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What’s the scariest experience you’ve had abroad?

40 replies

Itsjustabitofbanter · 04/08/2020 20:01

So it’s been a good few years since we’ve been to our favourite holiday destination in Egypt (not far from sharm el sheik) . The last time we went we were evacuated as our town was taken over by isis, the local police station got bombed, and as we were waiting in the airport to come home, a Russian airliner that had taken off right before our flight got been bombed just after take off. Thankfully we made it home in one piece. That’s probably my most dramatic story, though I have others. So what’s your scariest/creepiest holiday story?

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IndieTara · 04/08/2020 20:02

I was working in Sharm when that happened

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RuginaSnug · 04/08/2020 20:06

I was in Luxor when a terrorist shooting took place at the Valley of the Queens (1997 I think) . We were all sent home early on emergency flights.

I've also been mugged at gun and knife point in Honduras... They didn't get anything apart from my ancient Nokia phone, despite me having ALL of our holiday dollars (about 2000!) in the front pockets of my jeans Grin.

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KoalasandRabbit · 04/08/2020 20:11

That sounds very scary Indie

I've not had anything that scary or creepy but one time I was in my gap year aged 18 and alone about to fly to Czechoslovakia and was about to board second plane. A middle aged man approached me and asked me to go to Thailand with him, said he would pay for everything for me to go for 2 weeks with him and said his wife would be there and it would be a free holiday for me and he'ld get his business to pay. He then showed me he had several passports of different nationalities. I didn't go with him, he did take me for a drink at the airport but then I went back to board. It was very strange and suspect he was up to no good, appeared very wealthy.

Other slightly scary thing was when we where flying to Cuba and they announced one engine had failed but said not to worry they had two more and said if another failed they'ld make an emergency landing. We were going over ocean at time.

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Itsjustabitofbanter · 04/08/2020 20:11

@IndieTara you must have been terrified! Tbf we didn’t really see much, even when the plane went down when we were at the airport they just thought it was technical difficulties. We didn’t find out until we went home that it had been bombed. I still didn’t want to get on that plane though. My oh was trying to be funny and kept saying ‘I wouldn’t mind so much if our plane come down if we’d at least had a decent holiday first’ 🙄

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Cheeseandlobster · 04/08/2020 20:12

First trip to Greece with ds who was about 12. Our transfer took us to the wrong hotel who called a taxi to take us to our actual hotel. The driver took us to a farm track in the dark, pulled up outside a house and another man got on. This man proclaimed to be the hotel manager and demanded to see our passports. I said no way was I getting out there to rummage in the boot but I would be happy to show my passport if he took us to a populated area. After grumbling a bit they did, I showed our passports and we were taken to our hotel.

I never found out what it was about. The man was not the hotel manager and it was dodgy as hell. I don't know if they were trying to separate ds and I but I was not going to let that happen. I was quite calm at the time but was more scared a few days after when I had had time to think about what could have happenned

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kerfuffling · 04/08/2020 20:16

Being on a small boat on a crocodile-infested lake in Tanzania just as it was getting dark, and the outboard motor broke down.

After a long while (and some cursing) the boatman managed to get it started again, but he did keep on mentioning that hippos like to come up under boats and capsize them...

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IndieTara · 04/08/2020 20:16

@Itsjustabitofbanter I was working as a resort manager for a travel firm there so were lots of traumatic things going on over the years

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Thirty2andBlue · 04/08/2020 20:21

Not quite as scary as a town being taken over by ISIS but as a very young looking 18/19 year old I was twice harassed and chased by men. Once in Hong Kong where he followed me through a metro train, into a shop and until I found a restaurant with women's toilets where I phoned my boyfriend to rescue me. And the other time in Paris, through the train station and sat opposite me on the metro. I got off at the next stop and just ran until I lost him. Makes me so angry now that they would do that to a young woman 😠

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LordGarmadon · 04/08/2020 20:25

We were once "kidnapped" by a fake taxi driver and driven to a favela just outside of Rio. We got into a car accident during a scuffle and some locals helped us get to the airport. It was all very dramatic and I was surprised how indignant I was at the situation!!

