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Biggest Coincidence Ever To Happen To You in Europe

Biggest Coincidence Ever To Happen To You in Europe

Aug 19th, 2007, 05:59 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,041
In September 2003 I was in Evora, Portugal and traveling solo. I was enjoying a glass of wine at an outdoor cafe on the main square when an attractive man approached me. He had purchased an ice cream coone and asked me if I spoke english (he was an American, like me). When I replied "yes he asked if he could join me. After introducing ourselves and chatting for a few minutes we realized we lived 5 minutes away from each other in Los Angeles! We decided to go out to dinner after we finished our wine and ice cream. Over the next couple of days we kept bumping into each other (Evora is not a large city) and enjoyed lunch and dinner together. (Nothing romantic, but very good company). We never exchanged addresses or phone numbers and I haven't seen him since our meeting in Portugal.
CathyM is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 253
Two stories to share:

Story #1
I solo travelled through Europe for five months after graduating from university in 1996. I met up with a group of fellow Canadians in Italy. I ended up travelling with one girl in particular through Rome, Naples, Capri and Ischia. Let's call her D. D and I had some great times together but we said our good buys as I headed south to Brindisi on my way to Greece. She was headed north to Venice and Trieste. I was meeting family friends on the island of Crete. Fast forward - my week in Crete with family friends is over and I'm at the port in Heraklion taking a late ferry to Santorini. I'm standing in line getting ready to board the boat and someone calls my name. It's D! We end up travelling together through the Greek islands for a couple of weeks before I headed home to Canada. We eventually lost touch but not after some great trips to Montreal together!

Story #2
Last fall in Italy - we were in Florence. The week before we left on vacation, I flew to Ontario for my "cousin's" wedding. She married her love in northern Ontario at a beautiful kayaking camp where they originally met. We met the camp owners who are near and dear to both "cousin" and her new hubby - I believe one or both of them are prior Olympians.
Hubby and I are walking through the market around San Lorenzo and there they are - two tall blond athletic looking people - the camp owners! I stop them and explain who I am and thank them again for hosting a wonderful wedding just a week ago!!

It is a small, small, world!
Hana is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 18,396
Well, mine don't compare to Waldo's and Lauracelli's wonderful stories, but here goes.

Years ago a friend and I boarded a public bus in Naples to go to the dock to purchase tickets for the ferry to Sicily that evening. At the time neither of us spoke Italian and we struggled to ask directions of the driver.
There was an older American couple with their adult Italian nephew on the bus who overheard us and were headed to the same dock, also to buy tickets for the evening ferry.
We struck up a conversation and it turned out the couple lived just a few blocks from me in Brooklyn.
When we got to the dock and I gave the ticket agent my name, the husband said, excitedly, "I know a Mrs.---- who works at the bank on 13th Av". I told him that was my mother. From that moment on they "adopted" us and didn't let us out of their sight, apparently feeling they owed some duty to my mother to take care of me!
We were glad when we finally got rid of them on arrival in Palermo the next morning.

On another trip the following year a different friend and I spent the day in Ischia, this time before heading to Sicily on the evening train from Naples. While waiting for the hydrofoil we met an American couple on their honeymoon who had met in Sicily the previous year when each was on vacation alone. Turned out they lived a block from each other in Brooklyn and had never met. They also lived just a few blocks from my friend who lived in the same neighborhood, and none of them knew one another.

