Okay, everyone always talks about how you'll see amazing things and get into situations that will dumbfound/shock/inspire you while away on your travels. What is the story you like the most about travelling? Whether it be a tale of woe, joy or enlightenment - share it with us!
I have two (one of which I will bore TPers with for the 1,459,926th time...):
Last November, I went to Normandy to stand on Juno Beach on Remembrance Day. My grandfather - who had come up on St-Aubin-sur-Mer on D-Day - had passed away the year before, and I wanted to finally do what I'd talked about with him for years. His stories had always fascinated me, and I wanted to see for myself the place that changed his life and the history of the world. I got to see the ceremonies, but crazy bus schedules prevented me from going to the beach where he'd landed. After the ceremony, a nice lady came to talk to a group of us Canadian travellers who'd met on the bus on the way up. To break the ice, I told her about my grandfather and that I hadn't had a chance to see St-Aubin-sur-Mer. So she said "come with me" and I hesitated and she replied with "you didn't travel all the way here to miss the most important part." So off she whisked us to St-Aubin (where she lived, ironically), and she showed me the beach, the route the soldiers took, her B&B, and where she'd hid as a child during the fighting. I took a film-canister full of sand and some rocks off the beach, and one of my most perfect pictures is of the house that served as the soldiers' landing guide. A stranger's kindness was the best part of the trip.
And the old story involves Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, a hunt for Oscar Wilde's grave, a guy from Belfast, and a very lovely relationship that's lasted the test of distance and time. I never tire of telling it!
For some reason people tend to be fascinated by my "I stepped into a pothole in Kiev on Friday 13th May 2005 and had to go to a Ukranian hospital for x-ray..."-story.
Joke aside, I'll always be grateful to the staff of the Kiev Youth Hostel in Yaroslavska Ulica. They were absolutely great, taking care of every need I had - dealing with the hospital, the ukranian bureaucracy, the insurance people. I know some Russian, but I would have been lost without them.
My story is one that inspired me. This day me feel so complete in what I was doing, where my life was, and if I never go anywhere again, this will be my fondest memory.
While cruising Greenland, we stopped in Ammassalik for a day. A friend of mine and I decided just to walk and wander and take pictures of the beautiful scenery. We started up a hill to take a picture, and once we made it to the spot we intended to stop at, we decided to go a little higher, and a little higher, and a little higher again, until we found ourselves way uptop a hill, much farther and more intense of a hike than we ever intended.
But once we made it up there, the sight was absolutely astonishing, looking out over the little village, and the harbour, we could see forever. The silence is what I remember most. No traffic, no airplanes, sirens, etc....the stuff we are used to in the city. Deafening silence, then we started to hear noise, the sound of the huskies howling...all the way from the bottom, way down from where we had come from. The sound carried all the way up, uninterrupted. Then the fog started rolling in. We could see it coming from over the water, and ever so slowly it crept in on us. But we were above it, the fog was below our feet, and the sight of us standing up there with the fog below us was phenomenal. So peaceful, so calm, and such an undescribably beautiful sight.
Finally we made the trek back down, reluctantly, but we did have to be back onboard ship for sailing.
I'm going to upload a couple of the pics from this day into my photo album now, please take a peek, I love to share that memory, thanks for giving me the chance.