Friday, 29 June 2018

Istanbul, Turkey (DoubleTree by Hilton) Istanbul – Piyalepasa

This morning I skipped breakfast and decided to take the shuttle up to the Taxim area and perhaps eat there. I understand it is a very lively part of the city. I’m very much enjoy the well-equipped bathroom and seem to take my time getting ready in the morning.

The shuttle from the hotel to the Taksim district arrives either on the hour or half hour. Since this hotel is away from the popular areas of the city, the shuttle helps link the hotel to the nightlife and places of interest to tourists. I asked someone from the hotel where the shuttle drops us off and wasn’t getting a thorough answer. I had assumed we would be let off at Taksim Square, but we were let off at another hotel down the street.

I walked to main boulevard up the hill and looked around. I walked up and down the boulevard and didn’t see anything interesting, except for a Starbucks where I ordered a iced latte and a fruit yogurt.  After Starbucks I walked through a nearby park and looked around. Nice area, but think I need to do more research on what I should be looking for when I return next time.

After about 90 minutes I took the shuttle back to the hotel. When I arrived, I made arrangements to go on the all-day boat trip to Prince’s Island tomorrow, so that will get me out and about for sure.

My room hadn’t been visited by housekeeping when I returned, so had a tuna sandwich in the lobby bar while waiting. The Starbuck’s yogurt didn’t quite fill me up, but I didn’t finish the whole sandwich so took half of it back to my room.

The rest of the afternoon I did travel research. This sometimes will take me several hours since I get very involved in exploring new places to visit.

After my afternoon nap I ate the rest of the sandwich and thought that is all I needed for dinner. After working on my travel blog and watching some old “Whats My Line” via YouTube, I thought I’d better get some sleep because I have an early start tomorrow.

As I understand it, I am to be down in the lobby at 8:30 a.m. and a shuttle bus will take those of us who are going on the tour to one of the tourist piers and we will then take a boat to the island. There was no brochure associated with this trip. I have faith that the concierge knows what there is to know. I’m finding out that I need to be satisfied with the information provided. Over-disclosure of information doesn’t seem to be the norm in Istanbul.

To see pictures:
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Thursday, 28 June 2018

Istanbul, Turkey (DoubleTree by Hilton) Istanbul – Piyalepasa

It was a slow start for me this morning. For the most part, I slept well but knew that if I wanted breakfast I should probably get out of bed and go down to where breakfast was being served.

At the breakfast buffet, I found a number of familiar “Hilton” breakfast items and a several new items, probably more familiar with the Turkish guests. I’ve concluded that older civilizations perhaps have a much more varied and sophisticated diet than what we have in the western civilizations. Maybe having access, being on a major trade route, to a wide variety of spices, produce and meat for a couple of millennia is probably the reason why. For me, I’m still a “meat and potatoes” eater and find it difficult to try new things. Breakfast is not a time for me to try something new. That I know.

I really had a difficult time leaving my room. From my terrace I have a great view of the city, but I knew I needed to visit an ATM to have local currency and also get to know the neighborhood. At the front desk I asked where the nearest ATM would be located and he said the gas station across the street, though a colleague of his last night said it was undependable. He also said I might take a taxi to the downtown area where there are many machines. (What? Take a taxi to go to a ATM?) I decided to walk down the road to see what I could find.

When I left the hotel, I noticed that we were next to a mosque. I thought I had heard a call to prayer either last night or this morning. I must be used to the call to prayer (or worship) since it you can hear it up to five times a day. Here is a recording made of the Blue Mosque Evening Call to Prayer:

Along the way, I put my nose in several markets as I walked along Piyalepasa Boulevard. All the while thinking, “How can a city of 15 million not have an ATM on every block?” In any case, this task for today gave me the opportunity to explore the neighborhood so I left it at that.

Guess I was expecting more people on the streets walking around. Traffic was light and everyone was going about their business. After about 20 minutes I saw a couple of ATMs across the street. Piyalepasa Boulevard is a four lane road with two lanes of traffic going each way. And there were no nearby crosswalks, so I took my chance and waited for the traffic to ease up and walked across.

