Yesterday I visited the St. George Castle in Lisbon. What is left of the castle is in ruins but to be fair, the fortifications date back to the 2nd century BC.... so they are pretty old. The views were spectacular. The entire city of Lisbon is visible from the castle's vantage point (probably why they built it there).
Also, the Portuguese know what they are doing, and have this fantastic business called "Wine with a View." It is a Tuk-tuk with a wine bar inside, and they just drive it around to pretty places and sell glasses of wine. Brilliant. Anyone want to franchise this with me in the USA? Oh wait, we have extremely restrictive open containers laws. Anyone want to franchise this with me in a different European country?
The only bad part of the entire experience was the presence of my fellow travelers. It is no secret that I hate tourists. They get in my photos. They give me a bad reputation. They cause long queues. I understand this is hypocritical because I am a tourist, but I don't care. I hate all of you.
Normally, I just push these feelings aside. However, after yesterday at the St. George Castle, I cannot be silent any longer. There are a few things I need to say to the people putting their lives at risk for the sake of pictures.
At the castle I discovered a line of people waiting to climb up onto a cannon hanging over the castle wall so they could get a picture of themselves riding it. I repeat - people were waiting so they could climb onto a cannon that was dangling over a wall so they could get a picture.
Tourists, you do enough damage by publicly taking pictures on an iPad, must you really put your life into harms way as well?
No like, comment, or profile picture could ever be worth YOUR LIFE.
I like taking pictures as much as you do. In fact, I probably like taking pictures more than you do. Would I ever risk my life for one? NO. I can pretty much guarantee the picture you feel is so necessary isn't even cool. Riding a cannon? Are you serious?
Secondly, it is disrespectful to the culture you are visiting. You are on the national monuments of another country. Show some respect.
I could go into a full blown rant about this subject, but I think I have made my point.
Visiting a country is like visiting someone else's home and you need to show respect... Moreover, attempt to have a little class. Put down the iPad. Put down the selfie stick. Use your eyes.
To further my argument:
Here is a story of a couple who fell off a cliff in Portugal in front of their 5 and 6 year old children while trying to take a selfie.
Here is a story of a man who broke a 126 year old statue while climbing onto a pedestal to take a selfie with it.
Here is an article highlighting 6 different selfie related deaths that have happened in the past 2 years.
Personally, when I was interviewing Steve in June about his walk across the country with his goat, I saw a women get head butted by the goat when trying to take a selfie with him. That was kinda funny.
Facepalm facepalm facepalm. I know it's hard, but lets try to use our brains moving forward.