Turkey: Bodrum or Halikarnasosos I.
We have just landed. I take a deep breath. Finally we are at the Bodrum Airport. We get into a bus and 40 minutes later ride downhill to Bodrum. The air has a salty smell of distant lends, colors have numerous shades, and azure horizon seamlessly changes to the sky.
Beautiful city of Halikarnasos - or of Bodrum… I cant wait to find accommodation. Even Salma Hayek or Enrique Iglesias spent their vacation here!
The dominant landmark of Bodrum is a monumental glorious castle built by the Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes . It is there where I will go first. I exchanged my money for liras, the local currency. It was a good move for you buy your admission ticket in liras! And now I walk around five towers symbolizing nationalities of individual knights. So, there areEnglish , German, Spanish, elegant French and Italian towers. It is easy to remember since those are the language I speak with. Well, I cant talk in Italian yet… I learn that later the knights moved to Malta. There they became the Knights of Malta. Until the present the Pope has been bestowing the order … The castle is administered by the mayor of Bodrum. He is a maritime archeologist and he founded here unique museum of undersea archeology . Now I enter the largest room with an ancient Egypt ship found in sea with its original cargo. When you think of its age, people sailed on it 4000 years ago, it is unbelievable.
After a tour in the museum I walk in a beautiful leisure walk along the harbor. There are many beautiful ships, mostly made in Bodrum. The ships are gulets with lower hull and wide stern. They were pride of Ottoman Sultans for their easy maneuvering in naval battles. In the westernmost part of the Bodrum Peninsula there is the village of Turgutreis bearing the name of famous admiral Turgut Reisovi. He was born here. He was a Muslim but he had Greek ancestors.
At the age of 12 an Ottoman military leader noticed him. For his talent with sword and arrows he took his into his service. With the his help he became a skillful sailor, great shooter, a master of siege, and admirable naval strategist. In 1517, he played his part in the conquest of Egypt. In 1548, Sultan Suleiman the Beautiful made him the administrator of Algiers. He even captured a Maltese galley carrying 70.000 gold ducats belonging to the Knights of Malta, the very knights that built the castle in Bodrum! They collected the money in churches in France to boost Tripoli’s defenses in North Africa that at the time was under control of the Knights of Malta. In February 1550, Turgut Reis sailed with 36 galleys and captured most of Tunisia. Then he seized Sardinia and the coast of Spain. In September 1550 he was surrounded by Spanish, Sicilian, and Maltese ships in the time when his ships were repaired on the shores of Djerba. Even now he used his strategy. He let his ships pulled on across the land, and thus he lost his pursuers and fled to Constantinople. Meanwhile he managed to seize one Genoan and one Sicilian galleys.
Later Sultan Suleiman ordered him to attack Genoa with 112 galleys and 12.000 Janissaries, i.e. soldiers. Eventually, he was hit by a metal shrapnel split from a cannon ball during the attack on Malta in 1565. It was a deadly wound. And this marked the end of the talented admiral.
To be continued...
Text/photo: Sylvie Halouzková
The cars on highway from Sabiha Airport, distant from Istanbul city a couple of kilometres, move slowly ahead. So, it is time enough for the first quick acquaintance with the biggest Turkish town and way of life there.
At the theater once again I try to hitchhike a dolmush and continue to Gumbet, another bay beyond Bodrum. I go there to see the Myndos gate. From there a road to the city of Myndos ran. The gate was on a strategically significant location.
Once again I continue by dolmush to Turgutreis to a memorial to an admiral, and than I walk trough a green park to the port. Then I hitchhike another dolmush and go north to Gümüşlük where the flooded city of Myndos is located.
I wanted to visit Cappadocia, a land of beautiful horses as the Hittites. I bought a ticket bus and rode from Bodrum to Antalya where I slept over. On the following day I rode across the town of Konya where I visited caravanserai (an oriental pub by main roads where members of caravans and their animals ate) and the museum of Mevlana.
We just enter the city of Konya, the capital of former Seljuk empire. I step off from a bus at a bus station. I pick up my map of the city and head to a tower that shows me the way to the museum of Mevlana. The city spreads on a plateau surrounded with mountains.
Many roads cross Central Anatolia. The most famous is the Silk Road. The Sejluks built there traveller’s inns or also called caravanserais to boost trade as it would protect travelling traders.
For many centuries, Anatolia was a center of Chrisianity, mostly thanks to Apostle Paul and his missionary expeditions. His activity took place mostly around the year 41 AD. Christianity spread due to fertile ground it found in Cappadocia.
