Worst travel experience?

In terms of holiday, as opposed to being stuck on the train during your commute to work.

Reminded by the recent death of Mohamed Morsi, I’m gonna have to say my 2 week Egyptian trip back in 2012.

To put it into context, it was a year after the Islamic revolution that overthrew the military dictator Hosni Mubarak, leading to democratic elections that brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power. Having always wanted to go to Egypt - Pyramids at Giza, Valley of the Kings/Queens, temples at Aswan etc - I thought it would also be interesting to go during the revolution, just to see what was happening. No security whatsoever, that’s what was happening. The military pulled all of their support, creating a security vacuum which precipitated the fall of Morsi in 2013 through a military coup.

So, that was the backdrop. Started off with a baggage handler strike, resulting in me waiting 6 hours to get my bag at Cairo airport. Cairo itself is one of the most polluted cities on earth and it feels like the entire population of Africa lives there - easily the worst city I have ever been to. Additionally, as it was during the revolution there were no other white westerners so I was fair game for being constantly hassled in the street for money, whether that being asked for money if I asked for directions, or being sold something I didn’t want. It’s also the most anti-Semitic country I’ve ever seen to - 3 lost wars with Israel in the last 70 years doesn’t exactly help - with literature being openly sold in the streets that wouldn’t look out of place in 1930s Nazi Germany and ubiquitous swastika plastered on walls.

So yeah, constant hassle, feeling under threat, the intense heat exacerbated by frequent rolling blackouts killing the A/C…the list is endless.

Glad I went as I was the only person at Giza, Luxor is amazing and the temples at Aswan are awe-inspiring, but I would never go back. It was hellish at times.

So what’s your worst travel experience?

Stumbled awkwardly and fell to the floor last Thursday

Wasn’t a great trip

7 Likes

this is basically my only travel story

1 Like

Managed to get locked in the loo of a roadside cafe in Bulgaria once (much to the amusement of the owner when they finally came to my rescue).

In fairness though, I’ve been pretty fortunate - even when something bad has happened when I’ve been away, it’s usually been bad in an interesting/retrospectively amusing way, rather than oh-fuck-I’m-going-to-die.

About eleven years ago in the midst of a post breakup breakdown I booked a last minute holiday on my own to Iceland because “it seemed lonely.”

Being heartbroken and honestly not in the greatest mental state I didn’t think to check what the weather would be like so left with one pair of Converse trainers, a pair of jeans and a very light summer jacket pretty much my warmest clothes. It was October. I landed in 18” of snow and spent the week wandering around Reykjavik layered up in every t shirt and pair of socks I’d brought with me.

Did an excursion to the waterfall Gullfoss and while walking down to the viewing platform slipped on the icy rock and ended up gripping on to the guiderail with my legs dangling over the sheer cliff face. For a few moments I was convinced I was going to be torn to shreds by the rocks as I fell in to the ice cold river but luckily some of the tour group pulled me up and gave me a bloody good telling off for wearing such stupid shoes in treacherous conditions.

Excellent holiday apart from that, had one of my favourite ever holiday moments stood at the top of a hill looking at the northern lights with headphones on listening to Mogwai and sipping from a bottle of jack and coke. Also made friends with some guys who were living in a punk squat down near the harbour, partied a lot and returned an almost fixed man. Met the wife a few weeks later.

29 Likes

Flew out of Luton Airport.

7 Likes

Probably my worst ever holiday was also to Egypt, decided we wanted some last minute winter sun and for some reason settled on Sharm el Sheik (probably because it was cheap… and with good reason!) The resort was practically empty, everything felt really run down and a bit hostile, even down to the details like the glasses at the bar all being dirty. A real waste of a week’s holiday and a load of cash.

On more individual levels - shitting in a tea plantation in Kerala, a nearly two-day flight with multiple stops from London to Western New York thanks to bad weather, three days in Iceland where it rained every fucking day, a childhood trip to France where the house we were renting turned out to be a literal building site… Christ, might as well stay home.

1 Like

Worth reading.

4 Likes

I went on an overland trip to Peru in the 90s. Whilst travelling through a mountainous area near Colca Canyon, some guys in balaclavas with AK47s stepped out from behind a rock and motioned to our truck to stop. Our mental driver decided instead to put his foot down, and they fired into the air (presumably), but we carried on.

When we got to the next town we went to the police and they said ‘there are no bandits in this area, it was probably the Shining Path’.

Was pretty terrifying and I was shaken up for several days. But that didn’t stop me sending a postcard to my parents saying “Having a great time. Got shot at by some Maoist terrorists. See you in a couple of months”

8 Likes

Latvian lad in Riga harassed me metres from my hostel and he was so persistent that i was scared to walk into the hostel in case he came back another day. so i spent half an hour arguing with him while he tried repeatedly to trap me against a wall, proposition me and kiss me despite me saying no and even cracking out the ol I HAVE A BOYFRIEND (which i actually did at the time) line. no doubt it would have been much worse for me if we hadn’t been in a moderately well-lit place with people passing by regularly.

i was travelling by myself for another fortnight and felt awful about the whole thing a few days later when I was in Helsinki, felt so shit and lonely and violated that I sat on a Helsinki tram for 2 hours and panic-messaged my bf (who took 2 days to respond, and never replied after the first response). ruined the trip really :frowning:

A few years ago, I dropped my ticket getting on the night train from Krakow to Prague, so the ticket inspector [using google translate] made me get off the train in the middle of the night in a town on the border between Poland and the Czech Republic. The ticket office was locked and I had to wait outside in the middle of the night with a homeless person who was spitting what looked like tar. Had to wait 9 hours for the next train to Ostrava to get to Prague.

