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Biggest Coincidence Ever To Happen To You in Europe

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Aug 18th, 2007, 11:03 PM
  #41
 
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Traveled to Germany and Austria with my College German class from Colorado. After being settled in Salzburg for a few days, I was strolling down the sidewalk to the hotel, when a big tour bus came by. The people on the bus looked at me smiling and waving. I smiled and waved back. One said hi and I said hi back. I could hear them say "she spoke English!". Laughing I asked where they were from? Colorado. They were all students at a college a few hours away from my own.
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Aug 18th, 2007, 11:23 PM
  #42
 
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hamlet, you win!

A small coincidence: I had caught the Viterbo/Rome bus in Sutri, and along the way noted a couple speaking English across the aisle. The woman had a European accent, not the man. Eventually I hear her commenting to him about how the open window in front of them is giving her the windblown hairdo effect. In my newly learned Italian, I leaned across the aisle and tapped the fellow in front of them, asking if he could please close the window. He did, the couple thanked me and I smiled but didn't say anything more - not wanting to get into a big "Oh, we're all Americans!" conversation.

All of us on the bus seem to get off together at the station where we will catch the commuter train into Rome. It's my first time, but friends have explained it all, so when the couple and another pair seem quite confused about where to go, I tell them what I know. NOW we can all be Americans together. The man asks where I learned to speak Italian. I basically say, "On the bus!" We share where we're from, and I say, "New York - but I'm originally from Nebraska." Turns out he was stationed during WWII at the big munitions depot in Hastings NE, where I went to college. And my fraternity would build out homecoming floats in the big converted sheds out on the old depot site. It was an odd little coincidence, but the funny thing was the gentleman really seemed to think we were almost related!
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Aug 19th, 2007, 12:48 AM
  #43
 
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When we were in Rome, we took a train
to the Coliseum. We struck up a
conversation with a young man who
was traveling for the summer after
graduation. We asked what college
and he said San Diego State. Our
daughter also graduated from there.
She was a very good friend of his.
We took a picture of us, with him in
the middle. When we got home we
gave the pictures to our daughter to
look at and she came to that one and
started to go on, stopped and looked
at it very closely. We all had a
good laugh and gave her the note he
had written to her..

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Aug 19th, 2007, 01:58 AM
  #44
 
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My BF and I went to Edinburgh (with a day trip over to Glasgow) for a week in 2005. Two couples who are friends of mine were on a British Isles cruise at the same time. Though they stopped in Glasgow and Edinburgh we never ran into each other. We all were flying out of Heathrow on the same day, too, but still never saw each other. We did manage to email each other a few times throughout our trips, though, so I was aware of how their cruise was going. They had some bad weather so couldn't dock in Wales, etc.

On the flight back to the US, there was a couple sitting nearly across from BF and I. They were not familiar to me.

We landed in Boston. I went to get a luggage trolley while BF waited at the carrousel for the bags. As I returned with the trolley I saw BF hugging a guy standing there. It was the man who had been sitting across from us on the plane. He was my BF's cousin. Neither of them noticed each other throughout the entire flight. I was the one who told them they were sitting just across the aisle from each other.

We asked what they had been doing. The cousin said he and his wife were returning from a British Isles cruise that was beset by some bad weather early on. Yep - it was the same cruise that the two couples who are my friends were on.

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Aug 19th, 2007, 04:01 AM
  #45
 
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On my first trip to London in 1992 I stayed at the Stafford where, while having tea there one day the General Manager struck up a conversation with me. Asked me where I was from & when I said "St. Thomas" he told me about managing the Mahogany Run Golf Course here.

That same trip I went to the theater & during intermission started chatting with the woman next to me who was living in London but had just moved there a few months before from St. Thomas where she lived in a condo at Mahogany Run Golf Course.
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Aug 19th, 2007, 05:49 AM
  #46
 
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Last year in Auxerre, we were having some trouble finding our way from the train station into town. My husband asked a man on the street for directions and then the man, named Domingus, offered to drive us to our hotel. He was the nicest man and delivered us, as promised, right to the door of our hotel. We thanked him profusely and went on our way.

Two weeks later, we are standing on a street corner in Paris when a man comes up to us and it's Domingus! Amazing, that we bumped into each other again. (My husband joked that he must have been stalking us!)
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Aug 19th, 2007, 12:52 PM
  #47
 
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I have what I believe is the ULTIMATE coincidence story!
A couple of years ago, I was lying on a beach in Sardinia, with my wife and her sister. The women decided to go up to my sister in law's condo to make lunch, so I was all by myself. A group of about twenty people were close to me, speaking the most beautiful Italian I've ever heard. I turned and asked them where they were from (I speak Itaian fluently, but with a Sicilian accent). They told me that they were from Milan, on holiday. One of the group, a distinguished looking man, said to me, "you're from Sicily, aren't you?". I said "No." He didn't believe me, and said I sound just like he does. He was vacationing with Milanese friends. I told him to guess where I was from. No one in the group could imagine I was American. When I told them so, that I was raised by my grandmother, who came from Capo D'Orlando Sicily. The distinguished guy was amazed, and said that that was his home town also. I asked if he knew a family mamed---, one brother, Ignazio was a tailor and the other, Calogero, a beautician, both my mother's first cousins. The guy lit up unbelievably, and said "I'M IGNAZIO THE TAILOR!!!". Instantly, I felt the largest chill imaginable down my spine. The rest of my time there, in Sardinia, I spent with my cousin, who I thought would only remain a name to me. Talk about a small world.
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Aug 19th, 2007, 12:56 PM
  #48
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That is an amazing story. So far I would give it the first prize!

