After several trips in which we have encountered the now ever familiar sight of scaffolding on some of the most popular sights around the world, we have come to the point where it no longer surprises us. My best word of advice to avoid these encounters is to do your research before booking tickets to a destination.

Landscape photograph of large metal tower in the distance with roads, fountains, and a park in the foreground.

Eiffel Tower

Having decided against traveling to Europe for our honeymoon in 2008 (due to lack of sufficient funds), we finally decided to revisit the idea and went for our fifth anniversary in 2013. Upon arriving at the Trocadero Gardens, we were welcomed by the discouraging sight of scaffolding on the Eiffel Tower. We later found out that 2014 was the 125th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower and it was undergoing major renovations for the celebration the following year.

Large fountain sculpture with Roman style architecture and figurines covered in scaffolding.

Trevi Fountain

Luckily, we were somewhat prepared in knowing the Trevi Fountain had been under construction soon before our trip to Rome. We did not, however, expect that it would still be in such disarray over a year later. The fountain was bone dry with the walls still being reconstructed. As a consolation to visitors, they had small video screens playing video of the fountain in working order. Certainly not the experience I had hoped for and quite disappointing.

Nighttime photo of arch bridge over canal covered in scaffolding on the left side.

Rialto Bridge

One of the most iconic structures in all of Italy, upon approaching the Rialto Bridge we were welcomed by half of the bridge being visible, while the other half was covered in scaffolding and tarps with false facades to give the impression of the typical sight.

Vertical photo on the left of temple structure against blue sky and horizontal photo on the right of temple walls in the foreground with green trees and blue sky in the background.

Ankor Wat

While touring the main temple complex in Siem Reap, we again encountered our old friend. Thankfully, this time there was no major obstruction of what one would expect to see, and with the age of the temple, I understand the importance of its presence at that time.