The Siberian American: Three European Travel Stories I Will Never Forget

Monday, February 22, 2016

Three European Travel Stories I Will Never Forget

My husband often jokes that I am a magnet for strange situations. Since I have been feeling nostalgic about our time in Europe lately, I wanted to share some stories from our travels.


Herzogenrath-August-Schmidt-Platz
On our first solo weekend trip in Europe, Chris and I decided to visit Berlin with eight friends. Everything went smoothly until the third train change. We had about 45 minutes to wait between trains, and our train was late.

The local train ended up coming a minute before our train so we accidentally got on the wrong train, which took us to...Herzogenrath-August-Schmidt-Platz. Our friend Jonathan knew a little German (enough to ask, do you speak English?), so we found a nice lady at the grocery store near the train station who told us the local train we got on makes a loop and would be back at the station in about 30 minutes.


Four hours later, a little after midnight, we made it to Berlin. We were all incredibly exhausted at this point, so we went to the taxi line to get a ride to our hostel. The taxi driver told us the hostel was “200 meters to the right” and refused to take us.

So we walked….and walked….and kept on walking. We ended up stopping at another hotel for directions and found out that the taxi driver was very wrong. The hostel was over a mile and a half away from where we were. As we made our way to the hostel, three men started following us and asked if we were American. Of course, some of the girls in our group shouted “Yes!,” and we had to walk quickly and take random streets to lose them. Thankfully, we lost them and finally made it to the hostel around one in the morning.


Middle of Nowhere, France
Transportation and I just don’t get along (I have about a million strange airplane stories I can share), so I can’t say I was surprised when our train randomly stopped on route from Barcelona, Spain to Marseille, France. We found out that someone in the compartment next to us had a seizure, so the train was stopped to get him medical attention.


For some reason, they decided to stop the route after the man was taken to the hospital, and everyone had to find a new train connection. We knew we were somewhere on the border of Spain and France, so I turned to one of my friends and told her if we were in Spain, we needed her to get us tickets, and if we were in France, I would take care of it. Once we got off the train, we found out we were in France, so I headed to the tiny train station to find out a way to get to Marseille. The next train didn’t leave for a while, so we ended up wandering around the tiny village.

A Nice Butt
Our train connection in Switzerland gave us only five minutes to get from one platform to another (because of a late train), so I was walking up the escalator when I heard two men discussing my butt in Russian behind me (I was the only woman on the escalator at the time, so it was obvious the conversation was about me). Apparently, they thought I had a nice butt and were upset because my backpack was covering up part of it. I wish I wasn’t in a huge hurry because I would have loved to respond back to them in Russian.

I was planning on sharing more stories, but I don’t want to bore y’all with too many words in one day. Stay tuned for part two of my strange European adventures!

What’s one of your favorite travel stories?

26 comments:

  1. Lol that's so funny. Wow! Those sound like some stressful stories. There's nothing more confusing than being lost in countries where you don't speak the language. We took a train from France to Spain and it also stopped. Turned out someone had parked their car on the train tracks with the intention to commit suicide. It turned into an 8 hour delay for us! It's hard when delays like that take away from valuable time on your trips.

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  2. Haha I wish you had responded back to them in Russian! My best friend is Dutch and once when she was visiting me in California we were somewhere that I guess some Dutch tourists weren't expecting any other Dutch people, and when she made a comment to them in Dutch and it really shocked them haha.

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  3. The butt story... love it. I got myself in a couple ridiculous situations on trains across Europe too. Mostly funny stories, a little scary at the time, but definitely worth the experience :)

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  4. haha about your butt! That would have been awesome if you responded back. I love traveling stories. This is a great idea for a post, I may have to steal it. haha

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  5. Too funny! We had some funny experiences when we were in Europe for our honeymoon.

