Monday, July 15, 2024

The Heritage Of Halicarnassus Fisherman: Bodrum, Bodrum…



If you want to see a blue dream, book your flight to Bodrum, where the heart of tourism beats, and you will not regret it.

Turkey’s most famous holiday resort, the ever-living, ever-sleeping city of Bodrum, is the subject of my article today. Originally a modest fishing village, Bodrum is now known as ‘Little Istanbul’ with its luxury yachts, shops, and summer houses. During the summer months, it has become a small town with a population and traffic that looks like a large metropolis! Despite all this, Bodrum has become an icon, having managed to remain a popular destination without losing any of its charm!

The poem by the famous fisherman of Halicarnassus (Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı) greets you at the top of the hill as you enter the resort, decorated with low, chalky houses dominated by turquoise and white. “The people before you were like this, they left their spirit in Bodrum”. Be sure to feel like that when you leave Bodrum. Be sure that you’ll come back. Experienced before and true!

The center of Bodrum is made up of bougainvillea-lined streets, an inspiring waterfront, and charming markets. While you browse for authentic souvenirs to suit all tastes and budgets, the coastal cafes and restaurants are ideal for a break.

If you are planning to spend a week in Bodrum, there are plenty of activities and places to see. However, if you only have a day or a weekend in Bodrum, you will still feel this privileged holiday route with all your being.

Although it takes about 40 minutes by car from Bodrum Airport to the city center, transport to Bodrum Airport (Milas, Muğla Airport) is quite easy. The high season in Turkey, as in other European destinations, is from May to September. If you visit Bodrum during this period, when both domestic and foreign tourists are at their peak, you will see it at its most magnificent. Although Bodrum may seem quiet during the day, when the temperature reaches 40 degrees, especially in July, it is quite busy in the evenings.

The old town, with its marina and Bodrum Castle, is small enough to walk around. Walking along the beach, which stretches from the center to Halicarnassus, you can see the shops to your left and right and get an overview of Bodrum.

While soaking up the Turkish hospitality in the souvenir shops, your eyes will surely be caught by the ‘evil eye’ beads used everywhere to exorcise evil spirits. I say get one! You will also find traces of the past of sponge diving, which was one of the most important branches of the maritime industry in Bodrum and one of the most important livelihoods of the Bodrum peninsula. Decorations made from shells can also make good gifts at the stalls where sponges of various sizes are sold.

Bodrum is world famous for its excellent quality leather sandals! Do not leave Bodrum without stopping at the shops on Bodrum Bar Street, where you can find all kinds of hand-stitched sandals made of real leather! For foreign tourists, the Turkish Coffee and Turkish Delight experience would be great for a short break. For lunch, try the famous “Bodrum döner” with vegetables.

Like many European seaside resorts, Bodrum’s beach and marina area is full of great restaurants, bars, and cafes. You will be enchanted as you enter the cafes and restaurants that cater to all tastes. On the other side of the marina, Memedof Fish Restaurant is great in both location and taste. Do not go without a reservation, it will be very difficult to find a seat. After dinner, enjoy live music at the Marina Yacht Club and let the music flow. One-to-one to take away the fatigue of the day…

Bodrum Castle, in the center of town, dates back to 1402 and is one of the city’s main tourist attractions. When you climb the high walls of Bodrum Castle, you will have a magnificent view of the city and the turquoise Aegean Sea. You will need to set aside half a day to visit the Underwater Archaeology Museum, which houses one of the most important collections in the world. The antique jewelry collection may also catch your eye.

There are so many hotel options in and around Bodrum that it can be difficult to choose. If you prefer hostels or hotels in the center, you will be at the heart of the resort. You can also choose the magnificent luxury hotels located in the bays far from the center of Bodrum. Even if your hotel is out of town, it will most likely have a shuttle service to the center of Bodrum.

You can visit the marinas and bazaars not only in the center but also in other bays. Yalıkavak Marina, which has become the most popular recently, has become a favorite of foreign tourists with its luxury shops and restaurants. The choice is yours ?

If you don’t have a lot of time in Bodrum, Gumusluk should be on your list! This bay, famous for its fish restaurants and fishermen, will transport you to a fairytale world. Especially if you visit at sunset, it will be very pleasant. You will hear the sounds of music mixed with conversation as you walk along the shoreline, where colorful pumpkin lampshades are used as decoration and the bohemian air is intense. By the way, if you return without buying some ceramic objects or accessories, you will be sorry, let me tell you!

There are many historic windmills on the hills and beaches overlooking the Gumbet and Yalikavak regions of the Bodrum Peninsula. Although the condition of the windmills is not very good, the view is magnificent for those who want to take pictures. The windmills on these windy hills are well worth seeing, especially at sunset!

As some of Bodrum’s best beaches are far from the center, I recommend that you do not end your holiday without taking a daily boat trip. Gulets, traditional Turkish boats, greet you at the harbor. If you want a different day trip route, you can easily sail from Bodrum to the Greek islands of Kos or Rhodes, or take a ferry to another small but lovely resort, Datça.

I can recommend a hammam experience to foreign tourists. A traditional Turkish bath offers much more than a spa atmosphere. There is a good chance that the hotel you are staying in has a Turkish bath! If you don’t have one, you can get the experience by paying an extra fee at nearby hotels! Man is born once!

Time to wake up from the blue dream; Bodrum cannot be described, it is lived. As in the song by MFÖ (famous music group) “Where do I start, how do I explain…”

As I swing slowly on the terrace of my house overlooking Kos, I bid you farewell with a poem inspired by the smell of the summer breeze from Karaincir.


Neptune whispered the gentle melodies

Born from the meeting of the eternal sea and the soft breeze of the waves,

He no longer hoped for her message,

His passionate love for his boat prevailed over her love,

Sailing silently along the shore,

He dropped his anchor to freedom.

May the sunshine be in your heart forever,

See you in the blues,

Banu Demir

Editor & Poet

Instagram: bluevoyage_blueroute

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