Next time, keep up

By John Maas
This item appears on page 48 of the April 2018 issue.

This month’s winner is JOHN MAAS of Raleigh, North Carolina:

At the Iglesia de San Pedro de la Rúa in Estella, Navarra, Spain, there is a long set of stairs to climb up to its portal and cloister. However, 100 meters down the street, my wife, Aura, and I took the easier elevator to the entrance of the church’s beautiful cloister. We went inside.

I’m a faster sightseer (no dawdling), so I went ahead into the church, where almost immediately the caretaker asked me to leave because he was locking up for a couple of hours to go to lunch. 

My wife was still behind in the cloister. I went back around to the outside of the cloister looking for her and saw from above, through some iron fencing, that she was searching for a way out. Then I realized she was locked in.

She waved at me from afar, and we started chatting through our cell phones. She found a long ladder, but, thankfully, it was all chained up. Finally, I found the phone number of the town hall and called, and, soon enough, a young woman came with a key and let my wife out.  

My wife and I shared a laugh at her learning what it means to be cloistered!


Tell us about the funniest thing that happened to you while traveling in a foreign country. (ITN prints no info on destinations in the United States.) There are no restrictions on length. ITN staff will choose each month’s winner, who will receive a free one-year subscription to ITN. Include your full mailing address. Entries not chosen cannot be acknowledged.