We've also been caught up in an avalanche, riots, the Arab spring, London terror attacks, and contracted a few tropical diseases... don't ever come on holiday with us!!!

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AdaColeman · 04/08/2020 20:28

Held up at gun point during a bank raid in the South of France, it’s not as scary as ISIS though!

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GreeboIsMySpiritAnimal · 04/08/2020 20:31

Got in a taxi at Newark airport, heading to my now-DH's hotel in Manhattan (he was working there). Taxi driver spent the whole journey driving away from Manhattan, into increasingly isolated areas, whilst talking on his phone in a language I didn't understand. Every time I tried to speak to him to ask where we were, and why he was heading away from Manhattan, he'd shout at me to shut up. At one point I remember wondering how badly hurt I'd be if I jumped out of a moving vehicle. My phone was taking ages to find a network so I couldn't call my boyfriend.

The taxi driver eventually pulled into a darkened side street, got out and went inside a building - after locking me in the car. Thankfully I'd managed to get a signal by then, and I rang DH, who rang the police. The taxi driver came back shortly afterwards, and when I said "my boyfriend has called the police, they're on their way", he jumped back in the car, and sped off - thankfully in the direction of Manhattan, where he dumped me, sobbing, outside the hotel and drove off without waiting to get paid.

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Itsjustabitofbanter · 04/08/2020 20:32

I know the isis thing sounds scary but I think being approached/mugged/harassed on my own would be scarier. At least we had other guests/staff/escorts with us the whole time.

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PinkyBrain · 04/08/2020 20:36

You’re all making me feel so much better about my holiday being cancelled this year. Some horror stories!

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MrsTerryPratchett · 04/08/2020 20:37

I've had a few. Hospitalized in SE Asia, armed troops taking over our accommodation in East Africa, witnessed what we think was a bombing dry run in North Africa, landing in the Caribbean during a coup, almost drowned in the Nile, driving in most of the world!

But actually the scariest are always the little things. A bad feeling from someone, a man getting too close or friendly, getting lost somewhere that feels unsafe. The actual incidents aren't the issue.

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BillyAndTheSillies · 04/08/2020 20:43

Being on a flight with failed landing gears and having to do an emergency landing. I still hear "heads down feet back" when I board a plane.

Coming back from a nightclub in Ibiza with three friends, the taxi driver was driving in the wrong direction. We kept quizzing him and asking where he was going but he was ignoring us. My friend had actually taken her stiletto off ready to attack.
He was driving through some really tiny towns, no lights or anything and eventually pulled up at an abandoned water park and ordered us all to get out the car. Turns out our apartment block had the same name as the water park and it was all very genuine - but terrifying. The same happened to our other friends with a different taxi driver.

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itsgettingweird · 04/08/2020 20:55

Caught in tornado whilst camping in France.

Caught in storm when kicked out of ferry port at 4am with another family. We were lucky to stay until then as closed at midnight but the security guard took out on us!

Caught in a huge storm in Greece. Boat taking us back to mainland broke. Got on a non keeled fishing boat which we had to turn back in as storm got into the Port before we did - it nearly capsized. So then went back on 40ft yacht with waves crashing over front.
Arrived home 30 minutes before work and we made it Grin

Getting caught in turf war in Greece with machine guns.

Worked abroad for few years and had a number of guest die.

Managed to take off to Lapland in December storms and found out Gatwick shut after we left. Flight home fine and just about to descend when diverted to Glasgow!

Caught in Icelandic ash cloud same year. Extra few days holiday (not complaining!) but then 2 day trip home via coach ferry and train. At one point up at 2am to move and coach drivers refused to drive so checked back in and up again at 5!

Took ds to fathers country for a visit. Ended up in hospital. Persuaded them I was fine (did improve on antibiotics) and they agreed to discharge and fit to fly following day and see in England when I returned. Was in and out of surgery 5 hours after that appointment!

