So I said to the travel agent, "I have a list of places I'd like to go to, recommended by some well travelled friends of mine." I think she was impressed. Thanks to your input, it was a very long list.
Top of my list was Italy in general, Lake Garda in particular, and if she wanted me to be even more specfic, how about Malcesine? Or if not Garda, how about Maggiore? Or Verona maybe with a little excursion to an Italian lake, or vice versa, or even a short break? If not for a week, then maybe just three or four days or so? Or anything at all?
There was nothing available, sorry. I said I was really surprised, that we'd expected there to be loads of last minute holidays given the current financial climate and everyone worried about the price of chicken breasts and bread, and sacrificing their holidays in order to pay the milk bill or keep grandma off the streets. She said that because the weather had been so foul and the news so dire, lots of folk were just desperate to get away from it all and had booked a holiday anyway, and that because several small airlines had so recently gone tits up (OK, she didn't say tits up, but that's what she meant), people were booking through travel agents for last minute deals so that they were protected financially. Or something like that. The long and short of it was that last minute deals were hard to find, and non-existent in some cases. Anyway, there was bugger all in the Italian lakes.
So OK, no problem, back to the list. What about Alghero in Sardinia? I'd heard from a reliable source that it is fab. My friend Mimi says there are good views, fab food and very, very laid back people. I really like good views, fab food and especially very, very laid back people, and they usually like us, so can we go there then?
No flights available for our week unfortunately.
Mmm, what about Cyprus then, my mate Norman thinks it's simply the best. I trust his judgement so what about it?
Same thing, couldn't fit a week in around our dates.
And so it went on, through my shopping list of desirable destinations until we'd been through them all and not been able to find an available week anywhere to fit in with our holiday fortnight. No to Alghero, forgot to ask about Santorini, couldn't do Malcesine, Maggiore, sorry about Verona, forget Sicily. And Sorrento? Sorrento at such short notice? Pah, you must be kidding. Maybe Cyprus if you fly in the next half hour, but not sure about next week being available and definitely not to any of your mate's other suggestions, that's for sure.
And suddenly, she said "Ever thought about Corsica?"
I can't say I ever have, to be honest.
So I said no, I hadn't.
And the next thing I knew, we were going.