I took a rather roundabout way to get to Cyprus but hey, it worked! The trip all the way to London was on a single family American Airlines pass so of course, it came with a few challenges. I flew out of Dallas for Huntsville as a standby passenger - it took a few tries but I finally got on a flight that landed that night. My brother, Edward, drove down from Nashville to pick me up and we went to my Grandma’s house near Huntsville to surprise her! It was so great (she was definitely surprised) and made the trip to Nashville totally worth it! I then spent the next day in Nashville with Edward and my one of my closest friends, Kat. It was a great day and loved having the day to spend with them.
My next flight was from Nashville to Philadelphia where I had a four-hour layover before flying to London. I had two seats side by side and attempted to sleep but was pretty unsuccessful. When I landed there was a thankfully short immigration line. Heathrow is totally hit or miss on this and thankfully today, when I was in a big hurry, it worked out well. I was in such a hurry to catch my National Express bus to London Luton (LTN) airport. I made the first bus with a few minutes to spare which gave me some definite breathing room.
The ride took about an hour, and as always it was sad not to be stopping in London. Transiting through your favorite city is never easy! Alas, I arrived at Luton and after waiting in a painfully long line got checked in for my Blue Air flight to Larnaca, Cyprus. Many people consider Luton to be the worst of the London airports but I will always hand Stansted that title, though Luton would be a close second place. It has been under construction since when I studied abroad and it looks exactly the same. There are also no self check-in kiosks (a rarity in a major airport) and no direct train access (there is a station ten minutes away that a shuttle runs to, so it’s not impossible). It’s also the airport I slept in when I studied abroad and got zero sleep so it’s definitely not my favorite place in the world.
I grabbed a quick snack, waited for my gate to be announced (I will never understand the logic behind not announcing gates for so long - it is the worst), and then finally waited to board. And it was a long wait. In the freezing cold. They scanned our boarding passes and then made us wait in a stairwell where the outside door was open and it was painfully cold for at least twenty minutes. After finally boarding the plane I completely lucked out - I had an entire row on the plane to myself! There were very few even empty seats on the plane so to somehow have an entire row when I most needed it was amazing. The flight was about four hours and I attempted to sleep the entire time.
When I arrived I had to take a taxi to my hotel, Palm Beach Hotel and Bungalows. The taxi was annoyingly expensive ($25) and was probably the first time in the EU that I’ve had to pay over $10 for transit thanks to the lack of many public transit options. It was unfortunately dark even though I landed around 5:30pm. The hotel was located on the beach, though, which was awesome even though I couldn’t see it! I had an incredibly nice room facing the water and was able to listen to the waves at least. The hotel room was really cool and the lobby was beautiful as well! I’d love to come back to the resort when I have time to spend a few days and relax and actually see the ocean.