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Chance encounter

As a long time participant on this forum, I wanted to share something that happened yesterday that I feel is special.

A question was asked about Melk, Austria by Joyce. I responded and she took my advice, having a great day. In reading her feedback about her day, I realized we were likely in the same guided tour at the Melk Abbey. Joyce and I went back and forth on the forum, only to further realize that we spoke during the tour, with me helping her to find a good angle for a great photo. I happened to be with my parents at the Abbey and my mom even inadvertently got photos of Joyce and her husband. Such a funny coincidence, I had to share. Any other similar stories?

Here’s the thread - https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/austria/confusion-on-vienna-to-melk

Posted by
293 posts

In the 70's, I shared an apartment in Heidelberg with 2 German girls. So my roommate is on the Paris train station platform, when an American backpacker boy asks her for information about taking the train to Heidelberg. She speaks to him in her good English, telling him she's going there herself, and they sit together on the train.

He compliments her English, she says, "I live with an American girl. She's from California."

"I'm from California, too, " he says.

"My roommate comes from Little Dustytown, Ca, in the Central Valley ", she tells him.

"Oh my Gosh, me too!" he exclaims.

Turns out we didn't know each other, he was a couple of years older than me, but at the same high school. He came home with her and couch-surfed with us 3 girls for a few days. It was a blast!

And that was the 70's...you just did stuff like that.

Another time, also in Paris, this time I was with my brother deep underground in one of those Metro-tunnels 6 levels under the surface.

Someone called out to him, "Rob, is that you?" He looks up and waves at some friend he knew in college... and they wave back, and get on the opposite Metro and whoosh away.

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928 posts

Hubby and I were waiting for our flight from Hawai’i back to LA. Across the hallway, sitting at another gate, were our neighbors.

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6543 posts

I ran into my sister and brother in law in Warnemunde, Germany walking down the street. Hadn't seen them in six months.

Little did my brother in law know (at the time) his grandfather's ancestral home was a small town about 20 miles inland of the port there. They later moved to Dresden where his mother was born and lived until age 15 (in 1938) when they immigrated to NYC.

Posted by
11153 posts

I met coworkers totally by chance, in the two places I've traveled that were furthest from our mutual homes in New York - Bangkok and Ayers Rock, Australia!

Posted by
5397 posts

Emily that is so cool!! How amazing that you and Joyce even spoke to each other there and didn’t know, but figured out later. And what are the odds that you who live there would be touring the Abbey — thanks to your parents.

Love this and hope the RS team makes it the post of the month next month in Rick’s newsletter!!

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3790 posts

Our trip last month we were in Innsbruck and eating at an outside restaurant. A group of 4 sat beside us, told the waitress they were from Canada so our ears perked up. Asked where they were from and they said BC. Oh, we're from NS to which two replied that they were from/lived in NS. One was from the South Shore, but one actually lived in our town for a few years back in the early 00's. I said - well, if you ever shopped in such and such a store, I probably waited on you - and I'm sure she did.

The other was on the same trip in Venice. We stumbled upon the last few songs of a concert so decided to listen. I was wearing my HOME t-shirt that has the province of NS as the 'o'. A couple were walking out and she pointed at my shirt and said 'let me guess...Dartmouth?' I said no, Truro. The man said 'I was born in Truro!' He didn't live here now - retired to Halifax I think. He asked my last name and I told him, said my dad used to deliver milk - well, he used to deliver milk as well, but for the competition...lol. And he was a bit younger than my dad, so didn't know him. But so funny to meet two people from Truro on that trip.

One of the weirdest was when we went to Ottawa in '07. We were standing on the locks and my hubs was wearing a green tshirt that said Clarks England (the shoe brand). A British fellow came up and started talking and had a nice chat for 10 min or so. Moved on to Montreal at a B&B and down for breakfast and a British couple came down. Started talking, they said they'd been in Ottawa - actually, hubs may have had on the same shirt and we realized this was the same fellow. Imagine of all the B&B's in Mtl, they were at the same one.

And in New Hampshire once and at breakfast my hubs got talking to someone at the hotel we were staying at. Turns out they lived in the apartment building behind his parent's house...lol.