I was in luck, the first ATM charged no fees and offered currency both in the local Turkish lira and euro. I made two transactions each for the local lira and euro. My new debit card arrived at Prean and Viktor’s, but it would be until the 10th of July when I had a debit card (with no fees), so need to stock up on euros. I could use my Chase debit card, but I get charged for each foreign transaction, which isn’t much – just the idea of paying a fee to access your own money.

With that being done, I crossed the boulevard again and walked back to the hotel. At the hotel I met with someone who I’ll work with to arrange a couple of tours while in Istanbul. After talking with her, she had plenty of options to research as I left to return to my room.

An afternoon nap seemed like a good idea, then started to write my travel blog again after I woke. It had been over a week since I wrote anything, so it took a few moments to get back into the swing of writing again.

I was having problems uploading pictures to my picture blog, but I turned everything off and re-booted and it was working again. The Internet is very restrictive in Turkey and some sites, for whatever reason, are not accessible. For example, I tried to look something up on Wikipedia and was denied access.

While I was working on my blogs I ordered a pizza. I only ate half of it since I wasn’t really that hungry. I only ate half of my meal last night too. This isn’t a bad thing because I need to shed a few pounds. After working on my blogs and doing additional research, it was time for bed.

Tomorrow I’m taking the shuttle to the downtown area near Taksim Square. It is supposed to be lively with a variety of shops and restaurants.

To see pictures:

– or –

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Istanbul, Turkey (DoubleTree by Hilton) Istanbul – Piyalepasa

I arrived in Istanbul today after relaxing in Luxor and Hurghada with Hussein for the past week. It was good to see familiar faces in Luxor, especially at the Hilton. They are very kind to me there and my room had a good view of the Nile.

As we’ve done before, Hussein arranged for a driver to take us from Luxor to Hurghada. Much easier than flying, plus you get to see the diverse countryside along the way. We stopped once to pick up some food. While they ate sandwiches, I had a bag of chips and an apple from the hotel. While I guess it would be more convenient if I enjoyed trying a variety of foods from different venues, I’m doing okay with simple familiar food. Definitely not starving.

When we arrived at the resort in Hurghada, I learned that Hilton sold the property within the past couple of months to another hotel. As a result, they couldn’t find the reservation. In the end (after talking with Hilton and with hotel management), we got a room with a good view of the Red Sea and a over-sized balcony. The weather was only a little cooler than Hurghada (95 – 105F), so the consistent breeze from the Red Sea was very much appreciated.

The days flew by quickly and it was time for me to return to my travels and Hussein back to Luxor. We were up early yesterday so I could catch my flight to Cairo for my connection to Istanbul. (Hussein would take a bus.) Our driver was there at 6:00 a.m. but I was having problems with my credit cards being accepted by the hotel. Finally, the reception guy got one card to work. I couldn’t even get money from an ATM on the way to the airport. This has happened from time to time and it somehow gets cleared up.

The flight from Hurghada was delayed by 45 minutes and we arrived in Cairo about an hour later. I had almost a three-hour layover in Cairo so I didn’t mind the delay. As it turned out, I started to talk to a guy who was also traveling to Istanbul. We first started to talk when we got to the departure gate (early) and it was closed, then again about 15 minutes later when I saw him checking flight times and pointed out to him that our gate is now H-4 and not H-2. And then we talked for the next two hours. He was a doctor from Jordan who also has an interest in travel, so we talked mainly about places we’ve been. He looks forward to traveling with his wife when he retires in about five years. I told him that it was having the opportunity to meeting people like him is what I enjoy most about traveling. Also, it seems that I meet the right people at the right time. I’ve been thinking about traveling to Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel next spring and he gave me some ideas on what to see and do while I’m there.

We both had drivers waiting for us as we entered the departure lobby of the Istanbul airport and said our goodbyes. I had wondered how I was going to fill the nearly three hours in Cairo before the flight to Istanbul.

