I have to be honest with you all, folks: Bodrum was a bit of a disappointment, outside our fabulous hotel, of course. I didn’t write yesterday because we didn’t do much, but I guess it fits with the disappointed theme.
Yesterday, we caught a dolmus, or local minibus, to a nearby beach. We had asked at the hotel which beach close by would be best, and went to Ortakent based on that recommendation. The dolmus was quite an experience – hot, sweaty, and very crowded. The ride there was about 30 minutes, the ride back, an hour and a half. Once at the beach, we found a long stretch of “beach” packed with lounge chairs and umbrellas, club music blasting out of every cafe. We made our way to the closest chairs we saw, after making sure that we didn’t have to pay for them “as long as we bought a drink” from the adjacent cafe. Despite the disappointing aesthetic of the beach itself, the water was cool and refreshing, and that alone was worth the sweaty ride there. We had trouble leaving, however, when the workers of the cafe tried to make us pay 30 lira for our chairs, even after we’d bought a Coke. Chris angrily talked them out of it, which was a relief, but also a mood kill. We grumpily looked for and did not find a place for lunch, waiting instead to get back to Bodrum after an hour and a half on the bus.
Luckily, the rest of the afternoon was spent in our hotel, by the pool, with occasional dips into the air-conditioning, which was absolutely lovely. We had dinner at a nice fish restaurant on the harbor, and enjoyed walking around looking at all the boats as we strolled back to the hotel.
This morning, we went to the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, which Chris had been really excited about. It’s housed in the Castle of St. John, a fortress built by crusaders in . The fortress is fun to walk around in, and has some incredible views of the Bodrum, but the museum itself was a disappointment. It was badly signed – as in, there were multiple placards around with way too much text on them about general history and no signs around about the specific artifacts on display – and had no clear layout. We were both also very tired and incredible hot, and without the group mind-set of the American School to force us onwards, it was hard to get too invested in our surroundings.
After the museum, we unashamedly went to Starbucks for a cool drink by the water. We sat there for a while, chatting about the situation, and resolving to do better then next time we come to Turkey. That’s the thing about traveling, I guess – sometimes you just don’t know how a place will be until you get there. Now we know, though, so next time will be better!
We’re now in Selcuk after another pleasantly easy bus ride. Selcuk essentially exists to serve the nearby site of Ephesus, which we will be visiting tomorrow. I’m pretty excited about the site, and am hoping that I can put some of my American School training to good use!