Funny events on your trip in Europe

Jun 8th, 2010, 06:24 PM
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cigalechanta is offline  
Jun 8th, 2010, 07:46 PM
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I love these stories are they are often a lesson.
cigalechanta is offline  
Jun 8th, 2010, 08:52 PM
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I've got a few, one that I'll share, because it was rather embarrassing.

My parents and I were sitting in front of the Trevi Fountain at night, enjoying the rare quiet, no crowds, just us. And a few vendors selling this moldable blob. They tried to convince us to buy it, but we weren't interested. As I'm sitting there taking pictures of my parents throwing their pennies into the fountain, 5 vendors came into the picture with their moldable blobs in the shape of penises. I was both horrified and greatly humored that I had gotten this picture of 5 men holding these moldable blobs as my parents threw their coins. My parents laughed a lot at the picture, but my uncle thought we were perverts and got real angry at us. So reluctantly, I had to delete the picture to keep from ruining our vacation. I'm glad I have my parents' sense of humor!

I'll share another:
I took my dad on my first trip to Europe. It was to merry ol' England. I had always wanted to see Stonehenge, so took my dad along with me to see it. He complained. "Why are you taking me to see a bunch of rocks?" As we arrive to Stonehenge by bus "see, there. Rocks. Can we turn around now?" When the tour guide explained that the rocks may have come from North Wales, my dad looked at me and said "oh, those rocks are from no where?" No dad, that's North Wales. "Oh. That's interesting then. How did they get them here?" That's part of the mystery. "I'm glad we decided to come see these rocks."
mcnyc is offline  
Jun 8th, 2010, 09:09 PM
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Posts: 117 gives me the creeps and it's actually not all that funny, it's scary - we can only laugh on reflection of how stupid we were to have let down our guard on this occasion....but here goes.
We'd been staying in the Sultanahmet area in Istanbul for just over a week. We'd done the 'touristy' thing up and down the main strip and had visited all of the main sites. We'd been to the Grand Bazaar, into varying carpet shops and had booked a tour down to Gallipoli. We felt, at that stage, that we had a fairly good grip on the local geography and had eaten at and enjoyed many local restaurants. Something was missing though.....we longed for a REAL Turkish dining experience without all of the 'tourists'. This is where we came unstuck.
We are a family of four. We'd travelled for 4 months through Europe, Turkey & Morocco. By the time we got to Turkey, we were 3/4 of the way through our journey and felt fairly calm and relaxed & confident about our personal security and safety. Mistake number 2!
This particular night, we ventured out into the dark from our apartment to look for somewhere of the above discription to eat - the two of us and our children aged 7 & 10 years. We decided to head toward the main Sultanahmet strip where we knew we could catch a tram/taxi. Shopping and sightseeing creates incredible hunger. On this evening, we decided to take an alternative walking route from our apartment. Given our easily recognisable blonde haired children, we had been pestered somewhat by a carpet salesman who was now recognising us to the point of it being annoying. We thought that by going up a 'back street' we'd be left alone. WRONG!
Dimly lit, the street took us on a journey, that we would rather not have had. We were approached in the dark by a 60'sh aged man and his younger nephew 'helper' who struck up a friendly conversation with my husband eg. my wife is Aussie, I have a cousin who lives in Melbourne etc The pair were told by my husband that we were in search of a good place to eat.......they now had an angle to work on and before we knew it, we were being unwillingly ushered into their nearby car. The younger of the two, holding my daughters arm and forcefully dragging her away toward the car. We had no choice but to go with them. They already had our daughter in the car. With my husband in the front seat, my two children in the backseat and the younger of the two turkish men between me and my children, I was now panicing. These people were total strangers. Initially seemingly friendly, but their tone quickly changed. This was an evening going horribly sour. The driver was using the guise that he would take us to a restaurant only 5 minutes drive away. He had my husband believing....I, on the other hand wasn't! What followed was 30 minutes of erratic driving through the streets of Istanbul, lessons on how bad the Western World is and how Islam will prevail in the end, and then.......a question I had feared that this was all about. If we would allow for our daughter to marry his nephew! Who... at this stage was twiddling my daughters beautiful blonde hair with his fingers......My husband, sitting in the front seat could not see this occuring, but was well aware of the fact that we were in a precarious situation & that I was nervous. We were being given lessons by the older of the two, who was driving the car. I sternly asked for him to stop the car and let us out. He kept asking my husband 'why is it that your wife doesn't trust me' in the Muslim religion we trust everyone! I pointed out that we had been driving around for 20+ minutes, when he'd initially said only 5 mins & that we certainly wouldn't agree to his nephew marrying our 10yr old daughter! & I ordered for the third time that he stop the car so that we could get out.....this was when my husband, who is a very big tall man got cranky and politely asked for him to stop the car NOW!
After 30 nerve racking minutes and a total education on Islam, how a woman should obey her man & how bad & corrupt the Western world is, he stopped the car in the middle of nowhere...we had no idea of where we were. We couldn't have got out of that car any quicker. We were wasn't long before an English speaking taxi driver pulled over and at our request took us back to Sultanahmet.
Things were fine in the end. I'm not sure exactly what their intentions ask for our daughters hand in marriage seemed strange, but then again perhaps he was serious. Kind enough though to accept that we didn't want for that to happen! No amount of Islamic preaching was going to change our mind either.....
Ronael is offline  
Jun 8th, 2010, 09:42 PM
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My favorite is my lack of the French language. Our waiter
who usually was upbeat at a bistro we visited every year,
was looking very sour, So I said souris instead of sourire
I called him a mouse, he laughed and told everyone I called him a mouse but that led him away from his inner demons and he was so happy after that
cigalechanta is offline  
Jun 8th, 2010, 10:47 PM
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Ronael.. wow. Fortunate ending. What a hair-raising story.
lincasanova is offline  
Jun 8th, 2010, 10:53 PM
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Sort of like your story Ronael, but in Lebanon. Many years ago when the kids were small, we were docked in the yacht club marina in Jounieh, north of Beirut, when a well dressed, and charmingly well spoken chap hailed us from the slip and asked if he could come aboard. We were always happy to meet the locals, and invited him into the cabin, served him coffee and settled down or a polite chat, as we usually did. After the customary half hour of chatter about inconsequential things, as is required in that part of the world, he finally got to the point.