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7586 posts

In 2010 we arrived in Rome to begin a 4 week trip. I had read so much about the pickpockets in Rome and was on high alert, having been pickpocketed on the Paris metro the year before. As we were getting off the metro at the Termini train station I walked out ahead of my husband. From behind a man grabbed my upper arm. My husband was going to react to that until the man said my name. It was a former co-worker! Our offices had been across the hall from each other and we often spoke about travel. What are the odds? This man lived in the same small suburb as I did (for about 19 years at that time, but I lived there for 24 years before moving) and I never once ran into him there.

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1932 posts

I love these stories! Truly special. Our chance encounter happened in 2006. We took a guided tour with a local travel company to Tuscany and Umbria. The tour began in Florence. Our guide reported "we have a change in the itinerary." We were supposed to be stopping in Deruta, but instead she was taking us to "her home in Gubbio.." When our bus reached the Palazzo in Gubbio we found out our guide's home was Palazzo Ranghiasci (Gubbio Palace). What we didn't know was that this lovely unpretentious guide was a Countess. She had inherited the palace's noble floor. We were treated to a lovely lunch and learned the history of her family. The story didn't end there. When we returned home (Pacific NW) we were giving a trip report to some friends. When we mentioned that our guide was a Countess from Gubbio, our friend said, "this sounds familiar." "My cousin married a Countess from Gubbio!" Yes, one and the same. Since then our guide has offices in the Pacific NW and Italy.

One other story to mention. We were at the RS Travel Reunion a few years ago and met a couple in line. One of the tour guides stopped to talk with us and asked what tour we were taking next. We all said "Greece." Come to find out we were scheduled for the same tour date. It ended up we became good friends on the tour and still get together to talk travel! Another nice chance encounter.

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573 posts

Have bumped into people i know from Guernsey in Paris, Sydney and London, love it!

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264 posts

Many years ago, in Vienna on my neophyte own, at a chamber music concert to meet a living-in-Vienna friend who knows the soprano. Friend's arranged tickets at will-call, but she's late, & a passing guy in business suit hears my stumbling American accent & tells the frowning matron to let me in. I sit. The soprano, clarinetist, pianist, & trying-to-be-invisible young page turner come onstage. Pianist is my guy! Gorgeous music-making, but, wow, the page turner looks like someone I know. No, he IS someone I know. Who is he?! Music passes, I'm working thru Alan, Adam, Bill... Lightbulb flashes, it's Russ: we were grad students together five-six yrs earlier, then (turns out) he went to Vienna to study with the pianist. Friend does arrive, & post concert there's hugs, introductions, laughter, & apfel strudel & beer, jawohl!

Some years later, at Lascaux, hear my name, turn around & there's another grad school fellow pianist with his French wife & FIL.

Two yrs ago, Malta, husband hears his name, & it's a buddy from his morning coffee-cart in San Diego.

Thank you, everyone! Love the stories.

Posted by
1424 posts

Emily, what a wonderful thread! And such great stories.

Early this October, I received a WhatsApp message from an Italian cousin who I haven't seen since I met her in Sicily 24 years ago! We haven't spoken since then, except through her daughter on Facebook. She had moved to Hamburg, so I didn't see her on my recent visit to Sicily.

She had no idea I was traveling in Europe. I had no idea she had moved to Frankfurt, where I would return at the end of my trip, just 2 weeks following her WhatsApp message. After 24 years, we met again at the Frankfurt train station and I had dinner with her and her family 2 nights in a row before returning to the States.

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221 posts

Many years ago I was in Cologne before attending a trade show in Dusseldorf. During some free time, I went into the cathedral for a quick look and promptly ran into a former co-worker from a job I had left several years earlier. She had since retired, moved to another state, lost her husband and remarried. She and her new husband were in Cologne on their honeymoon. I still remember the look of surprise on her face at seeing me 4500 miles from home.

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2025 posts

Back in 2010 we were in Prague and then to Cesky Krumlov for 2 nights. Neighbors down the street, we had only been there a couple years, the woman is of Czech heritage, her grandparents live still in Brno. In discussion, we knew they were spending half the summer visiting Brno. So here I am trying to take an artistic photo of a silhouetted violinist playing in an archway to the Castle in Cesky Krumlov. At one point I look up, and there across the parking lot I see our neighbors, although my wife reuses to believe me and pooh-poohs this (we did not know them that well yet). Later that summer, we are telling them about the trip and from her that she insisted we were across the way at the Castle but her husband did not believe it either, and since they had their two young kids and her parents in tow, did not try to come across to us, and figured we did not see them.
We also many years ago walked face to face up to a co-worker of mine 450 miles from home in the parking area of the Appalachian Mountain Club's Pinkham Notch facility in New Hampshire.

