I spent two days in Bodrum before heading further along the coast for a bit of R&R in Yalikavak, a smaller town on the Bodrum peninsular.
Bodrum is just like any other Mediterranean resort really (actually it’s on the Aegean, but you know what I mean), complete with ‘bar street’ (wall-to-wall bars that don’t really get going until midnight) and a shopping street where cocky Turkish men stand outside trying to coax you in (‘hey you are so beautiful. I have just the bag for you’).
Bodrum is a city of two halves: on the East you get bars and burgers, where pink-skinned, lycra-clad tourists lounge on the sunbeds by day and prop up the bars by night.
In the West is up-market hotels and designer labels, catering to the marina clientele.
As is common in my life, I don’t belong on either side; I certainly don’t fit with the designer labels but I don’t fit with the sit-in-the-sun all day and drink-in-the-bar all night types either.
Whilst I was there I took a boat trip to Kos in Greece.
Actually I wouldn’t recommend doing Kos on a day trip. Maybe I picked a particularly bad day, but we spent more than an hour queuing to get into Greece (some staff hadn’t been paid so had opted not to go in to work that morning, leaving just one man to process us all). By the time I got through we had only around four hours before it was time to go back.
The next day I headed for a smaller town on the Bodrum peninsular. I lucked out with Airbnb again and found a nice little studio just a bus ride away from Yalikavak, staying in the garden of a British couple who were a mine of local information.
I stayed there for another five days, draining the last dregs of European summer. The water was just about swimmable and you could sit out in the sun quite comfortably, but it was also pleasant enough to go walking, so best of both worlds.
The Bodrum peninsular is very pretty, quite touristy in parts but lots of quieter coves if you go looking for them. A car would come in handy, but I don’t drive and managed perfectly well with the little Dormus (mini buses) that followed a vague schedule and zipped around between towns, with most fares set at less than a euro.
There are little expat enclaves everywhere on the Bodrum peninsular, much like the south of Spain. New properties are still being built, although many existing houses remain empty. There are some bargain homes available at the moment, if you fancy risking your money in a politically volatile country.