"" Writer's Wanderings: Safe vs. Unsafe Tourist Attractions

Monday, August 01, 2016

Safe vs. Unsafe Tourist Attractions

In a society like ours in the U.S. where litigation is almost a certainty for the smallest thing, you can be sure that most of the places we visit are designed with safety in mind. It's not the case with many of the places you can visit and experience in other countries. SmarterTravel's article, Tourist Attractions That Would Never Exist In America covers several of them.

We have walked trails and edged our way on a cliff or two that had no rails or hand holds or other restraints that would probably be a necessity if they were in the U.S. Most of those places like the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland have polite signs that ask visitors to stay behind a certain point. Of course some tourists will ignore the warning and, in the case of the Irish cliffs, can get blown off the edge with a strong gust of wind.

It's a given that the running of the bulls would just not happen in the States and the plank walk in China that is mentioned--a narrow walkway suspended 5,000 feet up on the side of a mountain would be very questionable even though now you are required to wear a harness. Apparently no one polices it though.

In St. Martin on Maho Beach you can sit in the sand and watch the huge jets come in low over your head. When we were there, a smaller jet spewed a sandstorm when it turned to race down the runway for take off. We were far enough away that it didn't affect us so much but people who were closer and not expecting it were sandblasted. I can only imagine what it would be like with a larger commercial jet.

While visiting the Grand Canyon I was surprised at there being no rails around the edge even in some of the places that were quite accessible to people who would leave the trail. And of course we saw death defying stunts like the girl who struck a one legged yoga pose right on the edge of the cliff. I'm surprised more don't fall over the edge.

The standards for safety vary in the places you may visit. Be careful. Better safe than litigated.

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