    We were in Rome visiting the Spanish Steps (which is obviously prime real estate for street vendors) and one of the guys selling flowers handed me a bunch and told me how pretty I was and how much I deserved flowers. I thanked him and tried to give them back, but he wouldn't let me. He kept chatting and chatting and finally my husband turned around and he started asking for Alan to pay for the flowers. Alan didn't want to and the guy would not leave us alone so he finally dug out a euro and handed it over. The guy asked for more and when Alan refused, he took all of the flowers back and then handed me the saddest look one and walked away. I guess I wasn't so pretty after all!

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    1. That happened to me in Paris! Someone randomly handed me a rose and then started asking Chris for money! It's such a natural reaction to take whatever is being handed to you. I had to learn to think before taking! Haha. :)

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  6. I can't believe that those guys were talking about your butt! I have a couple of friends who can understand another language, but don't really speak it and have had people talk about them not realizing that they could understand everything they were saying! Especially in Europe, you'd think that they would have been more careful! That sucks that they stopped the whole train because that man had a seizure. Since he was able to get the medical attention he needed, it's weird that they just decided to completely stop. Can't wait to hear about your other crazy adventures!

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  7. I'm not great at directions/transportation! Even taking the bus in my own city makes me nervous! Ha! I so wish you had had time to respond to those guys in Russian!

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  8. These were too funny. It does sound like you get into strange situations but they make for great stories. Especially because I can seriously relate at transportation misfortunes. I'd love to hear more of them!

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    1. While I was writing these, I thought of a bunch more weird stories, so I will definitely be sharing more! :)

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  9. So many train hiccups! That trek sounds exhausting in Germany.

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  10. Oh wow!! Why did those first guys ask if you were American? Do you think they were following you like for a bad reason?! That would've freaked me out. I always hate transportation and schedules so that's why I tend to drive everywhere instead of fly.. obviously can't do that in Europe, but yea haha

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  11. Oh my gosh that first story is so scary! Glad you guys were OK! And ewww creepy guys talking about your butt? Jerks

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  12. Too funny! I always get nervous that we'll have travel issues while in other countries, and be left somewhere without cell service or knowing the language. Love the beautiful views in South France <3
    Green Fashionista

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  13. I wish you could have responded back in Russian with a camera in their face to catch their reactions when they discovered they were caught out! I have a few train/transport stories as well. Maybe I'll get around to sharing one day........

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  14. That escalator story is hilarious. You definitely should have said something, at least spasiba! haha I hope to visit the Brandenburg Gate when I go to Berlin this summer!

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  15. Haha! I wish you would have had time to respond, that would have been amazing!

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  16. wow.. those are quite the experiences.. especially the first..

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  17. oh my gosh the last one is hilarious! i would have loved to hear / see you respond and see their faces lol. hilarious! oh my gosh, the berlin one.. i got on the wrong train in london once and ended up like 3 hours away from my aunty's house (i was super into my book apparently). oh and a taxi driver dropped us off in rome and told us our hotel was 'right down that street' yeah, no. lol.

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  18. I'm so happy that I just found your blog! These are too funny! Especially the last story! How perfect that they just happened to be speaking Russian and you could understand them. When you travel, you're bound to hit a few bumps, but that's how you end up with the best stories too!
    -http://www.travelalphas.com

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Maddy! :) I agree-bumps make the best stories, just not when they are happening! Haha.

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  19. The trains in Europe are so finicky - I remember being in Italy and they would randomly go on strikes and we'd be stranded in different cities lol! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  20. The butt story is the best . . . it would have been awesome to see their faces as you replied in Russian! Ha! We've all made those crazy travel mistakes of going in the wrong direction. Totally inconvenient but usually make for great stories!

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  21. Oh I so wish you would have responded back to them! haha.

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    1. Me too! Such a bummer I didn't have time. :(

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  22. That butt story! What pigs! Apparently they're all over the world! Ick! Haha!

    We switched trains on our way from France to Switzerland and they were bullet trains. I was young and I knew we had mere seconds to get all our luggage and THIRTY family members on the next train. I remember lining up on the platform and literally being tossing into the train with the luggage. It was insane!

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