Tag Archives: Bodrum

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

Yalikavak Bodrum Turkey Lovers

Looking Forward to a New Life…

After a day spent in the streets of Bodrum we decided today to see some more of Turkey and take a bus to the town of Yalikavak on the northern coast of the Bodrum Peninsular where we came across this statue.

I am not entirely certain that the translation board explaining what it is about has quite managed to capture the spirit of the story…

 “Leaving Çökertme I felt safe and sound, oh my Halil,                                                But before reaching the Bitez shore all hell broke loose at sea                                  My Friend Ibrahim Çavu, washed overboard, now rests with God                      This is not Aspat, oh my Halil, it’s the Bitez shore;                                                          My heart is afire, deep are the wounds of the bullets…”

but the statue tells the local tale of two lovers who tried to escape from feuding families and corrupt officials in Turkey to the Greek island of Kos but were betrayed in an ambush and were shot and died together. 

It’s not quite ‘Romeo and Juliet’ but it’s just as sad.

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Another Driftwood Boat

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.” 
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

In the shops earlier we had seen some souvenir boats made of drift wood and this gave me an idea.  It would be impossible to take one home given the restrictions on hand luggage so I decided that I would collect the bits of knotted wood and salt bleached sticks off the beach, take them home and, in an Airfix sort of way, make my own so I set immediately about beachcombing and starting my collection.

In the afternoon we strolled to the beach and went for a swim in the sea and I continued my search for interesting bits of driftwood.  Despite her earlier lack of enthusiasm even Kim was showing some interest in the project and by now we had the pieces we needed for the hull, the mast, the rudder and a cabin, some cuttlefish for sails and miscellaneous bits of twig and sticks for the sea.  Later as I scavenged the harbour for other useful bits a helpful fisherman provided some authentic cord which was going to be just perfect for the nets.

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The Latest Driftwood Project

Driftwood Boat

“The sea’s curious workmanship: bottle green glass sucked smooth and porous by the waves: wood stripped and cleaned and bark swollen with salt…gnawed and rubbed: amber: bone: the sea”    Lawrence Durrell – Propero’s Cell

So, it was an unexpectedly early start that day and so began a routine of a balcony breakfast followed by a morning at the beach where we played for a while, then walked for a while searching for driftwood and other suitable model boat building materials washed up by the sea and then rested for a while listening to the occasional drone of an outboard motor, the flapping of pedalo paddle wheels and the gentle plop or rowing boat oars spearing the limpid sea until it was time to take shelter in the taverna and order a bottle of Mythos.

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Kos, Kalmnos and Bodrum

2012 has been a year of revisiting previous destinations but this time hopefully as a traveller rather than a holiday maker.  In 1984 I visited the Ionian Island of Corfu and returned there in July this year staying in the village of Kalami where Lawrence Durrell once lived.  In 1983 I made my first visit to Greece and visited the island of Kos in the Dodecanese and in September this year I returned there also.

In my Corfu journals I mentioned that although I hired a car and travelled around the island as far as I can remember I saw everything but didn’t see anything, so as with the return to Corfu I was interested in trying to compare the two visits because if the Cambridge classical scholar Professor M I Finley knew enough about Greece to fill a barrel, what Lawrence Durrell knew about Greece would fill a bucket and if what I know now would fill a teacup then what I knew then would barely cover the bottom of a thimble!  In 1983 I didn’t have the foresight to maintain a journal and the guidebook that I bought has long been lost so all that I have to help me make the comparison are some creaking memories and an album of fading photographs.

Greece and Turkey – The Boat Souvenir

I had some difficulty getting through the body scanner at passport control in Bodrum without setting it off so this left Kim by herself to deal with the request to open my bag that had gone through the scanner and caused some excitement.  I think she suddenly remembered the film ‘Midnight Express’ when a stay in a Turkish prison was decidedly unpleasant and mindful of this she blurted out ‘It isn’t mine!’ and raising a finger and clearly identifying me as the owner said ‘It’s his, it’s his!’  

The security guard was rather perplexed by my bag of driftwood and a few rusty nails but seemed to accept my explanation about the souvenir boat building project and he let us both pass.

The Corfu Souvenir Boat

Bodrum and Return to Kos

Kos Boat Reflection

Passport control in Turkey was even more thorough than it had been leaving Kos four days previously and our passports were checked at three separate points and our bags had to be scanned as though we were at an airport.  We placed them on the conveyor and out the other side my backpack seemed to cause some excitement. 

I had some difficulty getting through the body scanner without setting it off so this left Kim by herself to deal with the request to open it.  I think she suddenly remembered the film ‘Midnight Express’ when a stay in a Turkish prison was decidedly unpleasant and mindful of this she blurted out ‘It isn’t mine!’ and raising a finger and clearly identifying me as the owner said ‘It’s his, it’s his!’ 

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Bodrum, A Lazy Day on a Boat

Bodrum Harbour Turkey

When we booked the all day boat cruise around Bodrum Bay I suppose that we were hoping to reprise the boat trip day with Captain Ben at Antiparos the previous year because it had been a wonderful day and we rather liked the idea of doing it again.  The full day trip was very reasonably priced at only thirty Turkish Lira so we happily signed up and handed over our cash.

As it was end of season the boat wasn’t overcrowded and we selected our positions for the day on the top deck and waited for the time when the skipper was ready to raise the gang plank, started the engine and carefully manoeuvre the wooden boat out of the crowded harbour.  It slipped past the rows of swanky yachts, beneath the shadow of St. Peter’s castle and into the bay where the sun was dancing like dainty fairies on the water ballroom dance floor.

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Bodrum, A Bus Ride and Souvenir Shopping

Yalikavak Bodrum Turkey

““Do you like that?” I’ll say in surprise since it doesn’t seem like her type of thing, and she’ll look at me as if I’m mad.  That!?” She’ll say, “No, it’s hideous” “Then why on earth,” I always want to say, “did you walk all the way over there to touch it?”  but of course…I have learned to say nothing when shopping because no matter what you say…  it doesn’t pay, so I say nothing.”  Bill Bryson – ‘Notes From a Small Island’

After the previous day spent in the streets of Bodrum we decided today to see just a little more of Turkey and take a bus to the town of Yalikavak on the northern coast of the Bodrum Peninsular.

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Bodrum, Shopping, Saunas and Sightseeing

Bodrum Turkey

There was a perfect blue sky when I was woken by shafts of sunlight creeping into the room through the gaps in the curtains and I lay still for awhile contemplating being in a new country and I began to think of the most obvious things that I associated with Turkey – Turkish Delight, Turkish Baths, Turkish Tea, Turkish Wrestling, Constantinople, Magic Carpets, Kebabs and Belly Dancers and when my mind was quite cluttered up with all of these items I got up and opened the window and was greeted with a powerful aroma that reminded me of one more thing – Turkish Coffee!

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Turkey, A New Country – A New Continent!

Bodrum Turkey St Peter's Castle

It was an early start today because we had a nine-thirty ferry to catch to another country – Turkey, another continent in fact – Asia!  We were travelling to the modern city of Bodrum which was once the ancient city of Halicarnassus of Caria, birthplace of Herodotus, the ‘Father of History’ and home of one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum of Mausolus.

Passport control was surprisingly thorough but I suppose there still remains a bit of diplomatic tension between these two countries but soon we were in the sun on the top deck of the Nissos Kos and leaving the harbour and as soon as the boat was out of site of port the crew hoisted the scarlet flag of Turkey which, once released, danced energetically in the wind.

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