Have you ever got lost in a city/town/countryside by accident but it became one of your favourite travel memories?
I got lost in Venice in 2001 on a School Tour trip. At the time my cousin and I were just looking in shops for souvenirs but we went so far off the track we had no idea where to go. That walk around Venice has become one of the most fab memories I have of any place. We got to see amazing architecture, chat with gondoliers and crisscrossed the cities waterways before we foubd our way back. I'd love to hear others stories!
The same happened to my sister, mom and I in 2004. We got off the water taxi on the opposite side from San Marco Square. How far could it be???
It was 30 bridges 5 tunnels and memoirs that we will never forget. We were in the real Venice with kids playing , people walking to work and no other American tourists. We had a great cheap lunch no St Marks prices.
Thanks you brought back some great memories
Despite my liking to get hold of a map as soon as I get to a new place, if not beforehand, I like to then fold it up in my pocket and just explore - as long as I've made a mental note on roughly where I'm going, it's great to just wander aimlessly through somewhere and just enjoy it for what it is - the sights, the people surprised that a foreigner is walking past, the street-art on the walls that makes sense only to the locals, the back-alley shops with non-inflated tourist prices ...
Sometimes getting truly lost is slightly uncomfortable - being led around Hebron in Palestine without a map by a 14-year-old Arab I'd sat next to on the 'serveece' bus, who didn't speak English, felt a little unnerving, but not as bad as when he then pointed me in the right direction, I went the wrong way, and ended up in no-man's land being whistled at by a UN soldier with a gun ...
Yes, I got lost near the Abel Tasman National Park in pursuit of the The Fat Tui burger, which is definitely the best burger in New Zealand. I was walking back in the pitch dark and had next to no cell reception for GPS. The crossroad for my hotel wasn't lit so I went down till the end of the road before tracking my way back with the light from my phone. The burger made it completely worth it though :)
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My partner and I tramped all over Gwangju, looking for a Catholic church on Easter Sunday. We had only been together for a few weeks, and neither of us spoke Korean - only had an incomplete address that was somewhere in a neighborhood on the other side of town from where I lived. We walked around for about 4 hours instead of going to church & found plenty of markets & corner restaurants that looked wonderful. Getting lost was discouraging (as I'm always on top of figuring out my location) but his support and kindness throughout the afternoon was such a gift.
I lost the rental car at the mall in Quebec. It must take an hour to walk from one end to the other without stopping and it is so large some of the stores are repeated five or six times. By the time I decided to leave, I couldn't find the same exit I came in. I didn't know when I parked the car I was going to need a trail of breadcrumbs. And I don't speak French. Nowadays there is probably an ap for that.
I was wandering around the general area of Spitalfields Traders Market in Londonand got turned around to the point that I had no idea where I was. I was head down, fiddling with maps on my phone (using a very expensive roaming plan) when a gentleman, in a perfect British accent, asked me if I needed help. Only the way he phrased it sounded so much better. I wish I could remember the exact way he phrased it, because the phrasing totally made my day.
After purposely getting lost in Venice years ago, I've made it a habit of doing just that. That's what I love about my GPS - it doesn't matter how lost I get, I can always find my way back. That's a great thing.
I think my best experience was near the border of la Comunidad Valenciana and Aragón. Santi, the sweet man who served me coffee at Pastelería C. Aixa in Pucol told me about Montanejos just an hour-ish away. That was my destination. From there, we just wandered without a plan, walking, driving, and finding treasures like the 13th C Moorish baths atCalle Fuente de los Baños and the old Roman aquaducts past Olba. There were herds of goats and cute villages, a gorgeous reservoir and sheer cliffs.
It was one of those days when Spain sunk it's claws into me more than ever - when I appreciated the culture and history of this place even more.
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I got lost in Saint Petersburg (Russia) when I was an English teacher there. I took the wrong tram and ended up at the end of the line late at night. There were no more trams running on that line but I was able to walk a few blocks over and find another back to prospekt Energetikov near my apartment. Exciting times!
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My husband and I got turned around in Downtown Honolulu (I am blaming the >2 hours of sleep after flying in) and couldn't seem to find our way back to the bus line. Found the homeless park and finally found a bus stop in front of a dirty book store. Classy!