Saturday, 6 January 2018

Larnaca, Cyprus (Nicolaides Sea View City)

Departed from Luxor on 3 January and flew to Larnaca, Cyprus via Cairo. I still feel like I’m leaving home each time I get on the plane. But it is now time to move on.

Hussein picked me up from my hotel and we drove to McDonalds for our final lunch, then we drove to the airport where we said goodbye.

Inside the airport I went through several checkpoints and was at the gate in plenty of time. Our plane was a little late leaving and we got into Cairo later than scheduled. So late in fact that I heard my name being called over the PA asking that I should immediately head towards the departure gate. This is a first for me, so I did my best to get to the gate pronto. When I arrived I found that I was the last to board. In any case, I caught the flight.

I wondered about my suitcase, but I had faith that it would find its way to me either today or tomorrow. So it didn’t surprise me when I was informed by EgyptAir baggage staff that my suitcase didn’t make the flight. I filled out the required paperwork and took a taxi to my hotel. Why am I staying at a hotel? I wanted to book the same flat I had last May, but that particular flat wouldn’t be available until Friday the 5th, so in the meantime, I booked two days at a hotel located on the beach.

This boutique (meaning small) hotel claimed to be 5-star and while I found it nice, and hotel staff professional but not quite 5-star. The hotel received terrific reviews, which is why I booked at this hotel. No one mentioned in their review that when you have a sea view, you hear the sea rolling up on the shore all night long. I had forgotten that I’m not one of those people who are lulled to sleep by the sound of crashing waves. Fortunately the room offered all the toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, and a razor) that I needed since they were safely packed in my missing suitcase. I planned to call the baggage office the following day to confirm that my suitcase would be delivered later in the day. I had no doubts that it would arrive tomorrow and ordered room service then watched TV before going to sleep.

The next day I walked around this part of Larnaca and then prepared to have a conference call with my financial planner later in the day. Always nice to hear a friendly voice from the U.S. as I travel and Laurie and I have the most interesting and fun conversations. While talking with her I received a call that my suitcase had arrived at the airport then another call shortly after saying that my suitcase was downstairs. After I hung up with Laurie, I went downstairs and saw my suitcase in excellent shape and the suitcase lock secured.

The next morning I prepared to check out and move to the flat located further up the beach near Finikoudes and the harbor. When I entered the flat, it was like coming home again. When I was here last May, I stayed for a little over a week and really like there area where I was staying. There is something familiar about this location that I like. The flat, located on the 6th (7th in the U.S.) is a little on the big side and has an amazing large balcony where you can see both the sunrise from one end and the sunset from the other.

It took me about 30 minutes to completely unpack and put away my clothes, started a load of wash, then proceeded to switch on the air conditioning and the equipment that operates the TV. I had to ask the Airbnb host where the switch was to turn on the refrigerator. (Note: In most flats and homes in Europe, there is a central power box that has switches similar to the U.S., but also have switches located around the flat that you need to turn on for the major appliances and for each power outlet as well. In some cases, all switches are marked, but in this flat not all are marked.) I heard back from the host where to find the switch for the refrigerator and I was completely settled in.

Laundry Drying on the Balcony

After unpacking I took a quick nap since I didn’t get fully rested the night before. When I woke, remembering that stores close early each day, I went to a nearby store and bought a few items that I’ll need and then stopped by a Pizza Hut and bought a pizza to eat in the evening.

Took the following picture during my walk back to the flat with the pizza.

When buying milk, you really have to look twice at the outside to ensure you’re buying the right milk. Below is what I bought, and guessed that the 1.5 (or in this case, 1,5 is the same as 1.5) on the label was the fat content and that it was milk, and not buttermilk. (The primary language on Cyprus is Greek.)

Nice to have a place where I can set up my Apple TV. Though it took a bit of creative use of plugins and outlets to get the setup correct. It would be helpful if the WiFi access point was nearer to the TV, but I had enough cord to make it all work.

I didn’t sleep well my first night, but after getting up early the next morning, I went back to bed and got in another 4 hours of good sleep. By this time it was noon and had planned to do more shopping, then realized today was Epiphany and most everything was closed. Epiphany is celebrated by most everyone on Cyprus and only the restaurants, and a few small independent stores, would be open. My local store that I went to the previous day is open 24/7 (which is highly unusual) and I picked up a few more items.

Tomorrow is Sunday and most stores again will be closed. I’ll just make-do until Monday.

I couldn’t get enough of the view of the Mediterranean from both the hotel and the flat where I’m staying. Took several pictures over the past couple of days (below).

From Hotel Room (3 January – 5 January)

From Flat (5 January – 6 January)





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