Turkey
Bodrum castle

St. Peter’s Castle in Bodrum, Turkey

We cleared into Turkey at Bodrum, a ritzy vacation town on the west coast.   The restaurants, bars, and shops along the waterfront look more like Rodeo Drive than what we’d imagined Turkey would be like.  After renting a car and driving several hundred miles into the interior, we learned that Bodrum is not your normal Turkish town.  It does have plenty of Turkish flavor, however. We’re still getting used to seeing all the minarets and hearing the Moslem call to prayer five times a day from loudspeakers around town.  The bright red Turkish flag stands out on all the boats and many land-based sights, such as St. Peter’s castle, which guards the entrance to Bodrum harbor.  Even the castle has a minaret, as you can see in the photo on the left.

Bodrum is a popular destination for young

people, especially those in search of discos.  The most famous disco in Turkey, Halicarnas, is right on the waterfront, a fact we learned after anchoring a couple of hundred yards from it’s outdoor speakers.  When the music

cranked up, even our boat was pulsating. Needless to say, we changed anchorages the next day.

We rented a car in Bodrum and drove three hours north to just outside the town of Kusadasi.  There we visited the spectacular ruins at Ephesus (Recognize “Ephesians” from the Bible?  The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the residents there).  We’ve seen a lot of ruins in the past year while cruising Italy and Greece, but these are some of the most well preserved.

It was awfully hot walking around under that Turkish sun, though -- very near one hundred degrees. Ty decided to take a break and rest for a few minutes. In the photo below, you see he chose one of the best seats in the house... an ancient public toilet. (And they used to trust this man with nuclear weapons!)

Ephesus

Ephesus

From Ephesus we drove three hours east to see more ruins at a site called Hieropolis.  The ruins were quite impressive, but the main reason we’d gone there was to see the natural phenomenon called Pamukkale, or “cotton castle” in Turkish.  In the photo below you can see how years of having the water from the hot springs flow down the hillside has resulted in deposits of calcium carbonate. That’s not snow or ice -- it’s hard as rock! We were able to walk along the ledges, and it was well worth the long drive.

Ty in head
Pamukkale

This ancient bathroom at Ephesus didn’t offer much privacy!

Naturally, one of the things we’re enjoying the most is the food.  Everything is delicious and very inexpensive.  Below you see Suzanne enjoying a gozleme - like a big cheese filled quesadilla.  Two gozlemes, the salad, olives, and bottled water came to about $7.  A full sit-down meal with lamb, chicken, appetizers, beer, and complimentary dessert at a nice restaurant only cost $18. 

Suzanne gozleme

Amazing Pamukkale

We’re both still walking around saying, “I can’t believe we sailed to Turkey!” but the sights and sounds make it very clear that we really did do it. 

Suzanne enjoys a Turkish meal

A Visit to Istanbul

Blue Mosque

 

The spectacular blue mosque

 

 

Suzanne gets a drink of juice in front of Haghia Sophia.

 

Turkish drink
Ty at Topkapi

 

Ty is ready to tour Topkapi Palace.

 

Chai man02

 

Turkish tea (chai) is hand-delivered everywhere in Turkey -- even on a boat trip along the Bosphorus.

 

Turkish boy

 

What a cutie! 

 

 

So many hucksters approached us on the street that Suzanne was sure she had a neon sign on her forehead saying “TOURIST!”

 

Neon sign03
Ty with carpets

 

The Turkish carpets WERE beautiful, but there’s only so much room on a boat...

 

Not everything was perfect during our stay in Turkey.  Read the unbelievable story of what it took to get our new hot water heater delivered in the story “You Want it When?