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182 posts

In September, Eric of Beaverton posted on forum about the theft of the gold toilet from Blenheim. My good friends, former neighbors when I lived in Beaverton, and often travel companions had just arrived in UK prior to a RS tour. I sent them the link to the forum topic with my attempt at humor, commenting it was funny that the theft happened just as they arrived there.

A few days later my friend tells me they were on a walking tour in Bath where the tour guide had the group each tell where they were from. The friends were surprised to meet a man named Eric from Beaverton who lived in same general neighborhood. The man was also in Bath prior to a different RS tour.

Yes, it was the same Eric. Three coincidences: From same city; Both going on RS tours; The forum topic.

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12 posts

Great thread, Emily!
We were in Lisbon on a Rick Steves' tour visiting the Tile Museum on our own in 2016.
A gentleman came up to me and said: "Don't you work at the Y in Sarasota, Florida?" which I did part-time, recognizing him instantly). They were off a cruise ship going on to a house-sitting gig, but decided to visit the museum. Still can't get over it 3 years later!

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16 posts

When we were working, we would go to Playa del Carmen Mexico every winter. One year before we left, my mother emailed me that my cousin from North Dakota was also going to Mexico, and to keep my eye out for him. I replied that Mexico was a big place and where was he going. She didn't know. So of course I found him and his wife walking down 5th Avenue in Playa. They were staying at resort nearby and had only come into town for the day.

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44 posts

On our honeymoon in 2002, taking a ferry to the Orkney Islands, my (new) husband heard his name (it's an unusual name) and it was a climbing ranger from Denali National Park, whom he had met on a climbing trip a few years before.

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7634 posts

I’m friends with a few people from this forum that I’ve never met IRL.

A couple of weeks ago I was in Sainte-Chapelle and looked up at a young woman and thought...Wow, that looks like Claudette but I think she’s in Germany. I worked my way over to her and she looked up and called my name. So funny!!

I hadn’t really planned to go to Sainte-Chapelle either, but as I walked by there was NO line and I had a Museum Pass burning a hole in my pocket!

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8906 posts

In London the Rabbi for the Synagogue in belong to jumped out of a taxi as walking towards Tower Bridge. Also in London, I was attending a west end play and seated next to me was a fellow season ticket holder I knew via the NY Red Bulls Soccer team. Yet again in London I was exiting the old Highbury Stadium after an Arsenal match, somebody from behind shouted out "Hey Mike Schneider", turned around couldn't figure out who said it amongst the horde of other fans. To this day I still don't know who this person is.

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463 posts

Wonderful stories all- thank you for posting.

About 17 yrs ago I was on a tour of Tuscany. Our guide had a very distinctive voice and personality. On that tour I was named “Mr. Technology” as I was carrying very new digital cameras. His was about the last voice Italian voice I heard post tour at the Florence airport as our group departed.

Almost a year later I arrived in Venice with a lady friend I had met on that Tuscany tour. We checked in, dropped our bags and headed out. While cutting through some small streets heading to San Marco we both heard a very distinctive voice. We turned the corner and there was our former guide with a group. I quickly grabbed a photo as he spotted us and yelled out to us “Hey Mr. Technology”.... An Italian guide must meet thousands of people per year- the fact that he remembered us and my nick name was incredible as was his presence in greeting us upon our Italian return. He quickly explained to his group who we were and with a sly smirk told them he knew on the prior tour that we would return to Italy, together.

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372 posts

On April 9 2017 at the end of the 100'th anniversary event at the Vimy Ridge Memorial we were in the lineup to board the buses back to the staging area and realized we were standing next to Andy Robertshaw. He's a UK based military historian. For the months leading up to the trip we had watched his Discovery Channel series on military stuff in Belgium and northern France so it was pretty neat to meet him.