Can anyone top that?
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Aug 19th, 2007, 01:54 PM
  #49
 
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Yep. Waldo wins.
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Aug 19th, 2007, 01:54 PM
  #50
 
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I don't know if this counts but it's fun anyway.
People are always telling me I look like someone. It can be famous people or their cousin in Minnesota. I'm used to it.
Years ago I was renting a room from a older woman who was a friend of mine. She came home one day and said "I saw a picture of you today. I was at a meeting and I had to get up in the middle of the meeting to look at this picture. The girl in the picture looked exactly like you! It's by an Italian artist. Have you seen it?" I told her no and she said I needed to see it. Time went by and I just never got around to seeing it.

A few years later I was at the renaissance faire all dressed in costume and a vendor there exclaimed "Oh my God, you look just like a Botticelli painting!" I said I had heard that before. He asked if I had ever seen it and I told him no. He was adamant that I see it. The resemblance was striking. He told me it was called "La Primavera" and I looked like the girl called Flora.

The next day I went over to my brother's house who is a book dealer. I asked him if he had a book on Botticelli and told him what had happened at the faire. He looked it up and and said "I can't believe it! That gives me the willies!" I looked over his shoulder and was shocked to see me looking back at me. I gasped as I noticed the girl was quite pregnant. I have always had an aversion to having children. (sorry you children lovers) I had to chuckle at this state of me staring back at me.
I brought the book home to show my husband and told him we had to go to Florence to see it in person.

The next year was my 30th birthday so off we went to Italy for my birthday present. We went with a tour group that started in Milan. We had made quite a few friends by the time we got to Florence. In Florence, Flora's picture is all over calendars, postcards, mouse pads... A couple in our tour group ran over to me with a calendar and said "this looks just like you!" I told them I knew and I had come to Italy to see it in person.

The next morning we got up super early and went with another couple to be first in line at the Uffizi. I wore a blue flowered dress. It was so much fun being the first ones in. Running up that huge staircase, I felt like the movie "Big".
As I walked into the Botticelli room I was overwhelmed. The Botticelli paintings are huge. I stood in front of La Primavera and it was so surreal. All of a sudden the docent looked at me and looked at the painting and jumped up and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with about 8 other docents and they sat there exclaiming "model original!" I was wishing I understood Italian better

Well, all good things must come to an end. As we moved to exit the room into the next, the docent came over and told my husband, "you go, she stay." We laughed and went on to tour the rest of the magnificent Uffizi. I was left with wonderful memories and a nickname, Lauracelli.
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Aug 19th, 2007, 02:22 PM
  #51
 
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I love that story.
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Aug 19th, 2007, 03:14 PM
  #52
 
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Lauracelli, I love that story, too.
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Aug 19th, 2007, 04:22 PM
  #53
 
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Good! I am glad you liked that story. I was afraid it was a little long.
I really love reading all these stories. I think it makes everyone feel a bit more connected and compassionate. (at least it does me!)
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Aug 19th, 2007, 04:39 PM
  #54
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I liked your story too. I hope you took home a copy of the painting to frame and put in your house.
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Aug 19th, 2007, 04:53 PM
  #55
 
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Story #1 -
Several years ago DH and I took a Russian River Cruise. There were several young female school teachers (Russian) who were working as guides on the cruise. Passengers were divided into about 4 groups, each with its own guide for the duration of the cruise. We didn't have much chance to get to know the other guides. At the end of the tour, one of the guides (not our guide) was checking us out and seemed surprised to learn we were from a certain town in Texas. We were equally surprised to find out that she "knew" our town. When we asked how she knew our town, she said she had actually flown into our town en route to another nearby town where she worked one summer. That small Texas town is 20 miles from our small Texas town. Small world, huh?

Story #2 -
We were staying in a B&B in Salzburg along with a couple from Australia. Although we hadn't gotten acquainted, as they left the breakfast room, they mentioned they were headed to Vienna. We laughingly said we'd see them there when we got there in a couple of days.
Three days later we were in the Opera metro station among hundreds of people coming and going when we spotted the couple. We approached them, chatted about what a coincidence, wished each other well, and left. That evening, DH and I boarded a tram to take us to Grinzing. As we neared our destination, who stood up in the front of the tram? The Australians, of course. We all laughed when we saw each other and decided it was definitely fate, Karma or something and that we should spend the evening together. What a memorable evening, dining, having wine and listening to violin music. Then the Australian lady began to sing so beautifully that the violinists urged her to perform, and so she did. The whole experience was memorable. We still correspond now and then and I'm sure one day we'll meet again.
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Aug 19th, 2007, 05:19 PM
  #56
 
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We have a first cousin who lives in Reading ( UK).
We were in London for a short time and had no desire let him know we were in the country.
Well, guess who we bumped into in London tube out of 7 million people in the city?
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Aug 19th, 2007, 05:24 PM
  #57
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I guess you had a little explaining to do.

I think we have all gone places and not told friends and family we were there. Sometimes you want to vacation and sometimes visiting relatives is not a vacation. Ha!
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Aug 19th, 2007, 06:27 PM
  #58
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About twice a month during the summer we travel from Vezac to points west and pass thro' Lalinde where we stop at the same small resto for lunch. The last time we did so, sitting two tables away in an otherwise empty room, were two of my wife's ex-colleagues from a job in Vancouver whom she hadn't seen for 22 years. Amazing.
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Aug 19th, 2007, 06:45 PM
  #59
 
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Not as good as the others, but here's mine:

My trip to Paris coincided with my boss' trip to Paris. We were both on vacation, but our plans didn't allow us to meet for coffee. As we all know, even the best laid plans fall through sometimes. We bumped into each other right on Quay Branly as I was looking for someone to take a picture of my mom and me with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
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Aug 19th, 2007, 06:47 PM
  #60
 
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Forgot to mention this happened in late June.
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