THOUSANDS of people around the world are flocking to resorts billed as the best place to survive the apocalypse as predicted by the ancient Mayans.
Hotels based around the slopes of Mount Rtanj in Serbia have witnessed an influx of believers, as doomsday followers hurry to take refuge in the Carpathian mountain range.
Many believe that the pyramid-shaped mountain contains a structure left behind by aliens that will protect them com the end of the world. Science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke referred to the mountain as “the navel of the world” and said that it has a “special enery.”.
According to Darko Jovic, manager of the Balasevic hotel, people have been travelling across continents to escape to the site.
“We’re booked out. People were even calling from the United States and we had to say no. I couldn’t even get a room for my own mother and sister,” he explained.
Retired show-business promoter, Dragan Milenkovic, said that he is expecting aliens to return on Friday. “On December 21, on the summit of Rtanj, we’ll see a beautiful violet and red light that will engulf the planet for about five seconds and they will come,” he insisted. “That will mark the beginning of a golden era that will last 1,345 years.”
In south-west France, meanwhile, police have blocked survivalists from reaching the supposedly mystical Pic de Bugarach mountain which they believe will be the only place to be saved. The village’s mayor, Jean-Pierre Delord, said he expected Bugarach to be standing next week but warned the rest of the world to stay away.
The community, home to just 189 people, but it has been visited before by believers who insist that is a refuge created by being from another world. Earlier this year, a man was killed when he slipped and fell on the way up the mountain. “The end of the world came a bit earlier for him than he expected,” observed Mr Delord.
Savvy entrepreneurs were yesterday cashing in on the interest surrounding the Mayan apocalypse by putting on a number of themed events across the capital.
Londoners were being offered the chance to see in the end of the world by dining in the hull of a boat, indulging in their wildest fantasies or hearing annihilation theories being panned in a one-off comedy gig.
Emma Ireland, a senior creative events manager at Halo Group, is involved in a pop-up dining experience called The Last Supper Club, which offered guests a three-course apocalypse-themed meal served inside an ark.
Ms Ireland said: “It was topical, it was current. It was something we knew a lot of people would probably be tapping into over Christmas.
“I don’t know what it has been like in other cities but in London there has certainly been a big celebration of the end of the world. So it just seemed to suit the times.”
The Last Supper Club has been running for two weeks in Shoreditch, east London, serving 200 people each night at a cost of £35 a head, and dishes out its last meal today - when, according to some interpretations, the Mayan calendar says the world will end.
The Last Supper Club venture is not the only one aimed at capitalising on the publicity surrounding the apocalypse, with a handful of end of the world parties happening in the capital.
Flames And Fortune have been running apocalypse-themed parties for years and have taken advantage of the heightened interest to hold a joint event in east London and Los Angeles.
Ally Wolf, events organiser at Flames And Fortune, said that the opportunity was too good to miss. “Everyone is talking about the fact that the world is going to end on Friday. All the media are talking about it, it is on the news,” he said.
“So if you are going to put on an event you might as well put it on when everybody is talking about the end of the world.”
Punters who bought one of the 750 tickets on offer were treated to an “indulgence room” where staff dressed as Greek gods will massage you, feed you grapes and fulfil your wildest desires, according to Mr Wolf.
There was also due to be a giant countdown to 2.45am, the time when supposedly the end of the world will arrive. And what happens then? “As with all apocalypses, it ends with a massive glitter cannon and a huge sing-a-long,” Mr Wolf said.
Other forms of entertainment have also got in on the act. Comedian Robin Ince and scientist Professor Brian Cox are holding a one-off end of the world show at Hammersmith Apollo night.
The gig will feature a selection of apocalypse-themed music, appearances from comedians and scientists discussing the various theories for annihilation.
A spokesman for the pair said: “It is purely (inspired by) the well known fact that the Mayans happened to believe that December 21 is the end of the world.
“And they are scientists, so they are obviously going to try and disprove that in some way, shape and form, ideally by all of us leaving the theatre at the end of the show.”
All 3,600 seats have been sold out, according to the spokesman, at a cost of between £25 and £40.