On the Ground: I arrived at JFK in late afternoon following a taxi transfer from New York–LaGuardia (LGA). The airport was bustling, but I was a bit early for check-in, so I made my way to the food court for a quick late lunch. Check-in, once I got to the desk following a group of travelers with massive luggage, was efficient and friendly. I didn’t yet have my seat assignment, but the agent took care of that in short order. However, when I asked about confirming a return seat assignment, I was directed to customer service where one harried agent was doing her best to accommodate the needs of multiple travelers while balancing hierarchy, including a group of three traveling together in first class. While she did a fabulous job given the circumstances, the process was a bit bumpy. (27/30)
Pre-flight: I fell in love with Turkish Airlines’ business-class cabin the minute I stepped onto the plane. The “pod” arrangement in a 1-2-1 configuration provided the ultimate in comfort and privacy. I changed into my “comfy” clothes for the overnight flight, adjusted the seat to my preference, accepted a pre-flight glass of Champagne and looked forward to a good night’s rest — an anomaly because I’m not a great sleeper even in my own bed. We pushed back an hour after our scheduled departure time, but flight attendants did their utmost to make our wait as comfortable as possible. (29/30)
In-flight: Once airborne, flight attendants distributed dinner menus and took drink orders. Since I was traveling on a Turkish airline to Istanbul, I opted for Turkish wines in lieu of the French offerings, and I was not disappointed. I sampled a variety of traditional meze (tapas) before tucking in to a fabulous meal. I passed on dessert as I was well into a quickie Berlitz Turkish-language course. (I apologize to anyone who may have been seated near me and annoyed by my occasional bursts of enthusiasm when I repeated a phrase out loud instead of in my head.) When I decided to recline, my seat was so comfortable I was able to sleep soundly, partially on my side, just as I do at home. Flight attendants served a light breakfast, and I changed back into my street clothes, in time for a slightly late arrival in Istanbul. (39/40)
The Experience: I was visiting Istanbul with friends who flew from JFK via a different carrier. My experience surpassed theirs by far.
Total Score: 95/100
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics to determine the best destinations for an upcoming Oktoberfest celebration. The brand’s study found the estimated cost for an American to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is $5,000. Munich boasts a $1.43 billion annual economic impact on Munich. During Oktoberfest, nearly 2 million gallons of beer are consumed and more than 510,000 whole roast chickens eaten.
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