I rarely engage a driver in advance when I arrive at an airport, but I felt that I should in Istanbul, since the taxi drivers in this city have been known to take advantage of travelers. Lesson Learned: This is a good thing to investigate before landing at an unfamiliar airport.

The DoubleTree received good reviews so I knew that I was going to enjoy my stay. While being taken on a tour of available rooms, I was shown a few rooms, I made a selection, then we went back to the lobby. During our absence, the receptionist said she found the perfect room for me and I asked to see it, just to make sure. It was a suit on the top floor. Large and very quiet with a separate bedroom and bath. And at the same price as a standard room. I quickly registered and moved my belonging in, then took a nap.

I ordered room service, ate, then went to bed soon afterward. I managed to unpack a few items in the evening that I’ll need in the morning. Big bed, comfortable mattress, and large pillows. Perfect!

Tomorrow I’ll find an ATM, since I didn’t get to one at the airport. I’ll also investigate tours that are offered by the hotel. Istanbul is one of those ancient cities, surviving thousands of years, and still going strong. I’d like to learn more.

To see pictures: HTTPs:// 

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Larnaca, Cyprus (Nicolaides Sea View City)

I’m writing this post from the Cairo Airport while waiting for my flight to Luxor. I took off the last few days writing the blog – mainly because there wasn’t much to write. Except for yesterday.

Yesterday, I met up with Marcel, my Airbnb host, in Limossel where he lives. This gives me the inspiration to leave Larnaca and take a 90 minute road trip on the Intercity Bus. Limossel is a resort town, like Larnaca, but has a much larger marina. A beautiful and modern marina.

I took the 7:30 a.m. bus and was at Caffe Nero at 9:00, waiting for Marcel. He and I ended up talking for over six hours. Around noon we walked around the old part of the city then found a place to have lunch. Marcel is from Germany and speaks very good English. I found out later that his girlfriend is Russian and they talk to each other in English since they don’t speak each other’s language.

Great to talk with someone who is willing to discuss serious topics with an open mind. We just shared information for those six hours.

I boarded the 4:00 p.m. bus and was back in Larnaca at 5:30. I was tired but didn’t take a nap. I needed to get some clothes washed in preparation for my flights to Egypt the following day.

Made all the connections to Cairo, though some confusion at the Cairo airport in getting to the domestic flight part of the airport. It was all sorted out and now just waiting for my flight.

I’m meeting Hussein in Luxor today and on Thursday we will go by hired car to Hurghada. I’ll leave from Hurghada on the 27th for Istanbul and Hussein will return to Luxor.

I don’t expect that I’ll write in my blog while in Hurghada, but you never know. This is the part of retirement that I enjoy most. Relaxation and no set plans.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

Friday, 15 June 2018

Larnaca, Cyprus (Nicolaides Sea View City)

Another day of bumming around which I need as I think about what to do about health insurance and my travel plan for August and September. I’m also due to talk with my financial planner and review my projected budget that I’m mapping out until 2044 when I’ll be 90, which is only 26 years away. I did a preliminary plan last year at this time, but only had it projected until I was 88, but thought for this year I should bring it up to at least age 90.

At dusk I took a walk down to the beach. Without the sun overhead it is much more tolerable. I had seen a few rally cars revving their engines as I walked towards the beach, a five minute walk from the flat. It wasn’t until I was walking along the main drag when I realized that they were preparing for a rally, the Cyprus Rally, taking place this weekend.

There are still a few people out swimming as I took a few pictures, but for the most part the crowds are walking on the promenade along Finikoudes Beach.

After I returned from my walk, I watched a movie, The Black Panther, then went to bed. I managed to not take a nap in the early evening so I should have a good night’s sleep tonight.

Tomorrow I’ll try to work more on my future plans.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

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

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Larnaca, Cyprus (Nicolaides Sea View City)

Not much planned for today. Pedicure appointment at 1:00, shop for ingredients to make chicken noodle soup, and find a place that sells mailing envelopes.

