We left Ürgüp bright and early this morning to drive to the airport in Kayseri. İt's an hours drive from Ürgüp and as usual Sezen was on the driver’s seat again .Kayseri is one of the fastest growing industrial provinces in Turkey with a population of over 1.2 million ın Central Anatolia.The city is built on the plains of Mount Erciyes, a distinct volcano 3916 meters in height. The province is well known for sports activities like skiing, trekking, rafting, balloon riding, has one of the most modern soccer stadiums in Turkey and was one of the host cities during the World Basketball Championships three years ago. Too bad, we could not allocate more time here to visit the city due to our limited days in Turkey. We kissed our friends goodbye at the airport, thanking them for their hospitality and help during our wonderful stay in Eskişehir and trip to Cappadocia. İlhan did not make a firm commitment but Sezen told us that she was definitely coming this September to Columbus for a visit.
Our destination was Bodrum, the famous resort city on the Aegean Sea .There are no direct flights from Kayseri to Bodrum, which should take only an hour, instead you fly to İstanbul first, change planes there and then fly to Bodrum. It is like flying from Columbus, Ohio to Boston to arrive in Charlotte for the final destination. It was a comfortable flight to Sabiha Gökçen, İstanbul's other airport on the Anatolian peninsula. There, after a two hour delay at the airport and eating cheeseburgers and french fries at Mcdonald's for a change,we boarded the Pegasus Airlines airbus again and landed at the Bodrum-Milas airport an hour later. Bodrum is about 40 kilometers, or half an hour away from the airport and the area called Turgutreis where we were going to stay is another 35 kilometers from downtown Bodrum. We did not want to pay an arm and leg for a taxi, at least $ 80-90, which would have been almost as much as the plane ticket. İnstead we took Havaş, the shuttle from the airport to Bodrum, changed to a shared minibus from there to Turgutreis and finally a to taxi to our time sharing condo. With two heavy pieces of luggage and three hand bags, going in and out of the vehicles was an ordeal, but we only paid $ 20 for the whole deal.
Today is our last day in Bodrum and we have a relaxed day planned. We wanted to do most of the shopping here and leave very little to Istanbul before we fly back to Chicago.Then in the afternoon and evening we have planned to meet with our friends . After breakfast we walked to the small downtown of Turgutreis, while I was looking for a Türkcell store to buy more minutes for my cellphone, Sitare had already started walking the streets of the market area. We bought few things in Turgutreis, mostly for the two little granddaughters: bathrobes, peştemal towels, bracelets, shoes, a dress for Esra, our younger daughter, and other souvenirs for friends. After having lunch at a Börekçi ( pastry shop) we walked back to the condo, stopping on the way back by an art museum first, and buying some fresh cherries from a grocery store. After leaving the gifts at home we headed back to Bodrum to continue shopping. Of course there are a lot more things to do other than shopping in Bodrum, there are quite a few art galleries, book fairs, arts and craft shops and a lot of bars and night clubs. Bodrum is the entertainment capital of Turkey and since most of the celebrities and musicians are around here during the summer months, there are concerts and live shows in the restaurants and bars.I don't know if it still is, but the nightclub at the Halikarnas Hotel was always the number one choice of young people for decades. We went there few times in the past when both of our daughters were still in college. Most of these places have a cover charge which includes one drink, but they have all kinds of live shows from go go dancers to laser shows and dancing on bubble and smoke filled dance floors.Then there are bars with Jazz or Turkish music. The night in Bodrum belongs to young people and they say : Bodrum never sleeps.