Thursday, 14 June 2018

Larnaca, Cyprus (Nicolaides Sea View City)

Another relaxing day is planned, and I’m up for what the day brings.

Now that I have the mailing envelopes for my Dracula (Bran Castle) souvenirs, I can get them ready to be mailed and sent. No need to carry them to another city. Once I put everything into an envelope, I took them to the nearby post office, a couple blocks away, to mail them. Again, I didn’t seal the packages in case the postal clerk wanted to look inside. After verifying that they didn’t need to see the contents I sealed up each envelope and paid for the shipping, which was about 10 Euros for the bunch.

And that was my big outing for the day. It isn’t much fun to walk in the heat. I’d rather look out from my flat, either from the indoors or from the balcony, and enjoy the outdoors that way.

Once I got back to the flat I checked my email. There was a message from PayPal letting me know that I needed to update my account because my card was due to expire at the end of this month. Really? What card? It was my debit card from my credit union – the one that doesn’t charge me to make withdrawals as I travel. I looked at my card and sure enough, it will expire at the end of June. Yikes!

I first sent a text to the person who is picking up my mail. At the same time I sent a note to my credit union asking if and when they sent out the replacement card. It looks like my replacement card wasn’t received, so a new one will need to be issued. I heard late in the evening that they would send the replacement card directly to my mailing address in London and I’ll be there on July 10th. Problem solved, except that I’ll have to use my other debit card, issued another bank, and just pay the transaction charge should I need cash.

The other financial question I needed to resolve was a charge that I found for my lodging at the Hilton in Istanbul. All of my other Hilton charges from previous stays had “Hilton” in the description. This one read, “Ofton Instaat Turizm Ve Yaistanbul” This issue took about an hour to figure out. The Hilton Honors customer service people really helped me out and recommended that I call the hotel for the quickest response, which I did. Yes, the name of the business was the one used by the hotel. I really need to audit my financial transactions more often, but I’ve so far been fortunate to not have any any issues. In all my years of having a checking, savings, and credit cards – I’ve never had a case of fraud. The one time was probably back in 1973 or 1974 when I paid my Meier & Frank account and M&F posted my payment as 444.00 rather than 144.000, which overdrew my checking account.

While I was thinking about my stay in Istanbul, I decided to ask the hotel to send a car to the airport to pick me up. Istanbul is a very large city with a population of at least 15 million (New York City’s population is around 9 million). The logistics of getting around a city that large is something I didn’t want to deal with when I landed.

Today I also did some planning for traveling in Scandinavia and the nearby Baltic states. In what order do I visit them, how do I travel between the major cities, and what are my lodging options? I’ll try to work on this more over the next few days.

I was all set to continue watching the Sense8 series and started watching what I thought was the last episode for the second season. I discovered that this was true, but the last episode was also the last one filmed and the series ends. There is no third season. This last episode was over two hours in length and it did wrap up the series very well.

No plans for tomorrow. I’ll wake up and see what I want to do and go from there.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

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