Peak Travel Experiences

Reply Sat 28 Feb, 2004 10:10 pm
Osso wants to hear more about what I mentioned as my all-time best date on another thread.

In 1977, I was 17 and a senior in high school and the Art Club raised $$ all year to go to Europe on spring break. We had 5 days each in London, Madrid, and Paris.

When we got to Paris, I had to go for an obligatory dinner at the home of my mom's college roommate. It was interesting to go to a private home, but I wasn't particularly looking forward to the evening. (I'm sure the other kids were doing something that seemed much more interesting.) As it turned out, the lady had two sons. They were 21 and 18 years old, and after dinner they planned to take me out on the town!

We went to see a movie. At one point, one of the guys was parking the car and the other went to meet him in the lobby. So there I was in a Parisian movie theatre trying to save two seats. I knew some French, but that was a bit of a challenge! The movie was American with French subtitles which causes some weird timing on the laughs.

At some point, the brothers realized that I speak some French, and so they switched to German when they wanted to talk over my head. Shocked About that time I realized that they were definitely competing for me. Not a situation that I was used to. We talked and talked. Their parents are American but they'd almost never been here. They asked a million questions.

We went to a club and danced. (Disco was in.) I honestly don't recall if I had anything alcoholic to drink - I don't think I needed it at that point. We went to a cafe and they made me drink coffee. I never have liked it, and I'm sure that was my first cup.

So, okay, I picked the younger brother. Someday, Osso, when we meet in person, I'll fill you in on the really juicy stuff! Very Happy

Tell us about your all time best travel experience!
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Reply Sat 28 Feb, 2004 10:23 pm
All time best, a challenge, you can tell by now I sort of frame my few experiences to relive. Tap, tap, tap, will be back. Not sure if my best travel experience had a sexual component, but then, no, you don't want to hear about that do you?

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Reply Sun 29 Feb, 2004 12:06 am
I didn't intend us to necessarily exchange romantic overseas adventure tales. Very Happy Memorable experiences of other types will be welcomed too.
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Reply Sun 29 Feb, 2004 12:45 am
Re: Peak Travel Experiences
mac11 wrote:
Someday, Osso, when we meet in person, I'll fill you in on the really juicy stuff! Very Happy

Oooooo!!! But can't all of us hear the juicy stuff? Puleeeeeeze? Smile
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Reply Sun 29 Feb, 2004 12:51 am
I'm afraid I've given all of the PG-13 rated details. Very Happy
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Reply Sun 29 Feb, 2004 12:33 pm
I'm over 18, over 21 even! I can handle the, uh, racier versions just fine! Very Happy
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Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2004 11:36 am
Well Mac. I can tell you don't want us to pry into your personal/sex life, so I won't ask any questions about that Sad , but tell us, please, some more about your experiences in London and Madrid - and more about Paris, too. That is so exciting.
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Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2004 11:45 am
In '79, my childhood friend and I were traveling cross country from east to west on I-70. The whole time reading "The World According to Garp" to each other as we took turns driving. (Lot's of laughs). After days of traveling through the flatness Kansas and Eastern Colorado, we reached a plateau. All of a sudden the west opened up and the Rockies and Pikes Peak appeared in the distance. Spontaniously and completly unplanned, we broke out into a passionate version of America the Beautiful! It was one of those moments.

Years later, I found out that Katherine Lee Bates wrote the hymn after seeing Pikes Peak for the first time! I flipped when I heard that! !!
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Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2004 12:08 pm
Great story, Fealola. I can almost see it, myself. Very Happy
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2004 12:41 pm
It was in the mid-60's.

I wanted to go as usual for four to six weeks to England, staying as always as 'paying guest' at the same family.
My guest parents, however, were themselves on holidays on my first week there.
Thus, I couldn't stay in there house, had to do something on my own for about eight days. (My parents would have never allowed this -I thought- , since I was just 15, 16 years old. However, since I DID want my long stay in England ....)

Some railway unions were on strike, so it was difficult to travel by train and long-distance busses (they were run by British Rail in thoses days).

On the first weekend, in youth-hostel, I met some Jehova's witnesses from London, a little bit older than me.
After we decided that none of us would try to convince the other, and since we had similar interests otherwise, we decided to do a walking tour around Cornwall together.