Probably camping holidays with my dad. Recall one time he had a big argument with the guys who we were travelling with and then got them to pull the campervan over (a converted old ambulance) and then got out the back and just started walking down the road away from us. Given he was the only family I had on that trip it was pretty worrying for me. He got about 100m or so before getting it together and coming back. But they were generally bad because camping in the UK is generally a terrible terrible thing.

Actual holidays I think have always been decent for me.

Me and 2 mates went on a “lads” holiday to Spain on standby flights.

One space was available early so Andy went to Spain to wait at the airport for us.

Took us 6 hours before we could get on one.

Of course the luggage didn’t make it so was told it would come tomorrow. The place we were staying was miles from the airport so they said they would deliver it to our rental apartment.

Got to the apartment and there was a note saying its being renovated so we have moved you to a nicer one. OK great. But the luggage was coming to this one.

After a long day travelling we had to get up at 6am and just wait outside the original apartment for as long as the luggage took to arrive.

Finnally got sorted so we went to the beach.

Matthew wouldn’t come in the sea as he is practically blind without his glasses but we finally convinced him.

He had been in 2 mins when a wave crashed over his head and took his glasses. We spent a good hour searching THE SEA but no joy.

He spent the next couple of days staying in the apartment whilst his mum organised spare glasses to be flown over. The airline agreed to pass them to a member of staff on board for free… But we had to trek back to the airport to collect them.

Eventually all sorted and we enjoyed 2 days of a weeks holiday. Before having to navigate standby flights home.

I book package Holidays now.

8 Likes

“enjoy your holiday you fucking cunt”

:sweat_smile: Feel like this has DiSism potential

Haven’t had anything too dreadful, but the time I was traveling back from a work trip to Munich and came down with (probably stealth dairy induced) diarrhea just as it was time to queue for security was pretty, pretty harrowing. I was traveling with two people I knew through work, which was bad enough, but then by sheer coincidence another colleague ended up on the same flight and sat near me.

Having to literally beg the totally unsympathetic flight attendant to let me quickly use the toilet while we had started taxiing to take off, in hearing range of all those people I knew, was a low point.

Still. Didn’t shit myself in the end.

has done me

2 Likes

I went to Zante on an 18-30 holiday (it was cheap) with my girlfriend (now ex).

The first night we got there we were hectored by the banal reps into joining them on an organised pub crawl. We declined and decided to head out on our own and proceed to eat, drink and be merry.

The next day my girlfriend complained of being sick but decided it was just a hangover and sent me down to the pool while she ‘recovered’. During my time at the pool I began to feel increasingly terrible to the point where I stumbled back to our apartment to find my girlfriend running a savage fever. I managed to make it to the chemists for some medical supplies just before i got home and succumbed to the most shocking stomach bug I’ve ever had. I’ll spare you the details but leaving the apartment was not an option. Severe dehydration set in which was compounded by the fact the reps were barely available to answer our plaintive pleas for bottled water.

On the fourth night we felt well enough to go out so we went to a bar for some food and a tentative beer. A huge thunderstorm hit which was spectacular but kept knocking the power at the bar and skipped the track at the jukebox back. We waited for 30 minutes for the worst of the storm to pass listening to half of ‘Escape’ by Enrique Iglesias on a one minute loop. When we returned to the apartment it was flooded and all our possessions were floating around soaking wet.

The flight home was marred by the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced - the plane swooping around all over the place. I actually screamed at one point in terror. The plane had to fly low to avoid the winds which added significant time on the journey home. The turbulence was so bad that, Mr T style, I ain’t gettin’ on no plane since that holiday.

Bad memories!

Edit: I should add me and my girlfriend broke up soon after the holiday. She was the first love of my life. Horrendous.

4 Likes

Mine wasn’t too bad by most standards. Arrived at Manchester airport at 5am to find our flight to Berlin was delayed by 9 hours, so me and mrs suapth spent the whole day getting slightly drunk instead. That airport is a soul-destroying place to spend a whole day.

It turned out another DiSser (matt_was_taken from memory?) was also supposed to be on the same flight and I’d started a thread about our delay, so we played a fun game of trying to find each other. He won in about 2 minutes.

Got something like €500 compensation due to the delay but lost a day of our holiday. The return flight was 4-5 hours late too, Berlin Schoenefeld airport is a truly excruciating place to be trapped. The meal vouchers from the airline would only just cover a bottle of water and packet of crisps. Did get more compensation though.

1 Like

I remember this :+1:

Left the match tickets in my car when we parked up to get the train to Villa park. Got to Aston station when I realised so we crossed the platform to get a train back to the car. I reasoned there was just enough time. Got on the return train and watched as it branched off the main train line and headed off towards Walsall… Got off at Walsall and crossed the platform to get a train back to Aston, to then get off and get a train back to Sutton Coldfield. Finally got back to Sutton at 2.40 - too late to get a train back. Forked out for a taxi which got us to the ground at 3.15, 90 seconds after we had scored. Drew 1-all

2 Likes