We’re all aboard the Covid Express to Cyprus courtesy of Jet2. Fly with us they say we’re taking precautions and caring for you. Everyone on board must wear masks.
Apart from the SS (Stupid and Selfish), it was a pretty good flight. Being sat at the back we thought we’d be last off but they disembark from front and rear row by row. We’re through Cyprus Covid Pass check and customs within minutes. Spoilt by a 20-minute wait for luggage.
Hertz is a 10-minute bureaucratic and paperwork extravaganza, and oh £28 extra as we’re geriatrics – Mr Hertz and I will be discussing age discrimination in due course. But, Presidents Circle membership, gets Wendy to drive free and they’ve upgraded us by about 5 levels to a fairly new superb Kia Stonic SUV. What is it with Hertz in the EU, are they trying to suck up to the EU by showing how bureaucratic they can be? Love Hertz in America, you just walk up and select any car from the Presidents Circle bay.
Apple maps can’t seem to cope in Cyprus so we have to resort to Google maps. What a nightmare of a journey, in the dark, down every side road. I’m amazed we didn’t have to open any gates and cross a few fields. What the hell is Google maps up to? have they gone Climate Change mad and tried to find the shortest route rather than straight up the main coast road. Give me Apple maps any day.
Settle in, then a quick, well not really, nip to the supermarket for tomorrow’s breakfast and a few beers. Wow, they sell Hofbrau Original.
Settle in and then off out for dinner. As we’re not going on a cruise, which Wendy loves because she doesn’t have to cook, I’ve said we’ll eat out every night. It’s a five-minute walk up to the main strip with oodles of restaurants to choose from. Wow, service. We read the outdoor menu and they come dashing out to greet us. We finally decide and the doors opened for us and we’re ushered to our table. We both settle for the Cyprus Platter, macaroni dish, kleftiko, keftedes and salad, all washed down by a local beer served in a barrel glass at my request. It’s awesome, I could easily live on this for a fortnight.
Home to bed.
Grateful for being able to escape the British winter for some summer sun.
If you ever want to understand why the UK has problems with Covid then take a Jet2 flight. It’s full of the new age SS, the Stupid and Selfish, who look for every opportunity to flaunt or not wear their masks. A great example on boarding is the woman in an aisle seat who takes her mask off to have a good cough. Then there’s a woman a row in front coughing her guts up, no mask. I complain to the steward who does nothing about it other than making yet another announcement that they all ignore. Perhaps no one speaks English so they don’t understand.
Amazing isn’t it, if you’re not wearing your seatbelt they’ll threaten and berate you, but are scared shitless of politely asking people to wear their masks. Have the stewards not figured that it’s their health at risk, whereas with the seatbelt it’s only the passenger who may die. Why they don’t even do anything when a passenger walks up to them with no mask on. As for don’t queue in the isles for the toilet. No chance. The Stewards even battle their way through the queue, rather than ask them to sit back down. No wonder Covid is rife.
Laze around all morning, settling in and browsing the internet.
Then it’s that dreaded trip to the supermarket. We’ve decided we’re mainly eating out but still need some home basics and for the occasional meals in. Set off to the nearest hypermarket. This is the supermarket from hell. Needs a Euro to get a trolley, we don’t have any coins with us but kindly customer services lady lends us one. Narrow aisle and with what has to be the weirdest layout of all supermarkets takes ages to find things. Full of old dears blocking the aisle with their trolleys. OMG it’s so slow. Keep losing Wendy and spend half the time searching for her. Wendy was right, the smaller supermarket from last night was better. You lives and you learns, hopefully. It’s only saving grace is they sell Lowenbrau.
If men did the shopping then there’d be a World Wide Standard for supermarket layout. Perhaps something useful the EU could arrange, in place of all their useless bureaucracy, especially GDPR and other useless data protection.
It’s a tad ungodly driving over here, you’re in a foreign country so you expect to be on the wrong side of the road. Yet here in Cyprus, like the UK, they drive on the correct side of the road, and all their signs etc follow UK convention, including even the infamous beletia beacon zebra crossing. Not only that but they also have the worlds most sensible electric plug. Yes, you guessed it, the UK plug. None of your wobbly, sparking and floppy designs that can zap your fingers.
Back home and then off for a stroll along the lovely path at the bottom of our garden. The gardens along the path are lovely and pristine, as are the gardens of all the superb homes. Well as for the beach and sea at the bottom of our garden I was right, but there’s just one tiny snag in the form of a 50-foot cliff down onto a rock-strewn beach. Still not a problem as we hardly ever go on a beach.
Our home for the fortnight is lovely and comfortable, well equipped, with lovely gardens, patios, pool and outdoor seating. Just right for two people or even 4 at a pinch.
