Forgettable travel moments you’ll always remember

Old Jun 27th, 2020, 07:38 AM
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Our first trip the UK in our 20s. We took Freddie Laker and only had reservations for a rental car and on the ferry to-from Wales to Ireland and back.

We learned you could go to the UK Tourist Bureau and they will find you a hotel reservation. That worked out OK except on one portion, on the way up to Scotland, we arrived 5 minutes after the local office closed.

We opened our trusty $5 a day guidebook and searched for a hotel nearby. We drove down the road and found a pub with rooms instead. They gave us a pretty corner room for the night.

The room had a lot of photos in it – the Duke of this, the Dutchess of that, the Countess… you get the idea. We figured it was just a British thing to have all the royalty pictures.

The next morning when we looked out the window, we had a breathtaking view of Loch Lommond. We figured that all those photos were previous guests.
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Old Jun 29th, 2020, 03:23 PM
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Ok. Cool topic. First the bad one. We flew ORD-AMS to connect to DEL but we could not land there due to fog so we had to divert to Bombay which was packed due to several other jumbos that got diverted there as well. This was the old Bombay airport, warm, packed, humid. We were told there would be hotels waiting for us. However we were basically lied to by the ground staff for 9 hours. First it was we will get you to the hotel, then no we will take off soon, on and on until the morning when the skies were clear. By the time we took off people were near ready to riot from all the bs. When we got on the plane KLM passed out letters stating hotels had been arranged but there was not enough people in immigration to process us out so we just stayed while being conned for 9 hours.

This was infuriating! Then upon landing in DEL some guys wanted money to get us past inspection of our bags. No! Then when we were just about to finally exit some other personnel wanted us to open our bags. I was not in the mood, yelled at them and they let us go. This was awful.

The good. We took a Baltic cruise in June 2008, white nights. We were up on the 17th deck I think it was at Skywalkers bar at the stern at around 0200 having a nightcap. As you gazed past the horizon you could see the the light of the new day coming into view. I will never forget that! I think it was our first night at sea.

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Old Jun 29th, 2020, 03:53 PM
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Stranded in Belize for almost 3 months

Getting yelled at and F bombed by an American expat in Placencia, Belize for not being in quarantine. I had arrived legally 8 days before and brought my negative Covid19 test results that I picked up from the hospital 3 hours before boarding the plane. I was stranded for almost 3 months and went into her business to get a copy of my bank statement required for an extended stay visa. I casually mentioned I was going to the water taxi dock to take the water taxi to immigration.
That's when the verbal thrashing began.
A Belize Tourism truck pulled up at the water taxi and a man asked for my passport. A few minutes later I was put in the truck and taken to the police station. I was questioned, then walked to my cabana to be quarantined by 3 policemen with machine guns.
Belize had changed the law from required quarantine if you came from 4 US cities in what I came to the country under, to quarantining any US Citizen after I had been there a week.
I was crying, alone, the woman who called the police rode up to me on her bike smiling ear to ear.
They let me out after 8 days, after I posted in a local Facebook group about my concerns with a grocery delivery man who pushed his way onto my porch and into the cabana.
The police said they would check on me to make sure no one entered my porch or I'd be fined or taken to jail. He said he was with the police, also.
An over zealous ex pat took it upon themself to forward my post to the police station. The police chief, who was the cousin of the woman I rented from was so angry. She said that I was causing panic in Placencia and told her cousin she wanted to put me in unknown isolation and interrogation, plus fines.
For 3 more days, I was terrified, no one spoke to me, the locals who brought me food and were so kind, gave me silent treatment.
Eventually, I was let out but had to find another place to stay because of the tension and fear everyone was feeling.
I had to pay double rent for a month. I couldn't get my money back on the cabana. It cost me $2100 in rent for my 1st month stranded in Belize.
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Old Jun 29th, 2020, 09:15 PM
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Holy schnitzke, Tulum!
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 06:30 AM
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WOW Tulum0617. What a horrifying experience!
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 08:14 AM
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Tulum, your experience plus that of other stranded travelers, will make for an anthology book at some point. Our neighbour's young bartender tenant, was stuck down in Mexico for several weeks, apparently having had a number of supposed flights-out being cancelled or otherwise unavailable to him. He's been back a few weeks now and at this very moment, is contributing labour in lieu of rent, by assisting his landlord (our neighbour) with repainting their front porch. The porch is one of those old heritage-design ones, with a million spindles---they are using a noisy sander on every single spindle and the mechanical whine is giving me a headache.

I am glad that you are back safe.

I am done. The end.
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 12:41 PM
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The time I cooked some awful burritos for the hotel staff in the Arctic. They had never had Mexican food and as I am from Los Angeles, I was technically the most qualified to make something resembling it. The local store unsurprisingly had not-great ingredients, which led to a pretty bland dinner. They said it was good, but I'd pretty sure they just didn't want to hurt my feelings after I went through the effort

Or the time I walked for hours through the rain to get back to my AirBnB in Vancouver.
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Old Jun 30th, 2020, 04:44 PM
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Tulum that is horrifying! I will never go to Belize!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2020, 01:25 PM
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About 15 years ago we were in Olbernhau, a small town SW of Dresden, Germany. We stopped by the Rathaus (city hall) to see if we could find information about my wife's father, who at age 17 had emigrated from there prior to WWI (yes, World War One). The clerk spoke no English and we spoke only long-forgotten high school German, but we made do with our German-English dictionary we shared between us. She looked through various documents then got on the phone and had a lengthy conversation which of course we couldn't understand. At its conclusion she, with some difficulty, conveyed to us that we were being invited to some people's house. It was the house where my wife's father had grown up.

When visiting the house (again sharing our German-English dictionary) we learned that the owners, who were about our age, had inherited it from their grandparents, who had bought it from my wife's grandparents. And like the caricature of meticulous record keeping Germans, they showed us various documents from both families, With the help of Google translate and their son who was away at university (like many younger, he knows English) we've corresponded ever since and have visited them on several subsequent trips.

On the same trip while travelling by train between Prague and Dresden we shared one of the old-style compartments with a Czech woman. Again resorting to our trusty German-English dictionary we were able to, with difficulty, converse. We exchanged addresses and ever since have corresponded at Christmas.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2020, 03:20 PM
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I was visiting our daughter who lives in the Milan suburbs. I went into the city one day, and my daughter called me saying that the metro was going on a sudden strike just about then, so I had to find my way back to her local station. Well, I couldn't, so she told me to try and reach a main line station that was just a few kms away from her. I did it, with a few changes of lines and stations, and not speaking a word of Italian, except for the trusty phrase book.
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