Research at Beach Resorts
October 6 - 13, 2014 / Bodrum - Bitez, Turkey
From Izmir, we headed south by otobus to the city of Bodrum, and then took the dolmus (local minibus) to the nearby town of Bitez. The area is famous throughout Europe as a package holiday and yacht destination, and you'll see signs everywhere in English, German, Dutch and Russian.
The beaches typically have deck chairs right down to the water's edge, and then local restaurants and bars that serve Turkish and international food for double what we'd paid in other towns. We spent a few afternoons at the beach, and our road-schooling those days consisted of calculating the ratios of skin to tattoos to bathsuits -- on average 10:8:1 -- as well as the impressive degree of sunburn that the average European tourist can achieve of the course of a 7-day holiday.
Okay, I've never been much of a beach guy, but it was nice to take a dip and watch Trish and the kids actually float (in the saltwater). We also went on two interesting excursions:
- a boat ride to visit several bays in the area -- each with their own beaches, bars, tourist shops, and requisite camel rides -- we decided to wait until Morocco. We all had a great time swimming in the unreal blue waters of the Aegean Sea.
- a visit to Bodrum's Castle of St. Peter -- a fortress built by European Crusaders (staring in 1404) to guard the harbour, and taken over by the Ottoman empire in 1522. This castle is exactly what my 8-year-old self used to imagine a castle would look like: square turrets, ramparts, ramps, dungeons, layers of defences and a really nice coffee shop. This castle is also the site of the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology , which houses an amazing collection of artifacts from the various cultures that lived here.
Through an American that we met on the train back from Ephesus (Hi, Brant!), also met up with an Australian family who are also travelling through Europe. It was great to connect with David, Nikki, Rex and Jessica, and we even had them over to "our house" for dinner one night.
Due to a couple of snags with the Air BnB apartment that we were renting -- Note to self: Turkish swimming pools are drained in early October -- we elected to leave Bitez a day early. This decision, as we later learned, would be very significant......
Oh no! a cliff hanger! My kids hate that when I tell them bed time stories. Stay tuned...
In the meantime, here are some pictures from Bitez & Bodrum. Roll the tape, Stan.....