Monday, January 1, 2024

First Trip of 2024

Why are we spending part of New Year’s Day contemplating this view from our room at the Hampton Inn in Richmond, British Columbia?

It was only a few days ago that our house was filled with 15 people and 4 dogs, as we celebrated Christmas with our family.

It’s been mighty quiet for the past four days, as we readied ourselves for our upcoming trip to Cyprus, a  country new to us that we noticed was available on British Airways out of YVR (Vancouver) on a bargain business class fare.

Cyprus is an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean with a current population of about a million people. It was inhabited at least as far back as the 10th millennium BC. Its strategic location has been exploited by major powers over the centuries, including Egypt, Rome, Greece, Turkey (now Türkiye), and Great Britain.

When Cyprus was granted independence from the British Empire in 1960, the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots could not get along, to put it mildly. In 1963 the Turkish Cypriots established their own country, violence ensued, and the UN has maintained a buffer zone for well over half a century.

Larnaca, our destination, is only about 219 air miles from Tel Aviv. It’s a popular tourist destination with a mild climate, and we expect to share the beaches and restaurants with throngs of British “holidaymakers,” as they refer to themselves, but perhaps not so many Russians or Israelis, given current events.

Our first flight tomorrow departs at 7:00 AM from Vancouver to Dallas-Fort Worth. We then have a 9-hour overnight flight to London. There we transfer to a 5-hour flight to Larnaca, where we’re staying for 5 nights before flying back to London.

We’ll spend the night in the pleasant Hilton located in Terminal 4 before flying non-stop to Vancouver. Our itinerary in airport code is YVR-DFW-LHR-LCA-LHR-YVR, a total of 15,280 miles before we add the class of service bonuses. That will be a healthy start to our 2024 Alaska accounts.

Since we hope to be eating a lot of Greek food (and maybe some Turkish) in awhile, it was a no-brainer while spending a night in one of the best locales for Asian food in all of North America, to make a 5-minute drive to Pho 37, a well regarded Vietnamese restaurant that’s housed in a strip mall in the Golden Village area full of restaurants and tearooms.

It’s bright and modern, staffed by friendly and helpful young servers, and filled with locals, including some very young diners.

The food lived up to the hype, a tasty appetizer plate and a hearty Vietnamese sandwich.

The hot tea was a perfect complement and our bill before tip was well under USD $30.

It’s early to bed and hopefully a few hours of sleep before dropping our car at the Park’NFly and shuttling to the airport to start our little adventure.

Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

What a lovely way to start 2024…

Kathy and Brian said...

Thank you! We’re hoping so.

FS said...

Sounds like a great itinerary! Hopefully you are able to get a room at the DFW Grand Hyatt for your layover vs. spending it all in the lounge. Safe travels to you both!

Kathy and Brian said...

We just landed and have a two-hour connection, which should be reasonable. We may get a few minutes in the Flagship Lounge if everything goes smoothly. First, a loong taxi to our gate, apparently not unusual at DFW.