On This Day – Stuck in a Lift with a Turtle

Even though travel restrictions are easing I am not yet minded to risk it so I still have no new stories to post so I continue to go through my picture archives and see where I was on this day at any time in the last few travelling years.

On 20th August 2014 I was in Corfu in the Greek Islands with my family and a new pal…

Corfu Stuck in a lift with a turtle

There were a lot of steps at the Adonis and Asonitis Apartments so the sensible route to ground level was by the lift (elevator) so rather than tackle the challenging vertical concrete stairs my habit was to take the easy route.  Today, after clearing up the rooms as best I could before the hotel cleaners came in and passed out it was my job to follow the children down to the beach and bring with me the inflatable turtle.

We were on level four and I had to go to level minus one but somewhere between one and three the lift suddenly groaned, juddered then abruptly stopped and the lights all went out as though there was a sort of power failure.  I waited a minute or two (actually, if I am being completely honest, only a second or two) and then I descended into frantic panic.  I have always had a fear of being stuck in a broken down lift.  I jabbed at the control buttons and it was then that I noticed that they were all damaged and caved in as though someone had attacked them with a lump hammer so I could only conclude that this sort of thing was a regular occurrence.

I waited a minute or two (actually only a second or two) and then pressed the alarm button which emitted a deafening screeching sound rather like someone having open heart surgery without an anaesthetic but still nothing happened and I started to contemplate a day stuck in a broken down lift and wondering how I was going to pass the time.

I had no mobile phone (probably wouldn’t have worked anyway) no water, worse still no Mythos, no book to read, no knife and fork in case I was here for so long that I had to eat my green reptile companion and no weapon to defend myself with if it decided to try and eat me!

It was very hot and very humid stuck in the confines of a metal prison cell dangling from a cable and probably about to crash to the bottom in a nasty, messy accident.

Turtle in a lift

I pressed the alarm several times, blamed the turtle for our predicament and looked for a hatch in the roof like you see in a James Bond movie but the situation was hopeless so I put the turtle in one corner and told it to leave things to me and had another attempt at operating the controls.  The turtle didn’t seem to be as concerned as I was I have to say. Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing, but then after a few moments the hopeful flicker of lights, a welcoming hum of air conditioning and a faintly reassuring whirr of machinery as the lift returned to the top floor and to my relief the doors thankfully opened.

After that lucky escape I wasn’t going to risk the lift again so I walked down the steps to the beach and at the poolside bar realised that I needed a Mythos.  I found a table in the corner for Turtle and me (after sharing a traumatic experience together we were bonding nicely now) and went to the bar and ordered a glass of beer and a dish of nuts for me and a beaker of plankton and a side of seaweed for Turtle.

I sat and enjoyed the Mythos and had ten minutes lad chat and then left and made my way to the beach where everyone wondered why it had taken me so long to get there and completely refused to believe my (admittedly) unlikely broken lift story and accused me of just hanging around the bar while I continued to protest that I had been literally hanging around in a lift!


I didn’t do a great deal more for the rest of the day but Turtle had to entertain the children.  He was exhausted by the end of it all so I gave him a lift back to the apartment.

Corfu Turtle

This is my son with a Turtle in 1993…


Can anyone name the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

32 responses to “On This Day – Stuck in a Lift with a Turtle

  1. Was that one Michaelangelo with your son?
    I used to like watching as a kid and remember some of the turtles and which one is which. But not now. Bit I hope I am right with remedy my favour one as a kid.

    I have had the unpleasant experience of being stuck in a lift. I think for 10 minutes. But could have been less.


  2. I once got stuck in a lift with an Italian chap who went into meltdown. Wish I’d had the inflatable turtle for company. Cannot name any of the Ninja Turtles, sorry.


  3. Great story. I was stuck in a lift once for an hour in the block of flats in London where I lived when I was about eight …


  4. Lamborghini, Pininfarina, Maserati and Raphael.


  5. Aww, lovely blast from the past, Andrew. I rather envied the turtle having so much fun. 🙂 🙂 We have a dark green alligator called Dave sitting on the bed in the back bedroom. He seems very reluctant to deflate so we’ve left him to his own devices.


  6. I love this story.
    How long were you and the turtle pals, or was it just a holiday bromance?

    I’m scared of getting stuck in a lift because I know I will need the loo, the minute someone says there isn’t a toilet you can guarantee I will need one!
    I’m scared of lift doors too and jump through like some sort of idiot. I was always told that the doors would open again when they sensed a body (a live one) but on the one occasion the doors closed on me I ended up with bruised arms before they reopened!


  7. A very funny antidote! These are the things holidays are made of. I don´t envy you being stuck in an elevator though. Glad you and the turtle were OK in the end.


  8. Fun now, but perhaps not at the time.


  9. Andrew I’ve heard this one before, but it’s a good one and needs to be told again. You are a great storyteller. There are lots of lift stories, but yours takes the cake because you brought in a huge ridiculous inflatable turtle! I agree with you that I’d always prefer the stairs. My workplace moved to a new glass-and-steel building in 2014 or so with elevators that had no buttons inside. Nothing! Just a call button. You have to press the right floor while still in the lobby, then the machine tells you which elevator to board, then you hope for the best. If you get on the wrong elevator, or if you pressed the buttons wrong, you have to get out and try again. I couldn’t stand that system. Several of us had anxiety every day about using the elevators.


  10. I must admit, I always give a sigh of relief when the lift doors open. There’s always that brief pause after coming to rest when I’m convinced it’s not going to happen. I’ve never had to worry about a turtle as well though.


  11. It has to happen once in a lifetime. Mine was in Spain, Benidorm as I remember, but I wasn’t alone, my husband was there. Who panicked more? I’m not sure, but our wait was over 30 minutes. Took us a long time (and many Cuba Libres) to laugh about it. Glad the turtle survived it, could have had a nasty effect on him and ruined your children’s holiday.


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