10 days ago we were on a semi self guided tour of the property of "ex-President-Criminal" Victor Yanukovych (Mezyhirya Residence) north of Kiev. We heard some English speakers next to us at one point while waiting to get into the Mansion for our private tour and it turned out to be Chris Brown from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp.). Chris is currently the Moscow Bureau Chief, and was at Mezyhirya doing background research with his crew and a Fixer, related to the current US/Ukraine events. He was previously based in Vancouver so we were familiar with his work. We decided to join our private tours into one, and once we got into the Mansion it was interesting to tour the rooms and observe his information gathering process.

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1510 posts

Love reading this thread! Two years ago my friend and I spent a week in Murren, Switzerland. It was mid-October; the town was deserted, and we had a wonderful time hiking and exploring. On Saturday evening we went to mass. We were the first to arrive at the tiny church. People began to file in and we were surprised that we recognized two of the women. They were our “buddies” from our Rick Steves tour the previous year! They were there on another tour and we had fun catching up.

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239 posts

Great to read these moments, affirms what a small world it truly is.

In 2015, my wife and daughter and I were eating breakfast our first morning in Paris, at an outdoor table at Le Petit Cler. Suddenly my wife starts pointing and waving at a couple walking up Rue Cler; a co-worker (from Folsom, California) who was in town for a conference. They had just flown in that morning, and as we were all a bit jet-lagged and unadjusted to time zone, it made for a 'Twilight Zone' kind of moment (is this really happening?). We all had a laugh that we had to travel ~5,500 miles to talk shop.

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6752 posts

So Frank and I discovered, while private messaging, that we had lived in the same neighborhood three houses from each other and had acquaintances in common. The only thing is that Frank moved out about the time we were moving in. Did I get this one right, Frank?

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2662 posts

Was in St. Davids, Wales in May and it wasn’t until after returning and responding to a couple posts that I realized Laurel from Oregon and I had stayed at the same B&B at the same time and spoke to each other at a pub in town.

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1915 posts

This summer, we were at a conference in Zagreb. This conference always goes off into the country to have a country dinner at a country restaurant.

We diverted on the way to the restaurant to the Croatian Neanderthal Museum. Fun little museum, documenting the interesting history of the Neanderthal discoveries in Croatia (amongst the very earliest). We were standing in the parking lot, drinking a shot or two of rakija, when I hear "Paul!! Paul T!!" It was a high-school classmate of mine, in actuality the only girl I dated in high school. She was there just by chance. We had a laugh and we went to our restaurant.

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8569 posts

Earlier this year I was having breakfast at my B&B in the Lake District of England and started chatting with the couple next to me. Turns out they were also Americans.

:)

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921 posts

In September of 1981 I met a friend from Wales in New York. One day we visited the Metropolitan and at one painting were joined by a small group, including a man in a wheelchair. We got talking, as the man in the wheelchair was entertained by my friend’s accent and his blue comments about the painting.

A few days later I take a late flight back to Toronto on a near empty plane and sit about halfway down. As I’m sitting, the same man in the wheelchair is being pushed down the aisle and parks close in front of me with his assistant. I nod and smile and he recognises me (I had a distinctive ponytail and beard, not to mention my shirt). We exchange a few words. I later overhear him talking with somebody else who approached him, mentioning upcoming concerts and saying he had just made a guest appearance on some sitcom with Tony Randall. We said goodbye to each other at the airport, where he was greeted like royalty. I didn’t know it at the time but it was Itzhak Perlman.

I also lived in England, on and off, in the late seventies, where I became pally with a good man from Warrington. Over twenty five years later I’m in a pub in Niagara-On-The-Lake and the barman (also from Warrington) knows of my friend.

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1932 posts

I thought of another chance encounter on our recent trip to Central Europe. We were touring the Parliament in Budapest and I had a conversation with a tour member. One of our discussions was about our ECCO shoes. This woman said she was taking a Viking River Cruise. A week later we were in Vienna touring the Opera House. As we were walking up the stairs, the same woman from Budapest was walking down and recognized me. We both stopped (held up traffic momentarily) and she said “we talked shoes in Budapest!” So coincidental.

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7586 posts

I had another chance encounter a week ago last Friday in Germany. I was in Königswinter and at the station to take the cog train to Drachenfels. I ran into Nigel and his wife, Carol. I knew we were going to get together the following day, but I wasn't expecting to run into him there.

