I would have never thought Turkey would be on my list of places to visit, but earlier this month I found myself on a boat leaving a Greek island (Rhodes) for the port city of Bodrum, Turkey… and I am so glad I did. While Turkey has its share of woes, the history is fascinating, the people captivating, and there is enough to see and do to keep traveler occupied for quite some time. 5 days is definitely just scratching the surface.
After arriving by hydrofoil boat in the early evening
( www.turkishsealines.com ) we set out to explore the coastal town of Bodrum. Despite the crowds and touristic feel, Bodrum has an idyllic charm grounding it to its rich history. Perhaps this is because the city is built on and around the ancient city of Halicarnassus, dating back to 1000 BC. We stayed the night at a great little family run pension called the Hotel Gulec (www.hotelgulec.com) . Surrounded by tangerine trees and a beautiful garden, the spotlessly clean and basic room was the perfect transition into Turkey. We spent the evening wandering the streets, tasting great foods, and trying to navigate the hundreds of shops/vendors.
Since Bodrum was just our entry point into Turkey, so we didn’t get much time to experience all that this town has to offer. The next afternoon we were boarding a bus to Pamukkale by way of Denizli. After the bus dropped us off in the tiny town of Pamukkale we made our way to our to our next hostel, the family owned/operated Ozbay Guesthouse. After settling into our room we grabbed a bite to eat at the restaurant onsite. There we made friends with a member of the family, named Euseph, who not only was excellent company but also gave us a midnight tour of the calcium deposits at Pamukkale. This was by far the highlight of our time in Pamukkale. To be there without any other people under the moonlight was simply magical. We had already decided to take a tour of the Roman ruins and the calcium deposit the next morning, but experiencing this first, was awesome. Since the park is open 24 hours per day, I would highly recommend that anyone going have the midnight experience.