We met a couple of (young) people every day: either in the youth hostels or on the beaches.
So, by end of the week, we were a 'company' of about 30, who were usually in smaller groups during the day, but boozing and in the discos together at night.

I became quite friendly with a very nice girl, one year older.
She wasn't just only attractiv in my eyes, but literally had a "royal household" of boys/young men.

At the end of 'my week', we all had a great party at a beach near a wellknown touristic resort.
Then this girl asked me, if I didn't want to join her, "going inside the house".
Questioned, she told me that her parents had a -what I thaught- kind of summer cottage close by.

It wasn't. It was more a "summer palace". And I should have called it "marquisian household", since she was the daughter of the Marquis of B. .

We "talked" a lot that night.

Afterwards, I tried to start exchanging letters, but I think, I really was just a boy in her eyes.

Saw her quite often later .... on tv.
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Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2004 01:58 pm
About 20 years ago now, I was on my first trip to Europe, and excited out of my mind.

I was in England when some friends in Florence called and said how lovely it was. I was planning to go there anyway, so I joined them to tour a bit of Italy. (they were on their honeymoon!). I had mentioned to a friend in Oz that I was thinking of going to Italy and how nice it would be if you could get tickets for La Scala, but I couldn't work out how to do that! He said it may be possible, so I rang and told him I was going - and he said to call back in a couple of days.

His friend had obtained tickets for a concert, and my friend in Oz had paid for them! No idea of the cost..........Soooo excited. Cool

We get to Milan, find a place to stay, and go to collect the tickets - a story in itself. We finally get to La Scala - as dressed up as backpacking allows, and we can't find our seats - the numbers just don't seem to match. Sad

Finally ask an usher - and he directs us to a box! We had the box to ourselves - they must have been some of the best seats in the house! We sat around pinching ourselves, unable to believe our luck! It was the local symphony orchestra, conducted by Lorin Maazel - I still have the programme somewhere!

It was just the most heavenly night - the plushness of the upholstery, the magic of the music, the gold cord across the door, so no-one else would come in. Wandering around the galleria after the concert, feeling a bit like frauds, with all these beautifully dressed people. We couldn't afford to eat there, but looking was enough! A spectacular occasion for three Aussie backpackers!

I'm hoping to include Milan on my next trip to Italy.......
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Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2004 02:00 pm
Great stories!
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Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2004 02:43 pm
Hard to pick one in special. So I'll pick 2 peaks. One for a one-nighter; the other, for a deeper relationship.
First the one-nighter


I was studying the language at the Italian University for Foreigners in Perugia. One April afternoon, I was sitting at the steps of the Cathedral, with my poncho, reading Borges (I recall the image and find it a little ridiculous), when I started to hear some Latin American protest songs. I appoached the group, and asked them where they were from. It was a high school teacher from Cinisello Balsamo (a workers' borrough in the Milanese hinterland) and her students, all female. She had been in Chile and learned the songs from Angel Parra, the son of famous composer Violeta.

Of course, I wasn't the only male interested in a group of a dozen eighteen-year old girls and their youngish teacher. Three Italians and an Algerian joined us in the sing-along, and then in a brief tavern tour, which ended in the acquisition of a wine "damigiana" (a sort of glass barrel).

It so happens that two of the Italians were brothers from the Puglia region, students at the University of Perugia, who rented a country house near Perouse town.

There was a very small lake right in front of the house, and after speaking a little about the incoming revolution in Latin America, we all drank the wine and kept on singing next to the lake. As soon as I sat down in the shore, three girls surrounded me and started to cuddle me. They were all sweet, beautiful and Marxist. After a while, I chose the one with raven black curly hair: Luisa. (Paolo, the better looking of the Italian bros, ended up with the prettiest girl; his brother, Carmine, decided wisely for the teacher).

As we walked to a more discrete place, I noticed Luisa was slightly handicapped (she limped a little, probably because of polio), and smiled at the fact.

That night I lost somewhere my university ID. But I learned the future tense for Italian.
Luisa asked me: "Mi ricorderai?": Will you remember me?
That was almost 30 years ago.
Of course I do remember.
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Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2004 03:54 pm
Wow! wonderful tales everyone. Very Happy
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Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2004 02:04 pm
fbaezer wrote:
They were all sweet, beautiful and Marxist.


Great story.
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