The weather here is expected to be in the lower 80’s today and is expected to remain so while I’m here. There is something about being in a semi-tropical environment that makes me very relaxed. From the flat, I overlook the marina and see the boats come and go all day.

I’m meeting with the host of this Airbnb flat on Monday. I met him last year and he wanted to meet up again this year. He lives in Imassol, which is “down the road” from Larnaca. About 90 minutes on the bus. He does business consulting from Cyprus and we share a number of similar interests. It will be a good excuse to have a break in my routine.

After a slow start leaving the flat, I walked to my pedicure appointment and arrived a little before 1:00 p.m. I was given some water and waited for my appointment to start. The pedicurist could speak relatively good English and we talked while she did her thing. And then one of her colleagues joined the conversation. The three of us were the only ones in the salon. After I was done, I said I might see them again in September. Of course I’ll have a couple of pedicures between now and then.

Next was to pick up a few items at the store, then find a stationery shop. The nearest stationery shops were near where I’m staying. I did my best to stay in the shade as I walked back to the flat. I remained in the flat until the air conditioning cooled me off and then I was ready to go outside again.

The first store didn’t have mailing envelopes but recommended me to another. That store didn’t have any but suggested another down the street. And there I found the envelopes. I brought with me the souvenirs to make sure they would fit the envelopes. More than once I have bought the wrong sized envelope.

I hadn’t had lunch so was very hungry. Earlier I bought ground beef and made a hamburger patty and boiled a locally grown ear of corn. After eating, I took a nap.

After my nap I wasn’t really hungry, nor did I want to make soup. I’ll just fry up another hamburger patty and an ear of corn later. I can make the soup tomorrow.

I’ve begun to watch another series on Netflix that I started to watch last year about this time. I read that the series recently concluded so will watch the rest of the episodes over the next few weeks, or however long it takes to finish.

Tomorrow, all I have planned is to mail the parcels and make the soup. And enjoy the view from where I’m staying. And a nap.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Larnaca, Cyprus (Nicolaides Sea View City)

I can’t begin to describe what it is like for me to have a place to stay where everything, at least inside the flat, is familiar. Though I generally learn quickly where to find the silverware drawer, plates and glassware. It is knowing about the small details that give me some relief to always be in learning mode where I’m constantly being tested on how something works or where to even find the light switch. The more I stay here the more I would like to return. Maybe next year I’ll stay for a month, or maybe two.

The only thing planned for today is to mail the check to American Express and buy a chicken for dinner tonight. I now remember where the big market is located. And across the street from the market is where I got a pedicure when I was here last time.

Today is another very hot day. Now that the summer solstice is next week, the sun is almost directly overhead and you can really feel it when you step out of the shade. The nearby post office is only a few blocks away, and after I was finished there, I started to walk to the grocery, about a 15 minute walk.

As I remembered, the place where I had my pedicure five months ago was across the street from the market so I went in to make an appointment, or perhaps they have an opening for me today. I learned that tomorrow at 1:00 would be the first time they could fit me in, so I will be back at that time.

I actually remember were to find some of the items in the store and picked up what I needed relatively quickly. This store is the only one I’ve been to where there is someone in the produce area that weighs and puts the price tag on your bag of fruits or vegetables. Heaven forbid that you took a plastic bag of carrots through check out without a price sticker attached.

As I was waiting in the checkout line I started a conversation with a woman standing behind me. I later found out her name was Judith, and in her words, a reformed southerner from England but born in the midlands. Even though she moved over to another line to have her goods rung up, she came back over to me and continued our conversation. And we kept on talking outside the store as well. She was definitely an open book. What a fascinating life she has led. She offered me a ride back, and given the heat, I gladly accepted.

She dropped me off near the police station, across from where I’m staying. She was just the person who I needed to speak with today. Here I was thinking about staying for a longer period of time, and she told me that she prefers a cooler climate, but is in Larnaca because her boyfriend is from here. And now she has learned to deal with the heat. Good air conditioning! Helpful to hear about what its like to live where when you’d prefer a place a bit cooler.

