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- Balkans, Travel, Travel: Greece, Work
Exciting, I thought. Finally some decent article amid the sickeningly saccharine Christmas material dominating the seasonal headlines. Accidentally, my last year’s Christmas happened to be nothing short of depressing. Inspired, I drafted a story and duly submitted it. I was all expectation. A compilation of our workplace’s Christmas fiascos seemed like a fantastic idea.
Unfortunately, not all things in life always go according to the plan. Last night I was advised that my story was the ONLY contribution to the pool, and that the whole idea had been dropped by the editor. My orphaned story was returned to me “with compliments”.
Were my colleagues all happy Christmas bunnies, or were they simply lazy and lacking inspiration? Time will show. For now, however, I will give my story a privilege of being published – if not in the bank-wide weekly – in my personal blog instead. So – last Christmas…
…Last Christmas was meant to be something very special. My then boyfriend and I had planned everything well in advance. We were living in Athens, and the plan was to spend our Christmas in the Greek Mani region and the Monemvasia fortress on the Peloponnesus peninsula. Hotels had been booked, maps prepared and best tavernas recommended. Just before we headed off, I checked the weather forecast. All mountainous parts of Greece were cosily snowed in, which was a good sign. Romantic white Christmas was awaiting us.
Metsovo village, Epirus region – where we really should have gone… Minutes after we reached Mani, clouds started crowding in. Surely for some snow, we assumed. Not quite. What followed shortly afterwards was the worst torrential downpour in the history of Greek Christmas and my own modest memory. It would all have been fine had it not lasted – but it did. Three days and three nights of unbelievable, unprecedented hazard – endless raging rain, rain, rain and wind menacingly gushing in the chimneys. It was the closest to the end of the world I have ever been to.
Matters got especially bad by the time we transferred to Monemvasia. Seriously, the last place where you’d want to end up in such weather would be a fortress on a rock inside the sea, connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land. With ceaseless raging rain and ever-intensifying wind, the feeling of isolation was close to unbearable. Add to that a poor choice of what was meant to be a rather comfortable hotel. Lukewarm water, low temperatures inside the room, absence of any TV/mobile/Internet reception and bugs on the floor were only a handful of luxuries included in the price. Monemvasia – endless rain and gushing wind…We survived for one night and fled to the mountains proper, for that much-needed post-Christmas snow. Sadly, by then our holidays had been over…
Here’s to some decent Christmas this year!