First Morning in Turkey
It was already morning by the time we went to bed, so we didn’t sleep for long – just too excited to finally be here. A stroll through the periphery of Bodrum, left me wanting to see more. But I had it in my head that we had to head to Gumbut – I’d read it was the closest place to Bodrum with a lovely beach. Not really knowing how far away it was – we headed towards Bodrum Marina and started to walk, and walk, and walk.
Halfway up a steep hill, in 90 degree heat, we finally admitted defeat, and flagged down the first available Dolmus for the rest of the journey. We got seated, breathed a sigh of relief at being rescued, and then 15 seconds later, we arrived at our destination!
We were dropped off at the end of the beach, and it curved enticingly in front of us. At first glance, the bay looked wonderful. But as we walked along the sand – our visual and auditory senses were assaulted
Our hearts sanks.
All things I profess to avoid at holiday destinations have ended up in Gumbet. Crowded beach full of European tourists, Loud Music and Banana Boats.
We were both so tired from our trip from LA, so we lay on the beach for a short nap, and then wandered into a local cafe for some non-local food (not our choice). The bass was pumping, we were extremely tired, and headaches drove us from the cafe and back onto the beach for another nap.
Neither Red or I said much. But my mind was screaming “what are we doing here?” We’d booked two weeks in Bodrum, and if this was indicative of the local surroundings – I wanted to leave now!
Waking up to Bar Street
We headed back to Bodrum to our hotel, for another nap. And in the evening we wandered along Bar Street for dinner.
It’s one long street along the Bodrum bay, with restaurant after restaurant, bar after bar playing different music. It was a little better than Gumbet — just. We kept walking to the far end of Bar Street hoping the scenery would improve, but I was having my doubts, we appeared to be following signs to the “biggest open air nightclub in the Med”.
Just when I started to contemplate 2 one-way tickets to somewhere else. Anywhere else. We spied an open air restaurant on an upstairs patio, the dozen or so tables overlooked the ocean, and we could hear a local acoustic guitarist playing. At the top of the rickety wooden stairs, we were greeted by a Turkish waiter with little grasp of the English language, and what customers there were, looked Turkish. I felt relieved – this was a perfect place for our first night dinner.
We sat. Enjoying the view of the bay at night, and our first taste of Mezze — and I started to breathe. The contrast of the simple fishing boats and the austerity of the Castle gave me the first glimpse of the Turkey I’d been expecting.