We ran into them in Taormina a few days later and my friend commented that she had the same dress the wife was wearing. The wife replied that she had worn the dress the day she met her husband, and they were reliving the day!
panecott is online now  
Aug 20th, 2007, 10:43 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,018
I have another one. I swear, these are true. My wife's family all live in Naples. She has five sisters and three brothers there. They are all Italian, but my wife was born in the US, so she came here ALONE, years ago. We visit Naples and Sardinia every year. A couple of years ago, I went on my daily walk through Naples, and ended up at San Carlo Opera House. They were having rehearsals for Turandot (Pavarotti was appearing in it, but he was to "good" for rehearsal, so he wasn't there). I figured I would take a look at the opera house. As I entered the lobby, a security person asked what I was doing. I told him I would like to see what the celebrated interior of the opera house looked like. He said to come back tomorrow, when the tour would show me through. I lied and told him that I was leaving for the US the next day, so I couldn't do so. As we were talking, the manager of the house (who I've seen on the Travel Channel), came by, and wanted to know what was going on. I explained to him that I was going home tomorrow and I really would like to see the inside. He asked where I was from, and I said "Brooklyn". He told me he had just returned from Brooklyn, visiting relatives on Eighteenth Avenue there. I told him that was my neighborhood. He asked if I knew his relatives, which I didn't, but after some small talk, he told the security guy to let me see the inside. I was escorted throughout the place and I also watched a freebee of Turandot, minus Pavarotti.
Waldo is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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1. While attending a business meeting in London, I was introduced to someone who turned about to be another Fodorite (at one time a regular contributor).

2. While taking a small van tour of Salzburg (not a SoM tour, a general highlights of Salzburg tour), two of the other 4 pax on the van happened to come from the same very small PA village I grew up in.

3. A friend and I had reserved seats in first class on a train from Katowice (Poland) to Vienna. We had to rush to catch the train and it was a lonnnng train, so we decided to just grab the first seats we found in the nearest compartment and hunt for our reserved seats later. About 10 minutes after the train left, we looked up to find that we were in the very seats listed on our reservations.
BTilke is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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On my first trip to Europe (with my church choir) we stayed in a nice hotel in Venice (sorry, I don't remember the name...) this was 1987. Everything was planned by the choir director... fast forward to 2004 when I planned a trip to Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Switzerland, Paris and London for my Girl Scout troop. When our travel agent sent us the names and addresses of all of our hotels (picked out by her, not me)... I looked at the pictures online and said to my daughter "gee, all the hotels in Venice must look alike, cause this hotel looks just like the one I stayed in 17 years ago". I finally dug back thru my old pictures... it was! There has to be hundreds of hotels in Venice... what are the odds of two people picking the same one for me to stay at??
GirlScoutMom is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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I once spent twenty minutes talking to a woman I met on a plane to Costa Rica while we waited in line for the bathroom on board the airline. Three weeks later, when I was on the plane on my way back to the States, I got up to use the restroom, and there was the same woman in line again. Of course, we asked each other how our trips had gone.
Funtimes4all is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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My friends and I were on a 19 hour ferry from Italy to Athens. We randomly started talking to a girl sitting next to us at a bar. Turns out she lived about 5 miles from where I'm from in California. We talk more to find out she's in art school.... and her professor turned out to be my friend's (that was traveling with us) boyfriend's dad! Better yet... she let us stay in her room for the night or we would've had to camp out on the top deck.
travlr67 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 12:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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My story takes place 10 years ago. After having backpacked for a couple of weeks in 1996, I was bitten by the travel bug and resolved that the following year I'd do a month backpacking. During my month long travel in September of 1997, one of the places I wound up in was Prague. As I wandered around the city, I found myself in a CD/music store. As I was flipping through one of the CD racks, I saw a CD by one of the groups I liked and exclaimed, "Oh cool!" It was after this that I heard this guy with an American voice say to me, "Umm, excuse me..." and I turned around to see who was trying to get my attention. At that moment I instantly recognized who this guy was! Three years prior in a film production class that I was in at University (one of the Uni's in Texas), this guy was one of the main lead actors in one of the films I'd worked on as a script supervisor! Apparently he and a bunch of other students from the University were over there in Prague playing music in some sort of competition (or something to that effect).
trafaelwyr is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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In 1977, my friend, Mary and I took the bus from central London to visit Windsor Castle; on the way back while waiting at the bus stop Mary pointed out that she liked the looks of the man standing across the road with a woman.