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639 posts

On my first trip to Europe, 20 years ago, we were at Mt St Michel when my daughter comes running back to me and my friend and says she just saw our next door neighbor. We followed her back to where she thought she saw the neighbor but she was no where to be seen. We kept kidding my daughter about it the rest of the trip but she kept insisting it was the neighbor. We get home a couple weeks later and sure enough, she had been there that day. We didn't even know she was planning to be in France the same time as we were.

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9 posts

In 2015, my sister and I went to Hawaii, with a night in San Francisco on the way. We are from Virginia (VA). That trip, we ran into so many people with a connection to our area of VA. It started in SF with the couple we meet while waiting for the cable car. He was a long-haul trucker who had been through our town. The best was when we went for ice cream and my sister said of the clerk, "I know that guy. I used to work with him." She wasn't going to say anything, so I asked if he used to work at __ in VA. He did! And had recognized her. We also ran into our Congressman while climbing Diamond Head. (Never met him back home). His group was so nice and invited us to finish the climb with them. It really is a small world. Emily, here's hoping I run into you next spring in Vienna :)

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6410 posts

My niece and I were in Granada January 4 2019.
The salutatorian of her high school that she had not seen in years (now an undergrad at Yale taking a gap year solo ) saw us from a distance in the Albaicin
When we got back to our hotel my niece got a Facebook notice from this person asking "are you in Granada?"
Long story short we met up for tapas.

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3316 posts

Two years in a row, on flights to board a cruise, we were seated next to the same two ladies taking the same cruise. Didn't know either of them, and never saw either of them on the cruise.

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904 posts

I finished a four year tour in southern Italy and my family and I were on leave in LA. Went to Universal Studios and while we were waiting for the stunt show to begin, someone a few rows behind me called out my last name. I turned around and it was my neighbor and his family who lived across the street from us in base housing. In 2014 I was traveling through Italy and Paris and one of my old supervisors was one day ahead of me between Rome, Florence & Venice. I had ended the trip with a week in Paris & he and his wife started their trip in Paris. We had no idea we were in country together until we saw each others Facebook postings.

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6752 posts

Coming down the hill from a magnificent hilltop church in the small Burgundy village of Montréal, we said something in French to a small family huffing and puffing up the hill. They answered in English, so we switched. They said that someone ( crazy person probably) on the RS Helpline had recommended this church and they wanted to know if it was worth climbing the hill. I explained that I was the person and yes, go for it. As we were talking, Parisian friends of my husband, down in Burgundy for a weekend conference, came along. So on the main, deserted street of this village, conversations flowed in English and French.

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1932 posts

Yet another chance encounter this year. We were in Maui late March. We have been staying at the same condo complex for 13 years for spring break. One afternoon we were on our lanai and recognized our neighbors from home walking on the beach in front of our condo. Come to find out they own a condo in the next complex. It's been in their family since the 70's. Neither of us had any idea that we are in Maui at the same time every spring.

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928 posts

My graduating class had 80 in the class. I ran in to two of them at the Worlds Fair in NYC back in the 60s. We were from a little town 200 miles away.

While living in Long Beach, CA., I took a drive up to San Luis Obispo. On the way home, on a very busy freeway, we went flying by my neighbors as they were merging into traffic from, Karan Rd. Those of you from the LA will surely know why that was a chance encounter.

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5397 posts

Bets your story is so funny!!! Two different encounters on the same walk!

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6752 posts

And in an isolated village of with a population of 190.

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520 posts

On June 4th this year we were at the Overlord museum just down the street from the Omaha Beach cemetery. My wife is walking out and one of her buddies from spin class here in Greeley is walking in. Probably 1k people were there that day getting ready for the 75th anniversary 2 days later. Small world

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963 posts

30 years ago I worked at a bank that had an in-house handy man, Barney, about 60 wore the suspenders and carried around his toolbox. Our bank also had a travel club, so I was buddies with all the folks that worked there. I got married and went on a cruise for our honeymoon, the travel club was on the same cruise, which Barney was a member of so i was constantly running into Barney and the crew, dining with them, excursions, so much for my romantic just me and my new husband time!

