Under the Sun in Bodrum

Our final trip in Turkey was to Bodrum, a place that has one industry: tourism. It’s a beautiful location filled with hotels and resorts. There are plenty of activities that can be arranged like scuba-diving, parasailing, and trips to the Greek island of Kos. Or you can do a whole lot of nothing under the sun, which is what we had planned to do.

We’d had enough with tours of old prominent places and wanted to end our time in Turkey indulging in something that was simply fun. That didn’t stop our Turkish friends from telling us all the things we MUST SEE AND DO.

We love our Turkish friends but we ignored them this time.

We stayed at the Bodrum Holiday Resort and Spa, an all-inclusive resort for families. There’s an aqua park with four water slides, a “relax” pool, an enormous pool where you can swim and play water polo, a beach area (wooden piers jutting out into the clear blue sea from the rocky coast), a volleyball court, a kids’ playground, and much more.

In Bodrum we never heard anyone speak English with an American accent. (We also never heard the Call to Prayer.) At the resort there were plenty of Turks (of course), Brits, Germans, French, and Russians. The latter look the least happy despite being in a warm place on the Aegean Sea with lots of sun. They don’t even smile when they pose for pictures.

Our daughter doesn’t often smile for pictures but she just turned six and she’s uncooperative when it comes to posing for photos and going to see interesting places.

Here’s Meredith being unhappy about going to the Castle in the town of Bodrum.


It turns out that Castle is closed on Mondays.


Here’s how Henry, Stephanie, and Meredith looked when we found out that the Castle is closed on Mondays.


Monday was the only day we ventured off the resort grounds. It was disappointing that the one thing we had planned to see was closed. We didn’t plan very well. Of course, we didn’t plan anything beyond plane tickets and a hotel reservation. The reservation was made with the help of some Turkish friends.

We ate ice cream at the marina,


and shopped for souvenirs with little luck despite all the shops selling nothing but souvenirs.


The three full days we spent in Bodrum were spent swimming in the pools, enjoying the aqua park with its water slides, swimming in the Aegean Sea, getting our vitamin D levels boosted, and eating. Whatever we didn’t finish eating was eaten by the birds.


Here’s the view from the resort.


Here’s the main pool.



It’s a truth annoyingly universal at resorts that if you put your towels on several chairs next to the pool early in the morning, you can wander away and eat a leisurely breakfast, go back to bed, go snorkeling, whatever, and those chairs are yours no matter what.

I hate that about resorts. It suggests a vigilance and competitiveness that ought to be ABSENT from a vacation. Despite that petty behavior, we had a wonderful time. We always managed to find a free chair or two wherever we went.

One the kids’ favorite things about the resort was the daily ice cream service between 2:00pm and 6:00pm at Cafe Turk. The cafe also provided cookies and tea. Often the kids ate ice cream and cookies. Who can blame them for liking that so much?…Who am I kidding? It was one of my favorite things about the resort.

Stephanie, for her delayed Mother’s Day gift, went to the spa one afternoon where she was given a Turkish bath and then a massage. Afterwards, her skin glowed like pearls and she felt rejuvenated. The woman who gave her the massage was from Thailand but had worked in Bali for many years. She told Stephanie she has serviced many Americans in Bali but that Stephanie was the first American she had serviced in all the years she’d been working in Bodrum.

For all we know, we might have been the only Americans in the resort. Not unlike our experiences in a few other places we’ve visited in Turkey.

After our stay at the resort in Bodrum we were ready to return to Istanbul and say goodbye to the city we’ve called home for 10 months.