30 April 2010 – airport disaster

Champagne at the airport

Champagne at the airport

What a day! Flying has never been my favourite thing. Enclosed spaces with no way of escape are a bit of a phobia and not having both feet on the ground doesn’t help, especially when the ground in question is thirty thousand feet below. I’m not mad keen on airports either. First the blasted metal detector went off when I walked through. That isn’t unusual, I’m pretty sure I must have a metal plate in my head I don’t know about because it always goes off. They made me go back through, take my shoes off and try again. It still went off and they spent ages waving that blasted beeping wand thing over me before finally deciding I wasn’t smuggling gold or carrying a lethal weapon.

Once we were finally airside we did stop for a glass of Champagne. Well, it is almost my birthday and our wedding anniversary after all. By this time we didn’t have much time for anything except buying a bottle of water and some sweets in Smiths. The place was heaving and there was a long queue. Commando was keeping his eye on the boards while I was in the shop and by the time I finally came out our flight had been called so we had to dash off to the gate.

Apart from the champagne stop it felt like it had been a mad rush so I sank quite gratefully into my seat on the plane. The usual announcements were made about switching off mobile phones. I began to fish about in my bag for mine, just to make sure it was turned off. It wasn’t there. Feeling increasingly panicky I began to dig ever deeper in my bag, I was getting things out and piling them up on my lap. Commando even tried ringing it, it went straight to voicemail but there was no ringing coming from my bag.

Eventually I had to concede defeat, the phone wasn’t in there. While I’d been faffing about in Smiths, clutching two bottles of water and sweets and getting my purse out someone must have lifted it from my bag! Not the best start to my dream holiday. I wanted to cry. It was a brand new phone too. Still I was determined not to let anything spoil this trip so I forced myself to forget about it. At least it was insured. In the final moments before the flight attendant came to check we all had a our seat belts on and our phones off Commando rang the insurance to report it and get it blocked.

Four hours later we arrived in Turkey. It was boiling hot and there was no sign of our transfer. Usually there is someone holding up a board with your name. This time there was nothing. We booked the transfers along with the flights through Thomas Cook and, eventually, we found the Thomas Cook help desk. They, rather ungraciously, directed us to the other side of the car park where our taxi was waiting. On top of the phone debacle it didn’t make for an auspicious start.

The Rixos Prime Hotel was as amazing as I knew it would be. When I was working at Dream Factory I stayed there while leading an educational group and it blew my mind. There and then I decided it was where I wanted to spend my fiftieth birthday, seven stars can’t be wrong can they?

Unfortunately, no matter how good the hotel, the management have no control over other guests though and the place was full of large, mullet haired Russian Men with tiny, stick insect Russian women sporting pneumatic silicone boobs who all looked like they could be stuck to a window by their plumped up, collagen filled lips. They were rude. Very rude. Not just to the staff but to the other guests. This is not a racial stereotype, just a statement of fact. there are probably some lovely Russians but it seems like the ones with enough money to stay at seven star hotels are obnoxious. A group of them were checking in as we were and more or less pushed us out of the way. This did not improve the mood.

When we got to the room though we began to relax. We had a beautiful view from the balcony over the artificial river and the little bridges. We could see the sea in the distance and the gardens. The two double beds were enormous, as was the TV. There was fruit and wine on the table for us. Heaven. Now if only I’d had my phone I could have posted some pictures on Facebook to make everyone jealous.

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