Bodrum, Bodrum!

  • Published
  • By Tanju Varlikli
  • 425th Air Base Group Host Nation Advisor
Bodrum, the Turkish town of the South Aegean full of little white houses founded on ancient Halicarnassus, is one of the most famous cities of antiquity. The town will take one by surprise when you start discovering the attractions of this interesting summer resort. Bodrum is built on a W-shaped peninsula along with the famous Saint Peter's Castle, -- which can be viewed from almost every corner of the town.

The castle, into which people were afraid to enter after completion because it was used as a prison, is now the symbol of Bodrum and has the biggest underwater museum in the world. The artifacts include some of the best and biggest amphora in the world. The double handled clay jar with a pointed base was used for storing wine, olive oil and dry food for trading in ancient times.

The castle includes a Glass Wreck Hall as well, where glass and amphora are exhibited from the ship wrecks of the time, along with the German, English, French, Italian towers, the Snake Tower and the dungeon. Before one enters the section of glass ship wrecks, he or she will be able to watch a video presentation of the history of the ship wrecks, and how they were put together again by a team of American, British and Turkish experts in order to be exhibited at the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

If you want to travel back in time, you can wear the costumes of the era and sit in the thrones of the lords for a small donation at the English Tower of the castle. The chapel, one of the first buildings to be completed during the construction of the castle, shows Spanish influences in its ornamentation and heavily decorated facade. On the right side of the chapel is a domed building, the Turkish Bath, which was built around 1895 when the castle was first used as a prison.

Walking along the famous Cumhuriyet Street (called the "Bar Street"), on both sides you can see clubs, bars, little souvenir shops, great fish and steak restaurants, as well as, many hotels and pensions lined up by the waterfront on the way to the famous disco called Halikarnas. Another famous disco in front of the Bodrum Castle is the Big Ferryboat with a capacity for hundreds of people called the Bodrum Marine Club, which sails away after midnight to open waters and returns around 5 a.m.

Once in town for a day or two, you will learn that life starts on "Bar Street" after 10:30 p.m. The amazing dances of foreign tourists on top of bars along the beach on the way to Halikarnas disco is worth seeing. You never know, you may end up dancing with one of them while walking along the famous Atatürk Street. Bodrum Marine Club and Halikarnas discos are the best places to head to for a feel of the Bodrum night life. You will see people at clubs, bars and hotels kicking up their heels from dusk to dawn dancing to the most famous celebrities of Türkiye.

If you do not like the bustling sounds of music and want to have a quiet night, an enjoyable dinner right by the beach where you will be able to see the Bodrum Castle in the moonlight. The marina on the other end of the peninsula is another place to be visited. It has a lot of hotels, pubs, nice historic restaurants and shopping centers in its vicinity.

Bodrum's tourist season ends in October. It is possible to take a ferryboat from Bodrum to Kos (Istanköy) or to Rhodes. During summer months, boats are available from Kos to Bodrum and from Bodrum to Kos every morning and evening. During winter months, they are available only three times a week. Travelers from all over the world can fly directly to Bodrum-Milas Airport and there are flights from Istanbul to Bodrum every day. For more information about the boat tours, please call the Bodrum Ferryboat Association-Bodrum Express Lines at 0-252-3160882/3161087.