He said he had noticed our twin blonde six year old daughters in town, and wanted to know if he could act as our agent in selling them. He explained that he would guarantee he could get an astoundingly high price for such a matched pair.

He was apparently serious.

My wife prevented me from shooting him, and only allowed me to throw him onto the float and chase him down the dock. I'm still sorry I listened to her.
nukesafe is offline  
Jun 9th, 2010, 05:16 AM
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My lord. These stories are something else! I am feeling naive to say the least.
lincasanova is offline  
Jun 9th, 2010, 10:16 AM
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I refer to Sardinia again-- Every morning, I would go out to the beach and dig our umbrellas into the very hard sand. After breakfast, we would go out and spend time on the beach. As I previously mentioned, as Americans, we were a novelty. After spending the morning on the beach, we were ready to call it a day. One nice, older lady, who also struck an aquaintance with my wife, just came onto the beach near us. As I said, the sand is hard, and difficult to place an umbrella into it. This lady was having a real hard time getting the umbrella into the sand. I told her in my unaccented Italian, to give me her umbrella, and I stuck it quickly into the tight hole just vacated by my unbrella, making a great fit. This happened with a few folks looking on. This lady then loudly exclaimed "L'Americane sono vero molto gentile"! Meaning "The Americans are very kind"! The people closeby all gave a nice handclap. It made us feel great.
Waldo is offline  
Jun 9th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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The receptionist at my firm of solicitors decided to take the plunge and go topless on her Cyprus holiday - on the basis that everyone else was and she would not see any of the people again....

...that is until she got chatting to the guy on the next lounger and found he was a close friend and client of the senior Partner. Blushes all round when he next visited the office!
Fashionista is offline  
Jun 9th, 2010, 10:56 AM
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On a trip to Iceland, one evening my BF and I decided to go to one of the public pools in Reykjavik. One of the large hot pots was quite full of people so we decided to try it. As we were getting in I looked away for a second and looked back just in time to see my BF DIVE into the 3 ft deep pool. I got in after him and when he came up I asked, "why did you DIVE into the hot pot??" He said, "I didn't dive, I didn't realize there was a step." He had taken a step and fallen face-first into the pool. After I determined that he wasn't injured I started to laugh, then he started to laugh and pretty soon the entire pool was in hysterics. Funny is funny in no matter what the language!
Patti is offline  
Jun 9th, 2010, 11:26 AM
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In 2001, I was driving From Cinque Terre to Florence. Four of us (Kim and Mary, Tracy and I) were in the car. Just outside of Florence was a toll booth, so we stopped at the gate. We looked and looked and could not figure out what to. Meanwhile cars began gathering behind us.

