Fowler has yet another question!

Old Sep 26th, 1999, 12:13 PM
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Thanks, Wes, for such a great question. I've certainly enjoyed reading the responses so far.
The first encounter that comes to mind is the charming grandmother that we still remember as our "angel" - a heavensent guide that sat across from us on the train from Zurich to Salzburg. She was on the way to visit her grandchildren in Vienna, and was a marvelous companion - pointing out the sights to gorgeous snow-capped peak after another, picturesque towns, a corner of Lichtenstein (I think...),
and then encouraged us to join her in the dining car, where we continued to gaze at the awesome views while we ate. She MADE that trip for us - what a special lady!
Then there's the friendly lady in Vence, France, who, when we asked her to direct us to the historic center of town late one night, escorted us from one sight to the next, sharing the town she loved. We ended the tour as her guests in a little creperie below her home.
I could go on, but I'll post and look forward to reading more traveler's tales.
Old Sep 27th, 1999, 03:54 AM
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Tony and I were in Athens in 1993. One day we took a local bus to Cape Sunio. It took a little over an hour to get there because of all the stops. After visiting the area and taking our photos, I saw a man and taking pictures of a woman. I offered to take a photograph of the two of them, which he accepted. After, we headed to the bus stop to head back to Athens. As the bus was pulling up, a car quickly passed it and stopped next to us. There he was, along with his mother and a young woman in the back seat. The man offered us a ride back to Athens. We felt safe about going with them. Along the way back, he told us interesting stories about Athens, Greek mythology, and the sights that we were seeing along the way. His mother had gone through quadruple by-pass surgery just 3 weeks prior and he was taking her out on an outing, which was the first time out of the house since the surgery. The young woman in the back was from Poland and was her "nurse". The man was a doctor. He invited us to dinner on our last night in Athens, but unfortunately, we had to cut our trip short by one day. We still have his business card that he gave to us. I think that when we return to Athens, we might look him up and meet him again. Meeting someone like him and his family makes a trip even more special. Here was a man who was taking care of his mother and he took the time to include us in on their day trip. Talk about hospitality!
Old Sep 27th, 1999, 04:32 AM
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There are so many stories; here's my favorite. Went to Monte Carlo in hopes of seeing the Grand Prix even though my friend and I had no tickets. My friend bought a ticket in a really bad location for more than I could afford and we agreed to just meet up later. I sat down on the sidewalk to people watch, jet lag caught up with me, and I fell asleep! Next thing I know there are 4 European guys standing over me with an extra ticket to watch from a hospitality suite (with full lunch and open bar)right in front at the first curve! I think those tickets were worth about $400, and they treated me like a priness! Had the time of my life.
Old Sep 27th, 1999, 04:47 AM
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There are so many stories, but my favorite is while in Munich in 1984. My husband and I arrived in Munich by train from Salzburg for the last three days of our honeymoon. The room at our hotel wasn't ready yet, so we stored our luggage there and went to the Marienplatz for lunch. We were sitting in an outdoor cafe discussing our plans for the next three days not even noticing the couple next to us listening to every word. I mentioned that we must go to the Hofbrauhaus (sp) and that's when the gentleman decided he couldn't take it anymore and said "don't go there I'll take you to better places" He spoke a little English, his girlfriend spoke virtually none, and we spoke basically no German. Turns out he was a chef in a restaurant in Cologne and was in Munich for the weekend. We started talking as much as we possibly could when he jumped up and ran to a store and bought a German/English dictionary. He and his girlfriend took us to bars, pubs, and restaurants that as tourists we would have never gone into let alone found on our own. They decided we could not leave them until we tried every beer in Munich. And we did. We had a wonderful time and wrote back and forth for a few years. But as these things go we lost contact. He always dreamed of coming to NY, we sent him a picture book. I certainly hope that he realized his dream!!!!
Old Sep 27th, 1999, 11:42 AM
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When my husband and I wee in Shanghai with a group of American MDs touring hospitals in China, we found ourselves on the Bund the first day. The Chinese had studied English on their TV as well as in schools and they were eager to try out their new skills. One of the MDs was wearing a ten-gallon hat, and so the most eager of the skiddish Chinese gentlemen came up to my husband to try and engage us in conversation.
"You are Americans?"
"yes, we are."
"Where you from?"
"We are from California."
"Ah! Stanford! UCLA! Lakers!"
We were amazed at what they learned from the television and universities.
"And you bring Daughter?"
My husband and the others laughed until they hurt.
"Ho-Oh. BOO-Boo"
;.) -Cher
Old Sep 28th, 1999, 10:23 AM
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Victim of long nails...When my husband and I WERE in Shanghai, not wee in Shanghai...
Sorry, folks.
Old Nov 15th, 2000, 07:42 AM
Paul J
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This thread is an 'oldie but a goodie' and in my estimation, worthy of being revisited. My, how I wish this Forum could return to this more civilized approach to travel discussion...Paul J
Old Nov 15th, 2000, 12:21 PM
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We (my boyfriend and I) usually get into the best conversations with locals at local bars. Bar friendliness seems to be universal - we never have a problem striking up a conversation over a couple of drinks. And because we are a "couple", it's obvious that we're not there to hit on anyone, just genuinely interested in people. We've had very interesting political discussions, gotten recommendations on places to see/things to do. I recommend heading to the watering hole the locals go to.
Old Nov 15th, 2000, 03:29 PM
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Was spending a week hiking in Switzerland and decided on the one day that it rained to take the train down to Tirano, Italy. I was just wandering around by myself, gazing at all the old buildings, when an elderly gentleman came up to me and began speaking in Italian. I had studied Italian years ago and responded with the only sentence I remember: "I studied Italian for one year but have forgotten everything". Well, that got him going and we ended up walking around the old town for about 1/2 hour, speaking in a very fractured blend of Italian and German. Inbetween pointing out buildings of interest, he talked a lot about his respect for America and our government and our people. It was such a wonderful experience and was the high point of my short afternoon in Tirano.

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