Traveling has been known to bring out the best, and the worst, in people. One of the perks of foreign exploration is the experience of the exotic and significant places that not only hold a place in history, but also play a role in the practice of the Catholic faith throughout time. While it’s important to keep an open mind and stockpile of patience during a pilgrimage, there are some people who are… a little less than impressed with the great wonders of the world. As countries are opening their borders for travel this year, here are a few humorous 1-star Google Reviews to get you hungry for adventure.
The Holy Land
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is located near Jericho, the lowest point on earth. This unique location combined with the intense salinity of the water (almost 10 times as salty as the oceans) make this site a one-of-a-kind experience. Because of its saltiness, those that venture into its waters weightlessly float, without the need to tread water. Swimming feels like pushing your way through marshmallow fluff. It’s a joyful experience for any pilgrim to partake in, especially in the group setting of a pilgrimage. If you can’t swim, this body of water is the perfect one for you! As for the saltiness… you may have to overcome that one.
The Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem, and is believed to be the site of Christ’s crucifixion, anointing, burial, and resurrection. It is easily one of the most visited places by pilgrims in the Holy Land, and if the history alone isn’t enough to blow you away, the architecture itself will. Because it’s been established as its current building for nearly 1000 years, it’s rife with beauty and tradition. Stairs and corridors carved from cool and low-lit rock take you from one interesting room to another, where there is always something significant to the faith that has taken place there. Even better, there are plenty of chapels and spaces for the Holy Mass to be celebrated, so the mysteries that this Church commemorates are physically being re-lived every day in the Eucharist. If there’s ever a place to meet Jesus in the Holy Land, this is the one!
Germany / Austria / Switzerland
When construction on the Cologne Cathedral began in the mid-1200s, there were grand plans to make this church worthy of the glory of the Faith. Towering high above the city of Cologne, the spires pierce the sky. It’s impossible to miss this striking and seemingly delicate structure. Inside, your eyes are drawn towards heaven by the impressive, vaulted ceilings. The ornate details and grandeur of this cathedral make it very much one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring churches.
Indeed, this 19th century whimsical castle is very white. Nearly its entire façade is constructed with a pale rock. But what it lacks in color on the outside is more than made up for on the inside. Murals, portraits, poems, and woodwork line every square inch of the inside’s walls – creating a dreamy experience fit for royals. As for driving the property’s tractor…that experience might be one you’ll have to do without.
Continuously active since its founding in the early 700s, the Nonnberg Abbey is rich in history. Most famously known for being the convent in which a future Mrs. Maria von Trapp entered as a novice, the Abbey is a popular site for fans of the beloved musical, The Sound of Music. Contrary to the belief of the reviewer above, the gazebo is not located here, but is actually kept at a nearby villa. Instead, visitors can encounter a peaceful and prayerful atmosphere that has brought the faithful closer to the Lord over the many, many years.
The Rhine Falls
The largest waterfall in Europe, the Rhine Falls are a site to behold. Snaking through the greenery-clad cities of Schaffhausen and Zurich, this wonder provides a great natural beauty. At about half the height of Niagara Falls, the Rhine still leaves visitors in awe at approximately 70 feet high. When traveling through the idyllic countryside, why not take in the sight of these powerful rushing waters? (And as a rule of thumb, only write reviews on places that you've actually been to.)