A voice (in Italian, of course) comes out of the toll machine. I am sure he was telling us what to do. Unfortunately, because of our limited (to say the least) expertise in the Italian language, none of us could figure what the hell he was saying. As the cars piled up behind us, a sterner voice and now sounding quite exasperated (in Italian, of course) again came through the speaker. Once again, we could not understand.

Meanwhile, as cars were piling up behind us, Mary, Kim and Tracy kept looking for a ticket we thought we must have somewhere in the car. None could be found.

Finally, a few minutes (seemed much longer) and about 30 cars stuck behind us later, a ticket magically appeared from the machine and the gate opened. As I reached to grab it, a voice (this time in perfect English) said (in a tone I will never forget), "Take the ticket and go away!" We laughed for about ten minutes, and that line was used throughout our trip.

As a matter of fact, whenever the four of us are traveling together and something goes wrong (as it invariably does on our journeys), one of us will always say, "Take the ticket and go away!" It still makes us laugh nine years later!

maitaitom is online now  
Jun 9th, 2010, 12:10 PM
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In Spain my wife would ask the waiter what type of ice cream they had. The word for ice cream is helado and the word for side is el lado. And sometimes a waiter would not understand her and look quizzically at us wondering why are these Americans asking me what type of sides they have. It was too amusing although of course very evil that I let the converation continue.

The first time we visited the cousins in Spain, the pigs, cows, and a stray chicken lived on the first floor with the family. They had a hole in the floor as a bathroom. Once when I went to relive myself, I saw a huge pink thing flapping, which was the cow's tongue. That was the last time I patted the animal, saying, "Nice cow, nice cow."

On our first trip to France we were very young and in a crowded train compartment from Luxembourg. There was a French woman, who was haughtily speaking about us and all our shortcomings. Although I do not speak much French, I got the gist of her tirade. Then she said that it was probably our first trip to France. So I lied, and said one of the few words I knew, "Deuxième." Most looked away but it stopped her in her tracks, so to speak.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2010, 12:44 PM
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This is from a September 2008 visit to Paris with my then 26 year old daughter. She had a craving for Chinese food and we found a small, but seemingly popular place on Avenue Kléber. We had a less than mediocre meal and had already planned to compensate with a great dessert in the Trocadero area, so we were eager to leave.

"L'addition s'il vous plait," we requested politely. The hostess returned with two ceramic sake cups which she placed ceremoniously in front of each of us. "My treat!" she says. "And special surprise for you in bottom!" We peered into the sake cup and at the base was a well-rendered, and excuse me, overly well-endowed naked man! I don't think that 'speechless' could begin to describe our feelings at that moment. Not even 'surreal' could cover it. MON DIEU! It was offensive and disgusting and shocking and hysterical all at the same time.

Having been raised with especially good manners, my daughter poured her sake into her water glass so as not to offend (the sake was awful). When the sake was poured out, Johnny Holmes disappeared! As did we as soon as we paid the bill.
paris1953 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 07:20 AM
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This is funny in retrospect. It wasn’t so funny when we were on the streets of the Ghetto in Rome at 5 PM with our bags and no place to go. On our 7th trip to Italy I became a bit careless and did not check references on the apartment I found (online) in Rome that would accommodate our party of 5. It was in the Ghetto area, a short walk from the forum, so an ideal location for touring on foot. There was a wonderful restaurant on the street just below the apartment, so we were feeling pretty good during our first lunch there, in spite of the 3 flights of dark stairs to reach the apartment, the broken drawers in the bedroom, the fact that the oven didn’t work, instructions on what to do if the boiler went out, and the fact that the apartment hadn’t been remodeled to provide two bedrooms as had been promised. We had paid our 6 nights rent plus the 200 euro damage deposit and were prepared to settle in for our stay. The next day, after a day of touring, our daughter and her two sons reached the apartment before we did and, when we arrived, she announced, “The toilet isn’t flushing right.” Sure enough, when I tried it, it filled almost to the rim then drained slowly. A call to our “landlady” produced the advice to give it until the next morning to see if it would clear. No – next morning it filled even closer to the rim and drained more slowly. Another call produced a promise to call the plumber and a follow up call saying she would be meeting the plumber there in the afternoon and we should go ahead with our plans for the day. Our daughter and her sons again returned before we did and the announcement this time was, “The landlady was here and said she would be back to talk with you.” Warning bells!! A visit to the bathroom revealed that the stool was gone!! We were 5 people with one bathroom without a stool. The landlady did return and said the plumber would be back the next morning. We said we couldn’t possibly stay in the apartment with 5 people under these conditions and, after some wrangling, did get our deposit back (but not the rent for the remaining 4 nights), along with the information that she could not wait there for us to find another place, so we packed up and were shortly on that street, deciding what to do next.
P.S. We did manage to find rooms for the next four nights, so were somewhat grateful for the recession and some cancellations in two small apartments near Campo di Fiori.
drjeane2 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 09:35 AM
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I had been looking for another bathroom (there seems to be a theme here). I didn’t want to do this but when all else fails……Paris has these quaint little portable toilets in the middle of most blocks. The way it works is that you put a Euro in, the door opens and you go in. You have about 3 or 4 minutes to get out of there before the door opens and closes then it hoses the whole thing down. If you are in there you get a “free shower”….wrong, I did not get one. But what I got was even better. I put my coin in, went in….I have on leggings and a long shirt. So up goes the shirt, down goes the leggings and I stoop. While in the process, the door opens and there stands a man in the door unzipping his trousers. I had forgotten to lock the door; I was so worried about running out of time. I don’t know who was more shocked, the man or me or the people on the street witnessing this whole mess. At any rate, down came the blouse, up came the leggings….and off I went. Needless to say, I had wet pants for a while. Cost for the toilet, 1 Euro…..cost for embarrassment, priceless.

