I should have known. I should have known not to book a flight on Friday 13th. Nor to have uttered those immortal words “Well, it’s not like we’ve ever had to deal with anything disastrous. Like a cancelled flight. Or ferry.”
Yet there’s a nagging feeling, an unusual travel anxiety that is afflicting us both. We’re already having to cope with traveling straight down to Bristol airport from a family wedding, and therefore having to pack for multiple occasions. I’ve abandoned our plans to use public transport to get to Piraeus Port from Athens airport in favour of a 50€ taxi. And then there’s the fact that my white strapless bra – truly the foundation of my holiday wardrobe – is still in the wedding overnight bag, and not coming with us to Greece. We also keep getting notifications about weather warnings in Naxos. We joke about it being a rough ferry journey, and to pack plenty of brown paper bags, just in case.
We leave the wedding festivities at a sensible time, after rationing our alcohol intake during the day. No mean feat at a family wedding. Yet I still wake up at 4am… I’ve slept funny and I can no longer feel my left arm. I spend the next three hours no more than dozing as my arm starts to throb with something akin to a migraine. I have an arm migraine. This is new. And of course, the trusty painkillers are in the holiday suitcase, in the car, and not in the wedding overnight bag.
However the journey from Ettington to Bristol is a smooth one. We don’t even get lost finding the airport, which may be a first. We’re flying from Bristol as it’s cheaper than Birmingham, and the times are more convenient than Manchester. We drop off our car and we get that first Friday 13th feeling. Our flight’s delayed by an hour* We keep our fingers crossed that our taxi driver the other end gets the message. An hour’s ok, but it eats into our short stay at Piraeus, where the plan was to plan our route to the port, get food and drink, and then an early night for a 5am ish getaway the next morning. Not a disaster though, even when an hour turns into an hour and 15 minutes.
* Although an hour is nothing compared to those poor souls expecting to catch the 6am flight to Palma, now delayed until 4pm…
Running out of things to entertain ourselves with in departures, Mr Fletche goes for a stroll. Despite a dwindling battery I pick up my phone. To find a text from Greeka.com. And an email. This is the agency handling our ferry booking. The one that told us all about the weather warning. And is now telling us that our ferry is cancelled due to high winds.
So, our plans are now more fluid. After a moment’s panic where I consider cancelling everything and trying to exit the airport, sanity prevailed. After all, how does one exit an airport when they have already checked in luggage and gone through security? A quick look on Booking.com suggests that our Piraeus hotel – that of a fleeting visit – has availability on Saturday night so I fire off a quick message to find out if we can extend our reservation. I let our Naxos hotel know that regrettably we’re going to be a little late arriving. 24 hours late at least. Greeka can’t rebook our ferry tickets online so it’ll be a visit to their offices on Saturday morning. The wind’s not looking much better for Sunday morning but we have our fingers crossed for an improvement. And now we have a day spare, we’re planning on navigating that public transport system and spending the day in Athens. I’m slightly panicked that I can’t do any sightseeing planning. We’re going to “wing it” – an unfamiliar concept to me.
Will we make it to Naxos? Are we now holidaying in Athens? Am I coping in a crisis? Find out more soon! Although if you can’t wait for the blog post, Instagram and Facebook are full of live updates and spoilers…