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1402 posts

My sister just had a child which I told to my best friend. The next day my friend was in line at a ski lift in Utah and started chatting with the fellow next to him. Asked where he was from, my friend replied “Arizona” “Oh, I have a friend who is a coach in a small town there” “Big John ****” “yes!” “his wife just had a baby”. Later that day the fellow called up my brother-in-law and said “I heard you had a baby! Some guy in line at the ski lift told me”

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46 posts

Went on a tour of south India a year ago lead by a great sharing guide, Dennis. We had a chance meeting on a bus from Tallin to Riga. Each of us half way around the world from our homes-Florida and India. My husband had talked with him on the 4 hour ride. He recognized my travel necklace and I had heard him say he was from Chennai. Brought back great memories of south India travel. No chance meeting but have fun listening to our RS guide, George Farcus doing interviews about Hungary with Rick Steves. Brings back memory’s of Eastern Europe tour this year Also a super guide and tour

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25 posts

Backpacking in Europe post-college, summer 1987. Friend and I met two American guys in London, hung out for a while and went our separate ways, saying we would meet up again in a few weeks in Madrid.

My friend and I left London and went to Paris where we met two American girls who were sad because their new American boyfriends had just left them. Upon further talking, we realized that their ‘boyfriends’ were our ‘boyfriends’ that we had been with in London the week before!

Anyway we go to Madrid and indeed, there are they are. Hung out a couple more days and that was that. Fast forward a year later, I am living in Sydney, Australia and who do I run into in the train station but my old ‘boyfriend’ from London and Madrid! You would think that there would be some great romantic story in here, but really he was a bit of a jerk!

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954 posts

Pam, thank you for calling me a young woman😀. That was unbelievable running into her at St Chappelle. I saw her sitting on a chair and I thought to myself that looks like Pam ( thank goodness for becoming friends on FB as well) but I thought to myself that it couldn’t be. I was actually telling my friends that I thought I saw someone I knew and then I turned around and saw her walking towards me so yeah! That was her! Now it’s become one of my great Paris memories.

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347 posts

We’re from a small town in Oregon. Last summer we were in Munich, getting ready to pay our bill at the Hofbrauhaus. When my husband put his credit card down, a guy at the table next to us started chuckling. He recognized the credit card from a local bank. Turns out he’s from the same town. We chatted with him and his family for a bit. It was the last night of our trip, and the first night of theirs.

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9411 posts

Was in St. Davids, Wales in May and it wasn’t until after returning and responding to a couple posts that I realized Laurel from Oregon and I had stayed at the same B&B at the same time and spoke to each other at a pub in town.

jaimeelsabio too bad we didn't realize it at the time!

My own story: We were hiking on the Alpe di Siusi and saw a couple pondering a map and looking at a crossroads trail sign trying to figure out the route. I stopped to ask if I could help and when they turned to look at my husband and me they said "We know you! You wrote our book!" a hiking guide they happened to be carrying. Our first (and only, to date) encounter due to our author photos.

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1 posts

I'm from a small town of 10,000 but the size doesn't keep us from running into people from our same town while traveling in Europe! 1997 in London, 1999 in Bergen and 2004 in Dingle - and these are couples we know quite well! For a while there, we expected to run into friends on every trip!

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25 posts

In 2008 we were planning a long trip to the middle east. My Israel guidebook said absolutely not to pass from Jordan to Israel through the Allenby Bridge crossing. However, that was the closest crossing for us to Jerusalem. I posted on Tripadvisor and asked for advice.

I received a reply from a man who used the crossing quite often and he gave me such detailed instructions on how to cross that they even included what one of the clerks would be eating at her window. On our crossing day about 8 passengers left one of the waiting areas to get on a full size bus to get to the actual crossing. I pull out the multi-page printout of instructions I received from Tripadvisor and a gentleman across the isle, said "that looks familiar" and it turned out he was the one who generously spent so much time giving me the information to make the crossing less intimidating.

It truly is a small world and our world is blessed with wonderful people who help each other.

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32 posts

while hiking on a deserted trail in New Hampshire this Fall, I stopped at a fork, undecided on which way to go when along the trail comes my tour 'buddy' from the RS Best of Italy tour I had taken a few months earlier! What made this even more unusual is that we live on the other side of the country, she in Washington State, I in SoCal and I was only in NH for a day!

And while I was on the RS tour, a woman who I was standing next to while waiting in line to climb Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence, tapped me on the shoulder a few days later as I was about to descend the Pisa Tower! So of course I was looking for her when I climbed St. Peter’s dome in Rome, lol.