another one:
I had just had a very pleasant stay in Munich and am line at the security check. I put the cameras, cosmetics, belts, shoes, and backpack on the conveyor belt. I am waiting to go thru the scanner while this gal in front of me gets searched. When I go through, the guard is waiting for me with my belongings.

She says, “You have a bottle in your bag”. “No, No, I don’t!” She asks if she can check. Sure chickie, knock yourself out. She can’t find it so she goes back to the film. Comes back, reaches in the pack and says, “Then, what is this”? “Sauerkraut,” I said…Sauerkraut, she asks???? She takes it and asks the guy scanning if this is what he saw, yep, it is.

I had purchased a plastic tube (like Hamburger comes in) of Sauerkraut, I guess it looked like a bottle on the film. At any rate, she was laughing. I could have been busted for illegal Sauerkraut!!!!!

PS. I opened it last night to have some with a pork roast that I had made. It was horrible, should have let them keep it at security.
Jedmo68631 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 10:16 AM
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We were very excited to know that we would soon be going to the town in Italy where my husband's father was born. Realizing that it is just a small village off the beaten path, hubbie wanted to prepare himself for any eventuality and struggled to learn the Italian language prior to leaving the U.S. We took the train from Rome (an adventure in itself) and arrived exhausted but anxious to get settled and begin our discoveries. As we approached the hotel, hubbie was practicing the sentence he would need to register us. Confidently he said to the dapper gentleman manning the front desk, "Vorrei una camera per due, per stasera e domani notte." to which the gentleman replied, "Do you speak English?"
marchpearl is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 10:21 AM
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Running to leap aboard a double decker bus in London, my hand slipped off the pole and I ended up on my butt in the middle of a busy "City" street at mid-day. I was laughing so hard I couldn't get up! The Londoners in the area, and my travel companion, were so very solicitous (one scooped up my eyeglasses which had flown off my face). Needless to say, traffic came to a halt while I composed myself enough to get up and out of the street!
Canossa is offline  
Jun 14th, 2010, 11:38 AM
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Before our very first trip to London, many years ago, we decided to bring along our 3 1/2 year old son. To get him "up for the trip" we would read bedtime stories, usually involving royalty of some sort, that we would place in London and usually end singing the nursery rhyme "pussy cat, pussy cat where have you been/ I've been to London to see the Queen.

The trip did not begin well. We stayed in a small place near Victoria Station. It was summer and unusually warm. The afternoon of our second day, they apparantly had scheduled to paint the hallways using an oil based paint. At night, the odor from the drying paint was overwhelming, and since there was more painting to be done on the floor that day, with my son next to me, I asked the old hag running the place for a room change, which she refused to do. I told her then we would have to find another place to stay, whereupon she began to curse and scream ending with "...and you can get your bloody arses out of here."

Walking back to our room, my son tearfully asked "why was the Queen yelling at us?"
basingstoke2 is online now  
Jun 14th, 2010, 01:17 PM
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Numerous years ago (before Hank) I took a trip to Egypt. I got on the hotel's elevator to descend to the lobby; it was occupied already by distinguished looking gentleman. He turned to me and out of blue asked me to marry him! He said none of his wives had blond hair. I tried to make light of the situation and catching the reference to "wives" explained I couldn't marry someone if I wasn't wife number 1 to which he said that was a shame because I would have to be wife number 4! He was serious!
patandhank is offline  

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