Trip Start Oct 24, 2005
342Trip End Ongoing
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Our flight was at 8:40am, so we assumed we had enough time to make our way there by public transport, which began running at 6:00am
At just over an hour, the flight to Bodrum was barely long enough to take off our seatbelts, and before we knew it we were descending over the Aegean and landing at the Mugla Airport. We had just one bag to collect, which was one of the first on the baggage carousel, then hopped on the Bodrum-bound Havas. The Havas is an airport bus that operates in most major Turkish cities. It's an easy way to get to and from the airport, and is usually scads cheaper than hiring a taxi. Turned out only five people, including ourselves, decided to take the Havas that day, meaning we had our choice of seats during the 35 minute journey to Bodrum.
We disembarked and turned our faces to the glorious sunshine -- some excellent warm and sunny weather -- fantastic! Konrad had reviewed the map and thought he had an idea of where our hotel was, so we set out on foot and headed east. The path we took was a bit roundabout, but got us to our destination: Sariyaz Hotel. We'd looked online at tons and tons of reviews and had decided to splurge on this one because everyone had raved about it so much. After looking at our room, we really wondered why. It was nice enough, but small, and a bit dark -- overall, just not what we'd been expecting for the price
To say that Bodrum is a fairly historic city is putting it mildly. Not only does its history date back to (at least) the 8th century BC, but it was also the birthplace of Herodotus -- the man considered the father of history, as well as the world's first historian. Throughout its life, Bodrum has been ruled by everyone from the Greeks to the Persians to Alexander the Great. Its position on the Aegean and on the southwestern coast of Turkey makes it a very desirable and strategic port city. Today, Bodrum is more well-known for its stunning turquoise waters and numerous beaches and discos. That said, despite being a top tourist destination, Bodrum has managed to retain some of its traditional charm; for example, nearly all the buildings are still painted in the classic Aegean whitewash.
We spent our first day discovering what Bodrum proper had to offer, from the ancient Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (a separate entry here) to the Castle of St Peter and its accompanying Museum of Underwater Archaeology (also a separate entry here)
People had told us the city of Bodrum was garishly touristy, but we found it incredibly easy to escape the those bits (and none of it seemed "garish" to us) -- all it took was getting off the main boardwalk, and we found ourselves walking down deserted, tree-lined roads. Making it even easier was the fact that we were visiting in April, a bit too early for the summer crowds. This was particularly evident in the evening when we had our pick of absolutely empty restaurants on the beach. We chose one that offered us views of the lovely Castle of St Peter, sat down, and had some delicious vegetarian food whilst sipping a bottle of Efes -- Turkey's finest. We enjoyed a starlit meander home and discussed our impressions of the city thus far. We both agreed that Bodrum was fantastic so far and that it had easily exceeded our expectations. And with that we retreated to the Sariyaz Hotel, plotting the next day's misdeeds.