This event was scheduled for December 6th to 11th, so many delegations had to leave their respective countries the previous day in order to arrive in Rhodes in time to make their preparations for the exhibition.
As they travelled on European international airlines, the various delegations very often met up for the first time at Athens airport. For those old hands who had already taken part in Christmas in Europe in one place or another, it was the joy of renewing old friendships ; the newcomers, those who had not yet had the opportunity to meet, were slightly more reserved. There were handshakes, hugs and hellos in the airport terminal. We travelled on the same flight for the 45 minute trip to Rhodes, to be met by a welcoming committee of teachers and students who smilingly supervised the minibus transfers to the Esperia Hotel, which had been promoted to the role of base camp for the delegations.
And very quickly they set up the exhibition in St George’s Bastion – a magnificent location in the fortified town, which the organisers had found only a fortnight before, whereas previously they had planned to use a much less resplendent hall in Rhodes new town..
There was no doubt that their choice of exhibition hall was the right one. The exhibition stands were ready, all that remained was to decorate them – which everyone proceeded to do with great taste and skill.
It would be impossible in this short article to record accurately the great variety of displays, with so many colours and smells and tastes. Just like every year. Some delegations had emphasised Christmas itself, others had dwelt more on the tourist aspects attached to the festival, but all in all a harmonious and interesting exhibition emerged from all this amazing European diversity.
The whole process of installing the exhibition took place in an atmosphere of good humour and with a most pleasant multilingual brouhaha . A truly warm and dynamic start to events, thanks to the young participants for whom it was all a true revelation.
Installing the exhibition stands keeps everyone busy – a real hive of activity
The last 100 metres to reach the exhibition entrance have to be covered on foot!