Bodrum to Istanbul (Why I hate buses)

by CameronM Sat, September 27 2003 05:38

Whatever drugs we were taking when we decided to travel on the overnight bus from Bodrum to Istanbul, had obviously worn off by the wee hours of the morning, as I discovered just how few interesting things there are to see in the dark.

We arrived in Istanbul on a Sunday morning, but still the main bus station was crowded. The guidebook says there are in excess of 100 different agents and gates, and looking at the vast complex, I would say they finally got something right.

For no obvious reason, the bus station is situated about 20 minutes from the main city centre, so we boarded the clean and swift Metro rail system, which emptied us out right near a main junction for the tram network. After attempting to gain some sort of understanding into how to catch a tram and failing miserably, we turned to the guidebook for a little advice. Unfortunately either my map reading skills are terrible or the maps that are provided by guidebooks deliberately leave out countless minor roads and appear grossly out of scale.

Whatever the case we decided that Sultanahmet, the area that was the main focus for tourists didn’t seem more that a few blocks away. It actually turned out to be about 2 kilometres. After a long overnight trip on the bus the last thing we felt like was to walk 2k’s carrying fully loaded backpacks, but once you start you find yourself saying, “Oh it must be just around the next corner”.

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Turkey via Rhodes and Kos

by CameronM Fri, September 26 2003 05:33

Kos was a smaller version of Rhodes, with fewer tourists, but an overload of night clubs, filled with young Brits. Like Rhodes, the city contains ruins of an old castle, however it is much smaller and more a museum piece than the lively Old City of Rhodes. The castle provided exceptional views of the harbour and nearby Turkey, as well as a large collection of coins dating back to Roman days.

After only one night in Kos, but with many Euros leaving our wallets, we were keen to board the ferry for the hour long trip to Bodrum, a coastal resort town in Turkey. We were among only a handful of travellers in the ferry, which was crowded with day trippers concluding an organised tour of Kos from Bodrum.

After docking, we headed to the small immigration station to get our tourist visa for Turkey. Thankfully, this was a pretty straightforward process and we were soon lugging our backpacks around the streets of Bodrum trying to find somewhere to stay. The ferry terminus is a short distance from town, so after a few wrong turns we eventually found our way to the main town and settled into our accommodation.

Bodrum, known as Halicarnassus in ancient times is a lively resort town located on the coast of Turkey in the Muğla Province. Like many coastal towns, Bodrum had a castle built to help defend the harbour. Bodrum Castle was built by the Crusaders in the early 115th century on the site of several previous strongholds dating back to ancient times.

The castle occupies a commanding position and is visible for just about everywhere in Bodrum. It is also well-preserved and certainly worth a visit.

We met a few other travellers at the hotel who had been in town a couple of days and gave us the full rundown on the nightlife in Bodrum. Apparently Bodrum is host to the world’s largest open air nightclub (or some such accolade) named HALIKARNAS, after the town’s ancient Greek name Halicarnassus.  The nightclub can accommodate thousands of people and has the ever popular foam-party. Although this sounded like an excellent way to do some laundry, Tan and I knew we were a little too old for the trendy clubbing-set, plus we didn’t intend to spend too long in Bodrum.

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