Temperature is about 23 of them Evil Union degrees and mainly sun and cloud. Just right. Don’t think we’d survive here in the summer. Lots of lovely homes and gardens but the majority are empty. For us, this is the ideal time of year.
Big debate whether to eat out tonight. Decide on Wayu cheese burgers at home. Try the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, very lush and fruity. But, it still doesn’t agree with me. There’s half a bottle left that is used to clean the drains.
“The art of the croissant” from the bakery chain Paul claims one very French habit is to dunk your croissant briefly in your favourite hot drink – we recommend a nice milky coffee – before each bite.”
What is wrong with Donkey Boris and Donkey Preti, that even a half brained cocker spaniel can comprehend. If France was serious about solving the illegal immigrant problem and earning their £54M then it’s simple, they would just let us send them back to France. It wouldn’t be long before the illegals got the message. But let’s face it they want to be shut of them.
It is oh so simple. The French are just taking these two donkeys for patsies. Stop giving the French money and find a shithole of a country to send the illegals to for processing. Get the new laws passed as a priority and if you came here illegally then off to the shithole to be told you’re not entitled to asylum. Plenty of photos and publicity of life in the shithole. Problem solved within days.
Why the French have even told us they are not working to a 100% prevention of channel crossings.
Meanwhile, let’s realise that the Evil Union is in an economic war with us. They are not our friends.
Time for ACTION THIS DAY as Churchill would have said.
After Wendy’s usual lunch we drive down to the few beaches around Coral Bay and take a pleasant stroll around each. Sadly no topless beaches here to entertain me.
It’s a trip to the Japanese restaurant for tonight’s tea. Greeted by a grunting female with all personality, charm and enthusiasm of a tortoise with a toothache. I think she’s had a lobotomy to have her personality removed. Sushi starters, including Octopus, followed by a Tepanaki seafood extravanganza, with all the usual theatricals associated with Tenpanaki. At least this guy has a personality.
What is wrong with Virgin Atlantic, to give you a clue let’s take a look at my recent sorry encounter with them:
1 Over 90 minutes for them to answer the phone. After 18 months of Covid they are still using Covid as a pathetic excuse for such shameful service levels. The management should be ashamed, they have the golden opportunity to use remote home workers. It’s either shoddy management or just an excuse to cut costs.
2 Not content with my membership of Virgin Atlantic Flying club they now introduce yet another club to help them squander and reject their useless flying club points. Hey, we CUSTOMERS just want a simple life and to be able to use our points instead of £’s. We don’t need yet another CLUB, sort out internally the one you have to deal with all aspects. To add insult to injury you need a separate login to remember and, you guessed it, yet another password – all I need in this world of password hell. Bizarrely the login consists of four words, perhaps “dont-care-clue-less” would be appropriate. Do they not realise that we all have a unique identifier that they already request in their account details. It’s called an email address and if your witless IT department can’t figure out how to use it as a login id then give me a call and for a significant fee I’ll help them. What a double win that would be, something unique that everyone can easily remember and one less question on your account details sign up.
3 Virgin Atlantic Flying club requires a 10, or was it the old 11 digit user id, that’s if you can get past the technical glitch. Again what’s wrong with our unique email address – see 2 above. Make the CUSTOMERS life simple – we pay your wages.
4 Rather than 90 minutes on the phone I contact Virgin Red via their web page to request details of how many club points to upgrade a particular flight. Good old Sally P (Virgin Red) gets back to me to tell me “This is a question for Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. If you pop them an email to firstname.lastname@example.org they will be able to assist you with this.”. I don’t suppose it ever occurred to her she could pull her finger out and answer the question herself or even send my request to them. Thank you Sally from Virgin Red MEMBER SUPPORT.
5 I send my request to “CUSTOMER SERVICES”. They at least tell me “You would be looking at around 23,700 points…”. I already knew this from their website, but don’t know the actuals for my flight or whether there are any seats available. They then go onto to say “We’re not able to check availability or upgrade the ticket here but you can contact our Customer Service team via SMS, WhatsApp or over the phone, and a member of the team will be more than happy to look into this for you.”. Again I don’t suppose it ever occurred to him he could make the supreme effort and answer the problem himself or even send my request to them. Oh, there’s me thinking I’m a CUSTOMER dealing with CUSTOMER SERVICES, but wrong you’re dealing “Leah B Virgin Atlantic Customer Centre”. Yet another sloppy round-shouldered department within Virgin Atlantic who are equally clueless as to the concept of customer services.
6 Well it’s raining and I like a challenge so I go to the web page suggested by Leah, and not a whiff of how to get in touch via Whatsapp. Never mind I battle on, track down their telephone number and figure out how to use Whatsapp to get in touch. About 7 WhatsApp questions later and I’m shown a link to a form where I can yet again, for the umpteenth time, enter my original request.
