Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Turkey Part 2: The Port of Bodrum

Our first stop in Turkey was in the city of Kusadasi. Although we enjoyed some nice experiences, overall we were not super impressed by Turkey. The street vendors were pushy and aggressive, the city was a little dirty (at least compared to the other ports we had visited), it was hard to find decent food, and overall we felt as if everyone was trying to take advantage of us.

Bodrom, our second stop in Turkey on the other hand ended up being the exact opposite experience. Bodrum was a European "holiday" type of port where Kusadasi was more of an urban port. Instead of wandering the streets like we did in Kusadasi, we had previously signed up for a trip through the countryside of Bodrum.

We took a bus with a group of 30 others about an hour into the countryside of Bodrum. Highlights of the tour included a visit to a mosque and a meeting with a local family who showed us their handmade Turkish rugs. Although we went into the trip with no intentions of buying a Turkish rug, of course Emi was swayed and I had to lug one back home.

Prepping our Turkish snacks.

To butter us up they served us Turkish wine and a crepe like buttery cheese sandwich. They were served hot. The outside was buttery and flaky and the insides were filled with gooey, fresh goat cheese and other herbs, I think I noticed fresh dill, spinach, and parsley.

Salty, buttery, crispy, and cheesy. A great little snack. We didn't turn down seconds.

After we had a few glasses of wine, some fresh, juicy fruit, and the pastries we were ready to shop. We spoke to a few other couples after we left the house and all of us had the same intentions, but those went out the door when the beautiful handmade rugs were laid in front of us.

After buying rugs, we were dropped off at a local market, where they had olives, olive oil, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

Turkish cheese

I was hungry again so ordered one of the crepe like sandwiches. To make the sandwich they took a layer of the dough off the mound and heated it up on a hot griddle and then filled it with all the goodness.

As you can see they also had some red chili flakes in their to add a little spice. After filling up we went to an authentic Turkish bathe and that was quite the experience. Besides picking up one of these wraps and a Turkish rug, you need to check out a Turkish bathe. A unique, fun, relaxing, out of this world experience that you can't pass up if you ever make it out to Turkey.

What a fun relaxing day we had. We even splurged at the bathes and added on an extra massage. We were re-energized with new memories and a relaxing spa experience and were ready to take on the rest of the cruise.

- Kyle

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