A week later in Paris, Mary went off somewhere and I wandered around Montmarte – walking down the street, I passed the same couple (who were married) going up the street – we looked at each other and the man and I said “you were in Windsor” – the three of us went to the Eiffel Tower and had a drink together. I tried to make Mary guess who I’d run into but she couldn’t. The couple were from Connecticut.

In 1968, my sister ran up the steps of St. Peter’s and smack into a former classmate from grade school days in Toronto.

In 1980, staying in Acapulco I spotted two people who worked where I did and thought “Oh so they’re dating” and thought no more of it until I said something to the fellow – “I work at so and so, too” and he flatly denied who they were and where they worked. Until then, I thought their being together was totally innocent.
SallyCanuck is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 01:00 PM
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Another coincidence - hey, Waldo, my old neighborhood is 17th Av., in Brooklyn.
panecott is online now  
Aug 20th, 2007, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 167
Strangest thing-
I was in Edinburgh for the Hogmany Festival in january '06. My ex-roomate from SF, who was Irish met me and my girlfriend there and we all painted the town together. We walk into a pub the morning after and I hear my name. It's an Irish guy who I met in San Francisco a few times but who lives in Ireland. we had made no plans and did not make any at this time to get together at another date either. 5 days later I'm in Dublin at a mall and we walk past eachother in the food court area. Weird.

winesaavy7 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 02:03 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 86
My Mother (who talks to everyone)and I were in line at the Athens airport, for our return flight to Chicago. She struck up a conversation with the couple in front of us and discovered they were also from Indiana. When I joined the conversation, I realized the husband and I had gone to grade school together (but had not seen each other in 20 years).
jdbird is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 02:34 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 683
A few years ago we were flying to London from Seattle. We boarded the plane and were sitting there and the plane started filling up with a huge marching band from a high school in Seattle. Now, being a mother of teenagers I am pretty tolerant but these kids were horrible. They were loud and threw food at each other. Other passengers were really upset with what was going on. The flight attendents tried to settle them down and the pilot even came on and told them to settle down. Well wouldn't you know on the return trip we were in our seats and once again the marching band boarded the plane. We thought here we go again. But, I guess that there had been so many complanits that they had to promise to behave before they let them on the plane. They were better on the way home, but still not great.
hester is offline  
Aug 20th, 2007, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 116
I'm from south Louisiana - Cajun country. Imagine my astonishment as I walked through the lobby of the Marriott Hotel in Veinna Austria and heard the song "Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, File Gumbo" playing at the bar!
amberkat is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 38
I had two small world experiences.

I was studying in France in '92 and went to Florence for the weekend. I ran into a high school classmate I had not seen in 3 years in front of the Duomo. She was abroad for the smester in Ireland and in Florence just for the weekend, too.

The summer after I finished grad school, I went on a cruise to Greece and Turkey with my family. We were walking down the street in Istanbul and ran into a woman who had been in my class--we knew each other but were not close so neither one of us knew the other would be in Turkey. You definitely do the double and triple takes to make sure you are really seeing who you think you are seeing!

Coll is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 05:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 261
I had a small world experience in Aix-en-Provence this summer. A friend had just e-mailed me with the names of two American women in Aix she hoped I might connect with. I read the message using the WIFI in a little cafe. I was going back and forth to a nearby laundromat, and asked an American woman at a nearby table if she could watch my things while I went down the street for a minute.

We introduced ourselves-- and it turned out she was one of the two women my friend had just written me about! I wrote about this experience in my blog here: http://www.slowtrav.com/blog/wood/archives/001705.html

KathyWood is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 06:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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To Panecott-
I thought we might be related!
I live in Maryland now, but my family still lives on 65th Street, near Bay Parkway.
Waldo is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 06:35 AM
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WHEELS is offline  
Aug 21st, 2007, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Waldo, I grew up on 82nd St. Still have an aunt living there.
I live in the city now but am thinking of moving across the Hudson.
panecott is online now  

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