I was reading this week about the chaos at the Louvre as people were complaining about waiting time to see, briefly, the Mona Lisa and how 80% of visitors are only interested in seeing that painting and nothing else.
I was fortunate enough to go to the Louvre last time in Paris, nearly 10 years ago. We planned our visit carefully, got advanced tickets on a booklet with other attractions and went early as we knew we would spend a lot of time there. We are part of the 20% that wished to see everything else. Even 10 years ago, the madness around the area where the Mona Lisa was was insane. People complaining about it being so small and so far away you couldn’t see it properly and this in a room full of other amazing paintings no one cared about. This is tourism at its worse and this was before the selfie generation. I cannot imagine how annoying it must be now.
I tend to dislike tourists mainly because there’s a sense these days of keeping a skin deep record of your travels, you have the pictures and the likes to show where you’ve been, but are there any memories in your mind and in your heart? And tourism does transform everything it touches. Just look at my beautiful city of Lisbon I don’t recognise anymore. For years I wanted people to discover my hidden gem, but now I wish some would just leave it alone.