Visiting new places is one of my favourite things, although I can hardly call myself a seasoned traveller (as these stories will prove). But I’ve had my share of embarrassing moments on holiday, and I thought I’d share three of the most cringe-worthy with you.
Please don’t judge me!
Not Quite in Bruges…
Years ago, I went on a trip to Bruges with my now husband and in-laws. We were only in the city for one day, travelling overnight on the ferry.
It was a rough North Sea crossing, which meant I didn’t get a lot of sleep. Still, I was surprised the morning we arrived in Belgium to hear a lot of activity on the ship, long before we were due to arrive in port at Zeebrugge.
We thought nothing of it and carried on getting ready in our cabin. I’d just had a shower and was getting dressed when we heard an announcement come over the ship’s tannoy asking us to come to the information point.
In a panic, hubby rushed off to see what was wrong while I finished getting ready. He came back a few minutes later, extremely sheepish, with an urgent message.
Apparently we had totally forgotten to take the time difference into account and were the last people to disembark from the ferry. They had been calling us over the tannoy for ages, but we hadn’t heard, as the ship require you to leave the bathroom door open when you shower (supposedly the steam can set off the smoke alarms) and it was very effective at blocking the sound.
So we were left to do the walk of shame onto a bus full of disgruntled tourists who had to wait for us for almost an hour before setting off for Bruges. Oops…
The unfortunate incident of the toilet in Cairo…
Whilst enjoying a sunshine holiday in Egypt, we decided to travel to Cairo for a day and visit the pyramids. That trip remains one of my most surreal travel experiences: from years of seeing the pyramids on television, you expect them to be out in the middle of the desert, but this is a clever illusion. In fact, you drive through the city, before trundling up a steep hill. You reach the top and suddenly there are the pyramids, right at the edge of the city. When we visited, there was even a Pizza Hut and KFC right across the road from the Sphinx.
It was a completely bizarre experience to be sitting in a fast food restaurant eating a chicken burger and staring out through the window at a panoramic view of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world!
For me, the embarrassing part of the trip came much earlier…
After arriving at the pyramids, the coach we had taken from the airport parked up. I decided to go to the loo on-board – you know those cupboard-like toilets they have under the stairs? Yep, one of them.
Unfortunately, I got locked in.
I didn’t dare shout for help for fear of looking like a total idiot, but I’d been so long that eventually my other half showed up and knocked on the door to see if I was okay.
“I’m locked in!” I squeaked.
After several minutes of wrestling with the door, we managed to get the lock open without having to kick the door in. I emerged – red faced – to see the couple sitting behind (who were unfortunately also staying at our hotel) smirking at me.
The wrong bus in Reykjavik…
My most recent travel embarrassment happened earlier this year, while we were visiting Iceland. I’d booked hubby a trip to snorkel in Silfra, but I’m not keen on water sports, so I opted to go horse riding instead.
In Iceland, there are tons of trips available and most will arrange to collect you from your hotel as part of the package. I was waiting patiently for my lift, when a young guy pulled up in a mini bus and rushed into reception looking for ‘Amy’. I went over, told him that was me and asked if this was pick-up for the horse riding trip.
Another couple got on the bus with me, so I got chatting and found out they were going on a dog sledding trip. I thought nothing of it, as in Iceland the pick-up will often drop you at the bus depot, where you grab your tour tickets and change to another bus.
But as we got round the corner, hubby rang to say a driver was in reception looking for me. I explained I was already on the bus, but as soon as I hung up, doubt crept in. By this time we’d stopped to pick up someone else at another hotel.
I turned to the friendly couple and said, “I think I might be on the wrong bus…”
Cue the return of the driver, who called out, “Right, let’s go dog sledding!”
Shit. I tried to explain that I was obviously on the wrong trip, but every time I told him that I was going horse-riding, he would say: “Dog sledding?” I don’t think my accent is that inexplicable!
In the end he got the message and dropped me back at my hotel, before going in search of another girl called Amy. I managed to get hold of someone from the right tour company and rearrange my pick-up.
But I felt like an absolute fool – I still can’t believe I managed to get on the wrong bus!
So, you’ve heard all about my shame. I think it’s only fair that you share your embarrassing holiday moments with me in the comments – I promise not to judge. 🙂