You know that blissful moment before your best-laid plans go awry? That was me having a lie-in this week on the last day of my holiday! I heard my phone ring, but didn’t get to it in time to answer. When I did, I found three missed phone calls going back over the last couple of hours – someone was desperate to contact us. On returning the call I found out that the ferry to take us back to the island with the airport on it the next morning had broken down. It was unlikely to be repaired any time soon. We were in danger of missing our flight the following day.

Life on a Greek island is mostly peaceful, soothing to the soul – sun, sea, good friends, good food, and plenty of wine and ouzo. However, one of the things that can upset the smooth running of your life, or your holiday, is when the only access to your peaceful existence is a forty year old Flying Dolphin hydrofoil operating as the solitary early morning link between the islands. These little pocket-rockets, originally built in Russia as Volta River craft, will skim across the sea at speed when the weather conditions allow, but often break down unexpectedly. It had, and so there was nothing to take us across to the airport in the morning.

Luck would have it that there was a car ferry leaving in three hours. Three hours! But we still had to clean and pack up the house for winter, not to mention pack our bags for the flight back to England, get down to the port, exchange our tickets, grab a bite to eat, and say goodbye to everyone. My husband started to grumble, but I was firm, no point in stressing, it was the right decision and eminently do-able. We worked quickly and harmoniously together, and in no time at all were on the slow boat to Skiathos.

On the ferry, we met an acquaintance who had a hotel booked for the night on Skiathos. After disembarking, we accompanied him to the hotel and secured ourselves a room at a very reasonable price. We had a sundowner on the quay, and a romantic meal at a tiny taverna in the back streets, topped off by a good night’s sleep in a scrupulously clean room with a view over the harbour. Even better – we didn’t have to rise at silly o’clock in the morning to catch the 6.30am ferry, but had a leisurely breakfast in the sunshine.

All in all, it was a completely lovely experience, and we might just do it that way every time we leave our little Greek idyl. It just goes to show, when something happens to make your plans go awry, don’t moan and try to fight it, choose to go with flow, for something even better might just be waiting to take its place!

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