I needed a nap (after I cooled off) when I got back to the flat and started to make dinner after I woke up. I wrote my travel blog while the chicken was in the oven. I also made some mashed potatoes and cooked some frozen peas. (Wish I had some butter.)

I ate my dinner as I was watching the last episode of the second season of “The Expance”. I found out that I can’t watch the third season until Netflix releases it or I find a way to get it directly from the U.S. I’ll have to work on that.

The only thing I have planned for tomorrow is to get a pedicure and also find a few mailing envelops for souvenirs that I purchased when visiting Vlad’s castle in Romania. The trick is to find a store that sells mailing envelops.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

Monday, 11 June 2018

Larnaca, Cyprus (Nicolaides Sea View City)

When I woke, I anticipated a very lazy day for me. It might take me a few days to get back into a somewhat regular sleep schedule. But I’m not concerned. It isn’t like I really have to be anywhere at a certain time.

Last time I was here five months ago, I recall walking down the main street near the flat and there was a nice grocery about 15 minutes away. I try that. Need to get the traditional chicken in the oven.

I started walking. And after I thought I found the grocery, it wasn’t the one I remembered. In any case, I got in a walk and saw the neighborhood. Along the way, there was an interesting mixture of expensive cars, high-end apartments, and on the main street, small shops and pubs. I really worked up a good sweat while walking around. Knowing that I had air conditioning waiting for me when I got back to the flat helped a lot.

On the way back I stopped by Pizza Hut and ordered a pizza for dinner. While waiting for the pizza to be made, I walked over to the nearby McDonald’s for two cheeseburgers that I’ll eat for lunch. I’ll warm up the pizza for dinner.

The most ambitious thing I did today was do a load of wash. No clothes dryer here, but I used the rack to dry the clothes. I was going to take the drying rack out to the balcony, but it was much too windy. Thought a pair of my underwear might fly off the balcony and land in the street below.

While watching “The Expanse” at night I ate the pizza in two sessions. I wasn’t super hungry, but I stayed up late enough where I felt the need to have more to eat.

If my goal was to have a lazy day today, I was successful. Ever so often I remember how it was when I was working, busy with volunteer activities and my almost daily workouts at the gym. So very different now. Back then, many days of four or five hours of sleep and a full schedule the next day. Seems like a different world back then.

Tomorrow I’ll buy the chicken, now that I remember where the big grocery store is. I think there is a place across the street from the store where I got a pedicure. And I need to mail in my check to American Express in the U.K. Maybe I’ll wake up early tomorrow and see a beautiful sunrise. I’d like that!

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Sofia, Bulgaria (Sveti Naum Street)

I was awake at 1:30 a.m. and making a cup of early morning coffee so I can be out of the flat at 2:45. The taxi driver is to be here at 3:00 a.m. and wanted to ensure that I was ready and waiting.

Because I was nearly packed from yesterday, I just needed to drink my coffee, eat a small breakfast and shower. At 2:45 I was wheeling out my suitcase and locking the door behind me. The Airbnb host asked that I return the card key (that opens the flat’s front door) in a box near a desk by the elevator. I needed the attached key to unlock and then lock up the restaurant door behind me and lastly drop the key in a box by the parking office.

As I anticipated, the driver was a few minutes early. From there I knew every other step in the process to get from Sofia to Larnaca would be okay. Getting to the airport on time will greatly reduce risk in with getting on the plane. If you’re not at the airport, you can’t get on the plane.

While waiting for the check-in desks to open I walked around and found various places to sit to watch my fellow travelers. We were all a bit sleepy and it almost looked like we were zombies. It looked like a regular airport, but everyone was moving just a bit slower.

