works with bears, but I haven’t tried it out myself yet. I will report about when the time comes…
It may be considered that leaving the civilizational culture area of Homo sapiens could overcome the illustrated problem a little bit. Far from it! Of course are all the natural beauty spots in Europe easily accessible for a long time – by bus, car, quad, motorbike, cableway and boat. Maybe by helicopter as well, but that depends a little bit on the budget available. As much as I am pleased by that for the elderly, for families with young children and for the disabled – this also means that all the others with healthy feet are there as well. Because of the car, bus, quad, motorbike, … and you don’t have to walk very far to get from the parking to the breathtaking views and ‘wild’ waterfalls. Thus, no solution is in sight here as well…
There are just three possible options to escape from this horror:
- Stay at home. (Too stupid though if you are Venetian, Florentine, …)
- Get up very, very early in the morning and simply exercise your senses to oversee the omnipresent signs of the last night.
- Or simply put on your hiking boots and go out!
It’s amazing that even being just 500 metres away from the crowded mainstream paths makes all the difference. If it’s not in Google Maps, it does not exist. 🙂
But this will be another story as well…
Oh yes, in some very rare moments you can also see something different than just feet, but whether this is more exciting or not everyone has to decide by her or himself…
Maybe one day I will write a serious post about this all… but that’s as likely as not. 🙂