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Bored Tourists

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Bored Tourists

Ever had a holiday that wasn’t what you hoped for?

'Bored Tourists' explores the phenomenon of travelling to a foreign country with every intention of being inspired by it, only to be left feeling bemused, bored or half asleep...

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We’ve all been there: guidebook in hand, sunglasses, sun cream and camera at the ready! And yet, on the holiday that promised so much we are often somehow left feeling disappointed, bored or half asleep, with a cheap souvenir and an aching desire to be back at home with the TV on.

Eager to remember our experience through rosetinted glasses, we crowd around tourist attractions and frantically take it in turns to strike a pose, put on a smile, and construct a flattering memory to post online.

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We go abroad seeking out cultural enlightenment but end up spending most of the time looking for a place to sit down; a bench, a wall, that abandoned mattress lying in the street. Or, we wander around blindly from monument to monument staring at smartphones, searching for digital entertainment to get us through the next few hours of monotony. All the while checking the clock for an appropriate time to escape to the nearest bar to reward ourselves.

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What began as a chance visit to Barcelona Cathedral led photographer Laurence Stephens to spend the next three summers exploring the cultural landscapes of Spain and Portugal. From stuffy museums to breathtaking skylines, with camera in hand, he went in search of the not-so-elusive bored tourist. Shot in square format as a subtle nod to our current ‘Instagram generation’, these playful images present an unforgiving vision of the tourist experience.

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Inspired by colour photographers of the 1980s, Stephens' approach is anthropological, exploring aspects of modern life with a satirical eye. Exposing the bizarre comedy of human nature, his photographs entertain and intrigue us, but when further considered draw us in to explore other meanings and ultimately question our own response to the world we live in.

Bored Tourists by Laurence Stephens. Hoxton Mini Press, £9.95.

BLOC Hotels London Gatwick

They say it's better to travel than to arrive. We think both are important. With BLOC you won't have far to travel at all. We're waiting to welcome you just steps from Gatwick South Terminal Departures. Any closer and we'd be on the runway!

Our 245 room hotel offers 'Sleep Haven Zones', family rooms, a business floor and Presidential Suite. Park at the terminal through one of our exclusive deals; check your bags with your airline and take your overnight bag to the room; send an email with free WiFi; relax on your sumptuous king-sized bed, watching one of our HD LED TVs; freshen up in a monsoon-drench shower wet room and seamlessly check out to arrive at your gate in a great mood to enjoy your holiday or business trip. So much more for less.

BLOC Hotel London Gatwick

BLOC Magazine

BLOC-Magazine-Summer-18.jpg (466 KB)As the demolition phase of our BLOC Grand Central project nears completion, we are focusing on a number of other sites in the UK and Europe. We are working hard to expand the BLOC presence in major city centres and transport hubs.

We are keen for more discerning travellers to experience BLOC's affordable luxury and learn how we are changing the way people use hotels.

The 18th issue of BLOC magazine explores Lisbon, recent winner of 'The World's Leading City Destination'. The Portuguese capital is a city where old customs and ancient history intermix with cultural entertainment and hi-tech innovation.

We also profile BLOC-sponsored, Jamie Chadwick, who has signed for the Williams F1 team as a development driver.

Staying with the motoring theme, we showcase the stunning new Aston Martin Valkyrie and Porsche's new electric offering.

Once again we hope that this magazine provides you with some insight and entertainment on your journey.

You can view all of the articles on this site or view an online FREE version of the magazine, here.

We’ll also be adding to and updating this site with more cool stuff that we find on our travels. Jump on board!

Your journey begins here.