Warm Horizon, many thanks for starting the topic about the Mona Lisa. You unleashed a real torrent of amazing/disppointing travel stories. Even the disappointing bits are instructive in some way, are they not? I've been blessed. Thanks to my job, I have travelled to more places than many get to see in a lifetime--and even lived in some ofthose places, too. The real joy of travel is Some things you expect to be great are a washout You're amazed by small things you never expected Here are a few of mine. What's yours? Moscow. The Bolshoi. Crappy dancing. Drunk conductor. Strampede for drinks at interval. The Kremiln Armoury. The museum of the Tsars treasures, three quarters of which were lost when hidden from the Nazis and no one could quite remember where afterward. The remainder is still pretty amazing. Have you ever seen a bucket of diamonds? Salzburg Kehlstein. Hitler's mountaintop retreat is no more a three-bedroom ranch. Interesting elevator, though. Hellbrun. Castle built by a bishop for his mistress--back in the days when they preferred mistresses to choirboys. The Water Garden is full of little squirty jokes to embarass the pompous burghers who visited. Tokyo Temples/Shrines. I'm sure if I studied them properly, they'd be fascinating. But after a while, the contrived, zenny simplicity just got dull. Asakusa sucks. Shibuya. Where the young Japanese women who made Hello Kitty into Cutezilla gather to shop for their clothes, greeting cards, stuffed animals and sex toys. Go to Shibuya 109, catch an elevator to the 8th floor, and circle downwards. Take your cultural studies professor. His head will explode.