Holiday this year cancelled due to covid. Perhaps looking above I'd be better off not travelling again Grin

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LizzieBennett70 · 04/08/2020 20:56

I don't enjoy flying, but made myself go on a dream holiday to New York for a special anniversary. Coming back, on a very cold November morning into Heathrow we had an aborted landing (plane in front hadn't cleared the runway) and I swear to God we went back up almost vertically. It was terrifying, people were screaming and being sick. And we had to circle for nearly an hour to come back down.

Never flown since, it's put me off for life.

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CantRememberHoliday · 04/08/2020 21:02

I was raped in magaluf 3 years ago when I was 18

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notangelinajolie · 04/08/2020 21:04

On holiday in Kenya. We went to a night club with another couple we'd met who were staying at our hotel. The hotel had armed guards on the gates and didn't recommend anyone going out of the grounds - never mind night clubs.
It was not the kind of club I would ever want to go to again. Even going to the loo was terrifying and I made DH stand guard outside. The other couple thought it was great enjoying the local nightlife.
We said we should leave but they wanted to stay so me and DH made our way outside and we spotted the taxi that we'd arrived in still parked outside.
It was a genuine taxi because it was the one our hotel had ordered for us but OMG he had a gun on the dashboard.
We are not proud of our stupidity and I dread to think of what could have happened to us. If he hadn't been outside I'm convinced DH would have suggested we walk.
Next morning we saw the other couple and they told us we missed a great night - um no thanks Shock

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ThickFast · 04/08/2020 21:11

OMG @Cheeseandlobster what do you reckon that was about?! That’s terrifying. As are some of the others but the fact it was with your son is horrible

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Aroundtheworldin80moves · 04/08/2020 21:13

Probably being cut off on top of a mountain during a hurricane in the Caribbean.
The scariest part though it was the 7th July 2005. The only TV channel the hotel could pick up was Spanish CNN. Watching the news from London, where my parents are brother were commuting to work was terrifying.

When I was living in Cyprus, we had a bizarre situation that felt almost normal and non scary to us... But the news reports our families were hearing were scaring home. But at the time the kids school needing armed guards seemed sensible... And the Turkish coup was surreal and inconvenient. (This was a few years ago, and I believe passed most of the British public by)

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Cheeseandlobster · 04/08/2020 21:18

@ThickFast

OMG *@Cheeseandlobster* what do you reckon that was about?! That’s terrifying. As are some of the others but the fact it was with your son is horrible

@ThickFast I have no idea. A kindly mumsnetter was really intrigued last year when I mentioned this on a post and she spoke Greek so I pm'd her the hotel name at her request and my name and she called the hotel for me. They had no idea what it could be either and said it was a very unusual occurrence. I don't think I will ever find out now sadly.
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LunaNorth · 04/08/2020 21:20

@CantRememberHoliday I’m sorry that happened to you.

Flowers

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notangelinajolie · 04/08/2020 21:28

@LizzieBennett70

I don't enjoy flying, but made myself go on a dream holiday to New York for a special anniversary. Coming back, on a very cold November morning into Heathrow we had an aborted landing (plane in front hadn't cleared the runway) and I swear to God we went back up almost vertically. It was terrifying, people were screaming and being sick. And we had to circle for nearly an hour to come back down.

Never flown since, it's put me off for life.

This happened to us landing in Tenerife. The pilot made an announcement once we back up in the air and said 'apologies for that, the pilot of the plane who landed before us decided it was a good idea to park across the runway - we will be trying again and hopefully next time we will hit him' ShockShock
I swear this is what he said - I think he was in shock as I can't believe he would have said that otherwise.
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Thisbastardcomputer · 04/08/2020 21:59

We traveled from San Diego to Los Angeles and a police helicopter landed on the freeway about a quarter of a mile in front of us. On the opposite carriageway was a police shoot out, a man had shot someone just higher up from Los Angeles and hijacked a car, police had been chasing him and man was shooting at them and other motorists, police had backed off and let him run out of fuel.

When the car did eventually stop, police ordered him out with hands up, he didn't and was shot dead on the freeway.

Saw a full recap later on 'eyewitness news'

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