When surfing the first experiance is SO IMPORTANT on how you look at CS I guess. We were fortunate enough to surf with whom I consider the mother of CS and she made us totally fall inlove with the concept. Sine we first met, we’ve surfed several times at eachothers places and still keep in contact on FB.
Other experiances I want to mention is:
Midsummer celebration in Stockholm, Sweden. 40 CS:ers in one place. Everybody is super social… you can just imagine the noise in the house we were all staying in. Great food, terrible first night I think for everybody (with noisy sleeping bags and strange, unfamiliar snores etc. that made it impossible to sleep much) and then total exhaustion the second night which made everybody sleep like babies. We went swimming, dancing around the midsummer pole. Sang by the fireplace until a deer came up to us at 5 am, then we went to sleep. The only time every chatterbox in this group went quiet was when the Surströmming jar got opened. People were shocked that it actually smelled even worse than they could have imagined. Anyhow. Great concept, well thought out and we loved cooking, playing games and singing together and just enjoying the Swedish scenery.
Our 2 weeks using only CS around Europe. Okay we are not your typical CS:ers I guess. My family likes to plan ahead. So we had planned a trip from Bergamo to Venice, Verona, down into Croatia, then on to Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and back again. This would take us 2 weeks and we had hosts all the way but didn’t think this would work. I mean someone must get sick, or get other more important plans, right? Nope! Great hosting all the way.
Most memorable: A very, very hospitable man in Italy who stayed in a huge villa with just his cats. The Italian newbie on CS who spoke bad english and who’s son didn’t understand the word “hello”. My husband ended up talking Swedish with him and he answered in Italian and the funny thing was that somehow, even though my husband doesn’t understand a word of Italian, they still understood eachother. Gotta love communication!
The substandard flat in Austria: I LOVED it! It was like staying at a museum! My husband for the first time ever in his life got scared of ghosts I think? Because he wanted to cut the stay one day short to take a night at a hotel after this.
The great host in Slovenia who gave us his keys and had the strangest bathroom we have ever been to. It was like 10 meters to the door from the toilet seat? If you run out of paper, noone will hear you scream in there…
The short visit to Switzerland that made me love Austria even more.
The stay in a child’s room in Italy where a sweet couple let us stay. I stayed on the couch and my husband on the bed and in the middle of the night he wanted to change places. My husband got the bed because he is more picky about his sleeping arrangements than I am. However when I went to bed I noticed that what he had said about it being REALLY hard was accurate. In the morning it all got its explanation when it turns out the bed was flipped upside down, so we had slept on the hard wood underneath it! Apparently the couple has just bought the bed and we were the first ones using it so they hadn’t even realised when they made the bed that it was wrong side up.
And not to be forgotten: all the lovely Italian icecream!