Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Turkey Diaries - Day 2: Wednesday 15th September 2010

There's a pattern developing here already: hot weather, hotter weather, even hotter weather etc etc. But there is a lot to be said for the power of factor 50+ sun protection, which manages to fight both excessive sun damage and repeated plays of "We No Speak Americano" at the pool bar. It's all good.

And despite being woken by the 5.45 am call to prayer, I'm confident enough that the quality of last nght's sleep was sufficient to get me through the next 24 hours. That and "Alors On Danse" on repeat in my brain. After breakfast we book for Turkish Night, which is always a must if you are interested in the culture of the country you're visiting, and after a mid-morning stroll down Bar Street we arrive once again at the marina, where it's time for a daily late-morning holiday ritual for us: Turkish apple tea, which is indeed still a very wonderful thing. (British readers can sample the experience as Turkish Apple is one of the many flavours sold in Whittards:

Above: the Bodrum Mariners' Cafe at the Marina: popular with locals

Lunch at one of the many restaurants around the marina area, after which the early part of the afternoon is mainly spent hanging out in town. The longer you spend in any Turkish resort, the more shopkeepers/waiters remember you :O

But the main item on our late afternoon agenda is yet another trip to the hamam - in other words, the Turkish bath. After quite a long journey, the hamam itself is a big hot circular marble room in which we are left to sweat, and sweat, and sweat, maybe for a bit too long until it becomes uncomfortable. After a brief jacuzzi interlude it's back to the hamam where we are all vigorously scrubbed and soap-massaged. If we're being honest, last year's Turkish bath was probably better than this year's, but it's an experience which I'd always recommend if you ever take a trip to Turkey.

After the hamam trip, it was time for that other must-have on a Turkish holiday: faithful travelling companion's Turkish shave. In which a rather good-looking young Turkish man removes facial hair with a large razor. At the time of the shave, "Prayin'" by Plan B was the song playing on the radio, and no, the irony was not lost on me. Happily, faithful travelling companion emerged smoother and unharmed. Job done!!

Dinner tonight at yet another one of those restaurants where we dine at the water's edge. Very nice! One thing I must mention about Bodrum is the abundance of cats, there are hundreds of them, and they will prowl around the restaurants and be your best-friend-forever if there is any possibility of some leftovers from your plate. I've never really been a cat lover, never had a pet cat or anything, but I've been getting just a little broody here. As if it's not enough having a town full of gorgeous men and beautiful women, even the cats are gorgeous, and I want to take one home with me!!

We end our evening in fine style on (where else but) Bar Street, where we take in some live Turkish music in a bar and are probably the only non-Turkish people in the audience. It's such a lively and enjoyable experience. All those people who chose to stay at the pool bar, listening to "We No Speak Americano" on repeat are definitely missing out.....


Rachel said...

Holiday cats! I think I've been adopted by a cat in every southern European country I've been to,and Barbados too.They're always cuter than the ones you see here.

I've always liked the idea of a Turkish bath but it just seems a little bit scary from what you see on telly.

Laura (EuropeCrazy) said...

The cat-thing got more and more intense as the week went on, to the point that there were always three of us at the dinner table: me, him, and the cat. Saturday night's cat was so cute that I was reduced to an almost blubbering wreck and wanted to take it home.

I didn't really know what to expect last year at my first Turkish bath, as I'm quite reserved I guess, but it was great! This year was probably more scary due to the fact that we were left to sweat just a bit too long, and then I had a panic attack when the woman scrubbing me got just a bit too enthusiastic when throwing a basin of water over my head :O - otherwise, not too much trauma apart from my bad back seizing up in the jacuzzi!

Damian said...

About stray cats due to what I saw on my friends photos, they are so thin and Turkish mostly don't like them, probably because there are so many of them. So you're lucky to find beautiful ones. I'm big cat-lover by the way, it's about 5 years since my cat passed away so I'm ready to get new one :)