Bodrum

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!

Pictures!

The entrance to the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

The entrance to the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

A weird pipette type thing used for getting wine out of an amphora.  Who knew?!

A weird pipette type thing used for getting wine out of an amphora. Who knew?!

A "Roman governor" at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

A “Roman governor” at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

A cool/weird display of Roman glass, where the glass was lit from underneath and there was no other lighting in the room. - at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

A cool/weird display of Roman glass, where the glass was lit from underneath and there was no other lighting in the room. – at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

A great display on how much ancient coins were actually worth

A great display on how much ancient coins were actually worth

The view from the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

The view from the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Weird display of the Uluburun, a 14th cent. B.C. shipwreck at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Weird display of the Uluburun, a 14th cent. B.C. shipwreck at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Cosmetic cases shaped like ducks - at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Cosmetic cases shaped like ducks – at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Glass ingots - before glass blowing was discovered, ingots like these were melted into molds - at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Glass ingots – before glass blowing was discovered, ingots like these were melted into molds – at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

A huge ass Roman bronze anchor - at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

A huge ass Roman bronze anchor – at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology

In Selcuk - a Roman aqueduct bearing the Turkish flag.

In Selcuk – a Roman aqueduct bearing the Turkish flag.

Welcome to Turkey!

Well everyone, hopefully my blog posts will be more consistent and less hastily written now that I don’t have a crazy regimented schedule to follow every day.

Our journey to Turkey was relatively uneventful. The flight, in fact, was shorter than the taxi ride to the airport – I had just fallen asleep when we began to make our descent. We flew into Izmir, then waited for about half an hour for a bus that took us to Izmir’s otogar, or main bus station. From there, we bought tickets to Bodrum. The ride was about three and a half hours and extremely nice. We were served water and pop a few times along the way, and the seats were comfortable. A very nice way to travel! We arrived at the Bodrum otogar around 7:30 pm and made our way to our hotel. If you ever come to Bodrum, you should definitely stay at the Su Hotel; it’s absolutely adorable with white-washed walls and blue trim, flowers exploding out of every pot, and clean, spacious rooms. Too exhausted to go out and find our own dinner, we ate at the hotel, which was a bit pricier, but worth the convenience. Chris had Turkish meatballs (kofte) and I had lamb served over pureed eggplant (ali nazik), both of which were delicious.

Yesterday, after waking up from the best night of sleep I’ve had in a while, we did exactly what we wanted to do – absolutely nothing. We woke up late, ate a leisurely breakfast, then caught up on internet things. We strolled around the harbor after lunch (which we ate at a rather touristy spot – nothing special) then came back to the hotel, where we essentially sat by the pool for the rest of the day. I cannot even begin to describe how glorious it was not to have to go anywhere at any certain time, and not to have to engage with a group of 18 people constantly. I love everyone from my Summer Session, but man, it was nice to just sit on our little porch and read.

For dinner, we went to a Spanish restaurant recommended in our Lonely Planet guide book, La Pasion. It was a lovely little place with delicious tapas – we had scallop ceviche, roasted mushrooms, sea bass wrapped in chorizo, manchego cheese with fig chutney, and stuffed artichoke. The staff were friendly and helpful, and, to be honest, it was a really nice change from the Greek food we’ve been eaten for the past six weeks.

Today’s plan: more of nothing, but more specifically, more nothing at the beach! And now, pictures!

The entrance to our lovely hotel.

The entrance to our lovely hotel.

Chris enjoying a kebap for lunch.

Chris enjoying a kebap for lunch.

The castle in the harbor of Bodrum.

The castle in the harbor of Bodrum.

Getting some R&R with wine on our porch.

Getting some R&R with wine on our porch.