17 October 2016
3 DAY TRIP OF 5 BLOGGING LADIES
Cause of my Visit
Number one I am a big fan of taking side season trips when the weather is awfully cold here in Switzerland to visit warm but not high season tourist packed destinations for a few day escape. I just find that its good for my mind and body to get a clean and radical break from things every now and then. My job requires continuous creativity, high energy and constant as well as sincere motivation - so to keep that pulsation throbbing I need to give it inspiration and radical change every so often. Number 2 its no secret, as we can take from our local news, that Turkey is facing a bit of a struggle currently due to difficult political situations with many prefering to visit areas that is conflict free. In response to this movement the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism is opening its doors to press and bloggers to give a peek of what the reality inside Turkey really looks like. Because the best impression is one of an unbiased traveller looking at things unfalsified with his own bare eyes. So let me give you my views and impressions! Of course both reasons were reason enough for me to visit. I am always interested in getting first hand impressions of any situations, plus I love turkey from previous visits and was just wishing to visit a new region in the country and to spend some days relaxing and finding new cultural and culinary inspirations for my work back at home. I didn’t go alone - we were a group of 5 lovely girls, all very different but I enjoyed getting to know each of them.
The Doria Hotel
The Hotel was nice, but perhaps in relation to the whole trip not overly impressive. Service was not to highest standards, but very friendly and everyone tried hard. I am sure there are some better Hotels though in the region (such as a Mandarin Oriental which had been recommended to me) so I am not sure if I would choose this hotel again for my next stay in Bodrum. But it was okay and reasonably rated, clean with spaceous bright rooms and lobby plus an amazing sea view.
Landscape & Architecture
Not only warm climate and sea - Bodrum also features nature and architecture which is tremendously beautiful. I found it to be a nice mix between charming white houses with a traditional build but somehow still looking clean fresh and of a higher building standard than you’d expect to see in most cities. It becomes apparent that there is prosperity in Bodrum with many wealthy turkish families having their holiday homes there plus international tourism of course. So its really pretty and well built but still has that local charm and palm trees lined streets to give it a real vacation feel from hour one after arrival.
Culture & Sights
Rich in culture and heritage Bodrum offers an abundance of historic sites and museums to visit for anyone interested in past and culture of the region. Bodrum is really open to explain and tell its story to the curious traveller. During our trip we visited the historic Castle right by the marina where the ‘father’ of Bodrum, who first made it known through his writings, had actually lived. We also visited a historic theatre and mausoleum - but my favourite site and must see was actually the windmills located on top of a hill and offering the most stunning view over Bodrum that one can possibly imagine. My mind was quite literally ‘blown away’ by it.
Another ‘must do’ if you are visiting Bodrum, even if it is just for a couple of days, and provided you are not prone to seasickness, is doing a blue cruise. We’ve experienced such a cruise on our third day of stay being hosted by one of the Boats of the regions leading Yachting Company Bodex. The business offers different boats in various sizes and building standard at the equivalent prices, really being able to offer a boat experience for any budget. Many of the boats are motor sailing boats with a wooden build and a very unique authentic charm. The boats come with a captain and on board private chef that prepares all the meals upon the guests full discretion and wishes. For travellers spending over a week in Bodrum its definitely recommendable to divide the stay into 2 parts and include a several day cruise into the holiday. It enables you to experience different marina’s, swim, whilst at the same time enjoy the complete privacy and custom service that you only find on a yacht.
The Turkish Cuisine
The Food overall in Bodrum was AmAZING!!! I felt that I spent half of the time eating and still came back lighter than when I left. It was healthy, tasty, wholefood local cuisine and we tasted all the specialties such as grilled fish, köfte, ayran and the turkish mezze. I went home with a cookbook from the region and really exited to try out some of those dishes and see how well I do with them at home :)
We had an especially beautiful dinner experience in the village of Gümüslük, where a series of lovely restaurants lines a romantically lit waterfront and local fish is served. We enjoyed that together with some Raki - the turkish national drink - and listened to the sound of the water and clinking cutlery. It was relaxing and peaceful and simple and really nice. I enjoyed my evening there very much.
Of course I also bought some food for home - one of the local street shops offered an abundance of dried fruits (even dried cherry tomatoes) and delicious juicy dates that I don’t find in Switzerland. Plus a multitude of other dried fruits and spices. I got a big bag with everything I liked to bring back home and into my kitchen.
Safety & Political Situation
Its a lot of talk currently about the political situation in turkey. And it was unfortunately topic on our dinnertable from night one. Its just something that occupies peoples minds and worries us, so naturally theres the urge to address it. I find that politics has little to do every day life in any country however and I am not the one to judge a people or city by whats happening in parlament. I see many things happening on the political level of my own country Switzerland, that I do not agree with, and I am happy that nobody is confronting me with ‘being a part of that mindset’ as I am swiss. Personally I had the experience during my whole stay in Bodrum that the region is extremely safe, the people are friendly open minded and flexible. I find the general attitude of the people I met to be very western orientated. I also experienced that the local people were open to discussion and a cultivated exchange of views and opinions was possible.
This was perhaps the most outstanding fact about Bodrum. I felt treated very kindly by everyone I met. From the Hotel Check-in, to people not bothering me much at the markets trying to sell things. On day one we spontaneously were allowed to visit someones boat and have a drink there. On the last night we were just driving back from the restaurant and heard some local music. We followed the music and were lead to an open late night wedding party. First we just wanted to look at the ongoings from a distance - but our guide encouraged us to just enter the party. I thought that we were going to be kicked out - like ‘wedding crashers’ literally. But the opposite happened. The groom came and offered us a meal, the ladies came and picked us up for dancing. It was quite wild - and really beautiful. I was inspired by the friendliness and hospitality.
We were welcome & I definitely plan to return.
I've put together some impressions sharing Bodrum's Beauty on my VLOG
Beatrice from Askthemonsters - www.askthemonsters.com
Stéphanie from Turning Point - www.sgturningpoint.com
Kristina from BeneaththeCoat - http://www.beneaththecoat.com/