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Travel Tuesdays | Bodrum, Turkey

Bodrum-Turkey_0027We were in Turkey on Canadian Thanksgiving 2008, which I still think is pretty funny. Turkey? Thanksgiving? Okay, maybe not that funny, but this was an amazing leg of our trip. Thanks to a tip in Cosmopolitan Magazine, of all places, we were able to book a super cheap Mediterranean Cruise a couple months before leaving for Europe. How cheap? For a week’s accommodations and half board (breakfast and our choice of lunch or dinner), we paid about $320. Yup. What a score! This was our “vacation” smack in the middle of our 3.5 month backpacking trip. It was a week where we could actually put our toothbrushes in a holder. Where we had room service! Where we could just relax on a beach and not worry about where to go and how to get there.

We had a small cruise ship that was actually a converted ferry, so we were able to dock in port, unlike the big ones. This meant more time on land! We travelled from 2am-9am most days, then had the day and evening to explore a new Greek island every day. Except for the day we were in Turkey!

I find it so hard to believe it’s already been six years, but then I look at photos like these and it’s pretty obvious!St. Peter’s Castle was built in 1402, back when Bodrum was still called Halicarnassus. It’s been turned into a museum for underwater discoveries of ancient shipwrecks.
I swear I wasn’t topless. I wasn’t even wearing a strapless shirt!The Knights Hospitaller left their mark.In the afternoon we borded a wooden yacht with some others from our cruise. Its top level was all padded, and we lounged while cruising around the harbour. At one point a bunch of us jumped off into the water. It was so warm, and hard to believe that back home in Canada people probably had the heat on inside and wore jackets and sweaters when we were overheating in our bathing suits!Cactus graffiti.We went back to the cruise ship for dinner and were treated to what is probably — to this day — one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen. Rob and I sat on the top deck and watched the sun dip down. As it was setting, the Muslim call to prayer sounded out and reverberated all around the harbour. We got chills listening to it and drinking in the amazing display in the sky.

That evening after dark we went back into the city with some other young people from the cruise. We went to two different bars, which spilled out onto patios overlooking the harbour. The seating was low cushioned chairs that you could lose yourself in. We drank Turkish beer and bought fruit flavoured tobacco and passed the hookah around for hours until we needed to be back on board, gravelly voiced, tired, and ready for the rest of the cruise.

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Ottawa, Ontario