We thoroughly enjoy Bodrum. The town has no cliffs separating it from the sea. Here, waves lap at a beach lined with restaurant tables. Blue and white tablecloths flutter in soft breezes and lanterns flicker under a warm starry sky. Well-fed dogs lie beside the tables and sleek cats lurk beneath. They each seem to have their own restaurant where they receive scraps from the waiters and kitchen staff. The beer is cheaper than in Antalya and so is the wine.
The town isn’t big but it sports a long pedestrian walkway along the shore. Lined with shops for both tourists and locals, it buzzes with an eclectic mix of people. The local men smoke but they don’t stare. The harbour is filled with fishing and cruising boats, sail and motor. Fresh fish fills the fish market stalls and we do our best to eat as much shrimp cooked in as many ways as possible.
We visit the castle and an interesting exhibit about ancient ship wrecks. The original castle was built during the time when the Trojan war going on up the coast. It has been added to several times especially by the Knights Templar in the early 1400s.
We climb a hill to see the ruins of 18th century stone windmills that were used to grind grain for the local population up to the 1970s. Today they stand as still white sentinels that can be seen from several nautical miles off shore.
We visit an amphitheater originally built by the Greeks in the 4th century BCE. Enlarged by the Romans in the 2nd century CE it could accommodate an audience of 10000. Unfortunately vehicles now roar along a busy four lane highway immediately in front of the theatre, but the view across the roofs of the town to the glistening bay beyond still is and must have always been a wonderful back drop.
We take a boat tour out to Black Island – where Cleopatra is said to have hid out for a year or so when she was persona non grata in Egypt – after her marriage to Mark Antony I think. She appears to have inhabited several islands here abouts. A swim at Cleopatra’s hot spring is on the day’s itinerary. We have bought bathing suits for the occasion. Pat braves the less-than-hot springs but upon her water temperature report, I keep my bathing suit pristine and continue reading my book.
Remember the story about our one-hour boat trip in Antalya that turned out to be 40 minutes.
When we asked about the duration of our Bodrum boat trip we specifically asked if five hours meant five hours. The guy acted so hurt. Well our Bodrum boat trip was lovely. We sat on the upper deck in the sun, enjoyed a beer, enjoyed the scenery, enjoyed an included lunch – for four hours.
After a cappuccino at a marina-side cafe, Pat digs around in her back-pack for her money. She usually carries her purse but we have towels and beach gear with us so she has her pack. We enjoy our day then return to our hotel after dinner. Where’s the key? The owner is grumpy but his sidekick quickly provides another. We let ourselves in but Pat has an idea as to where the missing key must be. The beach front invites another walk so armed with head lamps for the dark stretches, off we go, past the marina, through the pedestrian shopping ally, past the castle, along another marina to the place where we had that morning cappuccino.
“I may have left our hotel key here,” says Pat.
The waiter rummages around in a drawer full of left-behind bits and pieces and pulls out our key. Grateful we stay for a beer before heading back. A gust of wind batters at the palm trees and the stars have disappeared. Shortly after climbing into our beds rain begins a sideways deluge and the sky flashes with lightning. Thunder reverberates against the hills and we decide we’ll take a taxi to the bus in the morning.