As surveys go, this one is pretty gross. Our friends at Tripadvisor.com have come up with a top five tourist attractions that could be bad for your health as they’re so germ-ridden. Here they are in reverse order:
At number 5 is the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where celebrities leave their hand- and footprints for posterity. Apparently, it’s covered in grime from the countless visitors who see if their hands and feet match those of the stars.
St Mark’s is a beautiful square in Venice, but it’s always suffered from a surfeit of hungry pigeons and the mess they leave behind. That brings it in at number 4.
At number 3 is Oscar Wilde’s tomb in Paris. People clearly like to kiss it, because it’s covered with lipstick prints. Yuk!
A wall outside Market Theatre in Seattle was placed runner-up in the survey. Since 1990, tens of thousands of people have stuck their unwanted chewing gum to the wall, turning it into a tourist attraction. The display was started by people waiting in line to visit the theatre. The wall has been scraped clean twice but is still covered with gum, some moulded into shapes and faces.
But the ‘favourite’ tourist attraction for picking up germs is the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle near Cork in the Irish Republic. More than 400,000 tourists a year literally bend over backwards to kiss the Stone, as legend has it that it will give you the gift of eloquent speech.
by Andy Moreton
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