It seems that the only sensible solution is to grin and bear 90 minutes of Virgin’s awful music on hold and hopefully talk to a sentient being with a brain and the desire to actually help. Sadly no doubt at the end of this sorry tale it will be the usual answer that we can’t use our points on this flight even though there are seats available. They’re just a rip-off.
By now you’re probably wondering why I bother flying Virgin Atlantic. Well, that’s simple, it’s a great comfortable flight and the front line cabin crew are awesome, have superb customer care skills, are pleasant, obviously really enjoy their job and have such a positive mental attitude. Unlike the jobsworths that infest and loiter around the back-office functions.
So, Dickie if you can be bothered listening, perhaps you can get me an answer? In the meantime here’s my free advice to you. Dish out some brown envelopes to the indolents in CUSTOMER CARE management and replace them with some of the cabin crew who really understand customer care.
After a leisurely morning hunkered down watching the rain. We take a stroll up to “The Strip” to explore all the restaurants available. It’s your typical Brit abroad place, plenty of bars with English booze, English football, pub food – why do these people bother to come abroad, they could stay at home a lot cheaper. Fortunately, amidst these Brit bars, there are many tempting Greek restaurants.
Then it’s off to the local supermarket for a top-up of basic supplies, water and beer. As usual Wendy’s quite right this supermarket is so much better than the giant hell hole we went to the other day. Amazing how much English food they have, even Bury black puddings, and awesome they not only have Hofbrau Original but also Paulaner.
Back home for afternoon tea and for Wendy scones, while sat in our sunny alcove.
After Wendy’s usual lunch, today’s little excursion was to the Dead Centre of Paphos, the Tomb of Kings. Yet another World Heritage site.
So there you are some third century BC clay tablet billionaire, politician, or political lickspittle and you sign up for the co-op‘s premium platinum burial plan in the hope for a superb final resting place and burial plot, along with a few amphorae of wine for the journey to the afterlife. Alas, your plans for all eternity are snookered as along comes some geezers from UNESCO to relocate your body and turn your expensive burial plot into a tourist attraction. Just another one of life‘s or death’s little tribulations. If that was me I’d want my money back.
Tea in and an alcohol free day. End of another sunny day.
What a nightmare car hire has become. Hertz, my preferred supplier, oh so easy to deal with and has good SLI and CDW as standard, have gone through the roof with pricing. £80 to £100 a day for a small car. The other car hire companies are a nightmare of weasely SLI and CDW terms and conditions, you need a Philadelphia lawyer to interpret them. Found Turo, a peer-to-peer car sharing app, like Airbnb for cars, makes so much sense but by the time you’ve put their sensible level of SLI and CDW in place they’re as expensive as the rest. Would be a great alternative if only the excess insurance companies would cover them.
After lunch, it’s a stroll along the rocky beach and then around the neighbourhood. We really have picked an ideal spot, great sea views, lovely garden, upmarket, quiet and peaceful neighbourhood yet just 5 minutes stroll to the strip for restaurants and shops. A good supermarket, full of English goodies, is only 10 minutes stroll away.
Looks like we’re dining in tonight, now Wendy’s discovered a Lidl. Have to say having a home rental is a real home from home, so much preferable to hotel, cruise or even caravan, although Wendy would disagree with the latter.
Breakfast in glorious sunshine, on the patio, watching a hawk hover over the cliff tops in search of breakfast. How good can life get. I can’t ever remember having breakfast on the patio in Belthorn. Come to think of it why do we even bother with a patio.
I see scientists have done a major meta-analysis of all the research and come up with the result that wearing a face mask gives you 53% protection from Covid. Yet the SSS (Stupid, Selfish, Snowflakes) still can’t get it. To save you the trouble of reading it, in the hope that common sense will prevail, here is a summary of the findings. “Results from more than 30 studies from around the world were analysed in detail, showing a statistically significant 53% reduction in the incidence of Covid with mask-wearing and a 25% reduction with physical distancing. Handwashing also indicated a substantial 53% reduction in Covid incidence…”.
Glorious sunshine so we drive up to Pegeia, a place we stayed back in 2008. We were planing on a walk around but there’s not really much there and Coral Bay is so much better. Drive down to the sea caves, yes we’ve been there before but can’t really remember much, but we have photos. Have a pleasant stroll around, all very picturesque. Time for more photos.
Tea in tonoght and more exciting TV. Finish off the bottle of merlot from last night. Think I’ll give up buying or drinking wine in Cyprus, a bottle of vinegar is much cheaper.
Another pleasant breakfast in glorious sunshine on the patio watching our local hawk hover over the clifftops in search of breakfast. Then it’s attacked by some black bird of unkown breeding, entertaining aerial combat ensues. Blackbird sees off the hawk.