The airline was late in opening the check-in desks. They should have been open at 4:10, two hours before the flight. It was nearly 4:40 when they opened. As I stood in line to drop off my suitcase I noticed that fellow passengers were trying to stand in front of me and also nudge me from behind. My response was to stand closer to the person in front of me. The line was moving slowly, but nothing to be concerned about. Eventually I got to the check-in desk and dropped off my bag. It was now 5:05.

The security line was a little longer, but seemed to be moving along okay. Again I noticed people trying to move in front of me. I felt like I was the only person who didn’t understand how the waiting-in-line game worked in Bulgaria. In any case, I was through the security line by 5:25. The passport control only took a few minutes.

When I arrived at the gate I saw that it was open and people were starting to load the bus that would take us to the plane. I had enough time to make a trip to the restroom, which I did. By the time everyone got on the buses, it was 5:45 and we still hadn’t boarded the plane. The flight was scheduled to leave at 6:10.

So, as it turned out, the boarding of the plane was completed on time, but we didn’t take off for another 20 minutes. No worries. I was on the plane and had plenty of time after I landed at Larnaca. Time for me to relax. Myself and another passenger were the only two sitting in the first row of six seats. We both had plenty of space and legroom.

During the two-hour flight, I divided my time playing a few games of pinochle on my phone, listening to Beethoven symphonies, and reading a book on my iPad about Eleanor Roosevelt and her cousin Alice Roosevelt Longworth. I listen to Beethoven’s symphonies (all nine of them) often and have heard each of them in concert (heard the 9th three times) and the recordings probably hundreds of times. The total play time for the complete set of symphonies is a little over six and a half hours, depending on the tempo of the recording.

We landed at the scheduled arrival time. I was in no rush as I exited the plane, but noticed that people had blocked me from getting out of my seat. I got up, looked at the two who were blocking me in, and they moved away. I still needed to go through passport control. As it turned out, because I was one of the first out of the plane, I was one of the first to arrive at passport control and was out in the main concourse in a few minutes. Thought it was funny that the quickest I’ve even been through an airport’s passport control was when I had no place to go.

The official time for this Airbnb flat to be ready was 2:00 p.m. and it was now 8:30 a.m. I made prior arrangements with the Airbnb host to allow me to drop my bags off at 11:30. Not sure if I’ve ever had to wait this long before. Normally I’m either on-time or have made arrangements for a later arrival time.

I was a little hungry and a whole lot tired. I found a small cafe where I ordered a coffee and a blueberry muffin. I took care of a couple of emails and read through Facebook and Reddit. After about 45 minutes I looked for a taxi and asked to be driven to a Starbucks at Finikoudes Beach. I decided to hang out at a Starbucks near to the flat and walk over to drop off my bags when it got closer to 11:30. At about 11:15 I was starting to fall asleep, so I began to walk to the flat to wake up. It only took a few minutes to walk there so I sat down on some steps on the ground floor and waited until 11:35 before I went up. It was nearly 90 degrees outside, but the coolness of the building’s ground floor, with a gentle breeze, was refreshing.

I took the elevator up and the housekeeper let me in. She then said the words I wanted to hear. She said, “We’ll be finished in an hour.” I wasn’t looking forward to waiting around another two and a half hours. I left and decided to eat a small pizza at Pizza Hut, then on the way back, buy a few things at the store.

At 1:00 I was walking into a fully air conditioned flat. It was just like walking into my own home. I had been here three other times, so I guess it should be fairly familiar by now. But I was in need of a nap!

I actually took two naps. I woke after an hour and went to the bathroom, drank some water then fell asleep again. The next time I woke I started to put things away. I hooked up my Apple TV and, like the other three times, it worked perfectly.

I took another quick nap then woke up and ate the rest of the pizza that I had boxed up from lunch. Then wrote another travel blog and posted a few pictures.

Now, because of these naps, I was fully awake. I watched a couple of episode of “The Expanse” then went to sleep. I decided to leave the A/C running at night. It was still hot in the flat when I turned it off only for a few minutes.

Tomorrow I’ll visit a store and stock up on a few more items, do a couple of loads of wash, and walk around – depending on hot it is.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE