‘Isle of White’– Bodrum, Turkey: Days 13 of Europe 2011

23 06 2011

June 23, 2011

Highlights: Road Trip, Broken Bridge, A Budding Relationship  

Okay so it is now June 23rd, we are just about at the half way mark of our trip and what an adventure it has been!!

We perused around Fethiye one last time in the morning and then started to make our way toward Bodrum since it is a pretty long drive and I don’t think we would have been able to tolerate that level of heat two days in a row anyway.

While drive from Fethiye to Bodrum was beautiful and maybe even more scenic than our first road trip a couple days ago, it was definitely a different experience.  A word of advice….if you decide to do a road trip like we did – ensure the gps is updated completely instead of assuming so. This damn thing dearly got us killed multiple times over the near five hours in ended up taking us to get to Bodrum.

We started out quite on the highway as expected and then all of a sudden we were on an inside road. The first thing we discovered was that these ‘back roads’ were barely big enough to be walk ways. I am not exaggerating when I say that I had more room walking to school on the sidewalks of Rundle when I was 8, than we had on these roads. While our GPS did lead us to drive right along the water, which was breathtaking, it took us on a one way street going the wrong way to get there!!! As we were turning the corner on this narrow road we see a car coming right at us, flashing its lights. We didn’t know what to do since there was NO ROOM to move. Luckily, we were able to back up ever so slightly so the car could barely scrape by us. We had to continue on the one way up the curvy mountain for a few metres because there was no other option. Thankfully there weren’t any other cars on the road or we would have been in some serious trouble.

So we’ve been driving for about 3 hours now, and the GPS says ‘Turn Right.’ So we do and a minute later F says ‘OMG wtf!’ I look up and we are now facing a completely torn apart broken bridge. Not gonna lie… I was more than a little scared out of my mind. If we had driven even half a metre more, our little Hyundai Accent would have fallen right over and I’m confident we would no longer be. My first few thoughts were ‘Okay, we are alive, it’s fine. Everything will be fine. I really hope we don’t have to drive back because that would suck badly… How the hell are we going to re-route this? Damn u idiot gps.’ My next thought was ‘Agggh I have to pee so badly and I just can’t hold it anymore! There have been no gas stations for miles. Unlikely we’ll see one anytime soon. Faaaaaak.’

Well, as unnecessary as it may be to share this, I am a blogger of full disclosure, so I can now say that I have officially had my first ‘squat to pee’ experience.’ Gross I know… but it actually wasn’t all that bad. Thank gawd we took a toilet roll from our last hotel and had plenty of anti-bacterial gel to spare!!! 

Okay, back to our dilemma. We have one broken bridge, a stupid gps, a nervous wreck driver – Farhan and…. another bridge just another kilometre ahead! Phew!!! As I was walking back to the car, I noticed a car driving across the water. My sharp intuitive thinking allowed me to decipher that the car was not that of Moses, but another bridge serving the same purpose as this silly broken one should have! Hooray we’re saved. And naturally, as soon as we got back on the road, we saw three gas stations all which I’m sure had bathrooms… ah well – it’s nice to be one with nature? J

Now I know I have been talking about this road trip for a while, but seriously… I think it has been one of the highlights of this trip. On top of everything else as f was zipping around these hairpin bends, he all of a sudden slows down dramatically. Why you may ask… because there is an itty bitty turtle waddling across the street! After everything we have seen, I would not have been the least bit surprised if I had seen a hare follow it a minute later.

We drove through so many small villages and towns on our way to Bodrum, towns we never would have seen otherwise and it was just such a cool experience to see local farmers…farming; cows feeding their baby calves, women in their headscarves and long flowing skirts hanging clothes to clothespins waiting for them to dry on the roof and of course the kids. What would a village description be in there were no kids playing in the street? I sort of felt like I was on the set for that movie ‘Three Amigos’. You know the one I’m talking about… with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short.” Remember when they first stumble upon the village and the all meet three hot women and soon learn they have to duke it out with ‘El-Guapo’’ and “Hefeh”? Well anyway… the drive into some of these villages reminded me of the village scene on the Three Amigos. I’m just trying to help you relate to my experience!

Finally I can stop talking about the madness of our road trip and tell you about this city! Bodrum the land of the party! Or not?? As we approached the city limits, all we could see was hills and hills of White Houses and buildings on top of a huge body of bright blue water with tons of yachts and little boats sailing somewhere beautiful I’m sure. What gets me is how different every single city we have been so has been so different from the other. Everytime I think ‘okay this is my favourite city’ we go somewhere else and I have the same thought. Though I have never been to Greece, I would imagine that Bodrum is the Greece of Turkey. My humble apologies to those reading this if I am wrong.

‘El-Vino’ was the name of our fabulous hotel that was engulfed in trees and pretty pink flowers. This time I sort of felt like…Little Red Riding Hood in the middle of the forest. All I needed was a basket of goodies since the cat greeting me at the entrance was my wolf. Have I mentioned how much I dislike and am afraid of cats… and they were EVERYWHERE in Turkiye!

Our first night in Bodrum was pretty low key considering the intense drive we had earlier. We spent it having dinner on the roof – a must if you visit Bodrum, even if you aren’t staying at this hotel. The food was fabulous and the staff was so friendly. We had quite the chat with our waiter, ‘Ahmed’ about his views on religion, praying 5x vs. 3x vs. 1x a day. His view was ‘If I am not in a good mood, and I have one drink, it makes me happy… that’s not Haram. It’s okay.’ It’s a good thing he thought that too as we had just ordered a bottle of wine for our table.

Funny story – during dinner, we saw a woman dining alone. At the table next to her was a man, also dining alone working away on his laptop (and checking facebook – I peeked J ). At the start of the night, it was clear that the two did not know each other; however this slowly changed throughout the course of the night. I didn’t see how it started, but I’m going to assume he started to chat it up with her. Their conversation became quite intense over the next hour and it was about this time that I wished I understood Turkish. The waiter takes his plate away, and brings him dessert moments later. Right then, he moves over one seat to be a bit closer to her (it’s a four person table – 2 on each side obv. There was initially one seat between them). We notice that they are both guests of the hotel as they have left their hotel keys visible on the table…interesting! Now although this conversation is going strong, it appears pretty clear that he is feeling this chat more than she is. Not to say she isn’t, because she is… he was just more ‘excited.’ I will also mention that both were fairly attractive individuals. Although F and I didn’t stay to see if they left together or not, I predicted that they did and a year from now they will be happily ever after… we just witnessed the budding of a new relationship. However, F predicted that it will end badly as he is married with children and she is a home-wrecker. Shame on you for thinking the worst F…. and blaming it on the girl! If anything, he seemed more into her… I’d blame the home-wrecking on him. Jerk.

We ended this night checking out the ‘city center’. Even though there were no plans to party or go to the bar… we could hear music from our window so we needed to see what it was all about. For a Thursday night, this place was pretty crazy. Clubs were full, shops were still open and people were still shopping… at midnight! After a little exploring, we decided to call it a night… it’s been a long day and my delicate little flower is just getting sicker by the day. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day! Goodnight!!