I had thought these situations rather remarkable until I read this thread and see so many other incredible happenstances, small world indeed

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4073 posts

Post of the month! Check the RS December Newsletter!

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1510 posts

Too many to write about.

We left California in May of 2018, traveled across the US visiting friends and family and now live in Italy, always telling people to let us know when they are in Europe. So excluding the people who have visited us here in Verbania, we did a trip to Normandy and Loire with my brother and SIL, Lucern with a friend from high school, a day with a firiend/boss from 30 years ago in Verona, day in Verona with my husband’s high school friend and family, Matera with a coworker from 30 years ago, Bologna with a high school friend of my husband’s. While none if these were surprises, some of them fell into our lap a day or two before, as we happened to be in the same area at the same time. Some became destinations for a trip to make sure we could spend time together.

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35 posts

In 2013 we stayed in London for a few days.
One night I had the random thought of meeting the actor Bill Nighy and if so I would compliment him for his recent movie "Wild Target".
The next morning as we were walking near the Bewick Street markets my wife said "Good morning" to someone in a side street who was sitting at a table drinking coffee.
No need to guess who that was! And I complimented him about "Wild Target".
PS: He is the same in real-life as he is in his films, utterly charming.

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125 posts

A few years ago we were looking out over Florence from one of the resting floors in Giotto's Campanile when someone called out my fiancee's name. It was a coworker from another building where she works.

I lived nine of my growing up years in Rome in the 1960's. In the latter half of the 1970's I lived in Oberlin, Ohio, renting a room. One day the woman I was renting from handed me a piece of paper and said she thought I might find it interesting. It was one of those yearly update letters people send out at Christmas time to let friends know what happened with their family during the course of the year. The family in the letter lived in Rome. The more I read the more I felt like I knew this family in the letter. Turns out this letter was from the family that lived right across the street from us when we lived in Rome. We had spent a lot of time together as children, playing and hanging out.

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Emily, congratulations for making posting of the month! Your story was an amazing chance encounter. Great thread.

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We had just arrived in Heathrow airport, London, and were waiting in line to buy bus tickets to Bath. All of a sudden I hear "Mrs. Brown!". As an elementary teacher, you instantly recognize the sound of a student! Running across the lobby was one of my students from back in Florida, wearing our school logo t-shirt. What a great greeting in London, to have one of my students throw herself in my arms! Her parents were aghast to see her running from them; but, then recognized me and had a good laugh. They were on their way to India! To this day, we still laugh about this encounter at the airport in London. She is now an adult.

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My wife and I were on the escalator at a London Tube stop, going up, when we saw a friend from home going down. Only had time to say, "Hello," as we went in different directions. Had no idea she was in London at the time. Several days later when we arrived at the Atlanta airport for the final leg of our trip home, she was waiting for the same flight. As some others have commented, we've never seen this woman out in the same town where we live.

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Paul's post about seeing the lady he knew at the airport just reminded me that last year when we were flying home from Heathrow my husband saw someone he knew via his work - he didn't work with the guy, but hubs job (in the drawing engineering plans business) meant he had done work for this fellow before.

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From late 1971 to early 1973, my husband and I travelled Europe in a VW camper. In late 1972 we stayed a few days in a campsite near Estepona on the Cost del Sol in Spain. There was another couple there from Vancouver – Don & Mary – whom we had met earlier in Granada. Another couple from Vancouver – Robert & Dagmar - arrived at the campsite. It turned out that Don & Robert had played rugby together at UBC. One afternoon, the six of us and a couple from Saskatchewan were sitting together on the beach. I happened to mention something about when I was at BCIT (BC Institute of Technology) in Vancouver. Dagmar said “you were at BCIT? Do you know Davina?” Yes, she was in my class. Dagmar and the fellow from Saskatchewan discovered that they had gone to the same school in Edmonton and had travelled on the same school bus. Someone asked the Saskatchewan couple if they knew a particular person who lived in the same town – yes, his band played at our wedding. The number of cross-connections among just 8 Canadians sitting on a beach in Spain was amazing.

Many years ago, my mother, who worked in a post office in West Vancouver, was visiting England. One day, she was in a store in Bath looking through items on a sale table when she looked up to see one of her regular customers across the table.