My journey now goes across ticket barriers to the museum compound, and then to the St Barbora church, who became a Christian against the will of her father. Initially, he imprisoned her and then killed her. Legend has it that he was struck by lightning for this.
I had my balloon flight above Cappadocia at last. In my perspective, it is there where to do such thing is the best. We were at the place at 5.15 in the morning. There were more than 50 balloons being prepared for flights!
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Efes is the most preserved antique city in Turkey and it is rightfully one of the most popular spots. This place was known already in the 2nd century BCE. More than 250 thousand people lived there during its greatest time. In the present, thousands of tourists come here to admire what is left of fascinating buildings. Today, you walk with us on its marble pavement.
I knew that Turkey's largest city offers a many things to do and to see. But it totally surprised me. One week there was like nothing. I can imagine that I would discover even more of local streets, monuments, gastronomy and modern parts much longer. Let's visit Istanbul through video and photos together.
Right now I pass a shop with ice-cream made in Bodrum. I cant miss this place. I take sour cherry, watermelon, and tangerine called dondrumu in Turkish. I continue slightly uphill to less glamorous neighborhood in Bodrum. I go up until a low white wall that surrounds famous Mausoleum in Halikarnassos.
As we mentioned in the previous, opening article, the most visitors are far from attracting its historic center to Istanbul. Whether it is the Hagia Sophia mosque, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, the Topkapi Palace, or just its unforgettable atmosphere in narrow, hilly streets with countless shops. Let's get rid of our article and video.
One of the most important cities of the world – that is Istanbul with its 16,5 million inhabitants. This city is the only one that is located on two continents – Europe and Asia.
A small town Troy is located in Turkey, in western Anatolia. According to a mythos Troy, the Achaeans founded the town lying on the bank of the Scamander River. In front of the town’s entrance, on the parking lot with many free spaces, in a box office you can buy a ticket required to enter the town.
We cruise around the Ortakoy Mosque built by Sultan Abdulmecid in 1853. The construction was done by his architect Nokogos Balayn. It is in the baroque style and it is situated in the European part of the Bosporus. Now we flow under the Bosporus bridge built in 1973 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
Orient – distant, attractive, and spicy land. Just close eyes and you can see it again… Stop thinking about workdays and become absorbed in an atmosphere of One Thousand and One Nights stories in land of bent sabers, reverse half-moon and belligerent sultans. It is a matter of far past when Turks were a menace to Europe and yet people are still fascinated by beauty of Turkey.
With so many memories from yesterday we slept so well. Now we are about to have delicious Turkish breakfast, i.e. white cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, bread… And black tea with much sugar. And we are ready to go. It is like we are invited to see the sultan personally in his Topkapi Palace.
Izmir (also known as Smyrna) has been settled for five and half millennia. The city is located in Anatolia along the bay which is connected with the Mediterranean Sea. The location of the city mean it had experienced rule of many civilizations and empires. The last of them, the Ottoman Empire, conquered Izmir in 1389, in the time when it still was a part of the decaying Byzantine Empire.
Lets leave gray everydayness and take off on a flying carpet to the Köprülü National Park. There we will stay overnight in a pleasant camp by a river and on the next day we will move off to the spring of the Köprüçay River. After this we will continue through Antalya and Pamukkale to Dres.
Now we go downhill to the harbor. We embark a ferry and choose a bench on the upper deck. Soon the ship set sail. The name Bosporus means Cow ford. According the legend, there live beautiful princess Io in ancient Greece.
Pergamon King Attalos II gave the city its name after wife of Mysius Telephus, the founder of Pergamon Empire, Hieara. The city has thermal springs, the oldest is named Apollonis, in tribute to mother of a king of Pergamon.
It is another beautiful day, so I plan a journey to visit less-known Turkish sites. Come and visit together with me places as Priéné or half-flooded Myndos.
Right now I have been sitting on a bench on a railroad station. I am waiting impatiently for our bus to get started on a direction to Istanbul. I will see it with my naked eye, finally! This magnificent city attracts every traveler looking forward to fabulous adventure!
Have you ever heard of the Silk Road? Do you know how long it is or its route? We will join one caravan and will see… We won’t start in China where the Silk Road begins because it would take us 9000 kilometers to its end in Istanbul. Except for Marco Polo not many people walked it through whole. Majority of merchants used just were using a part of the Silk Road, from bazar to bazar where they bought and sold goods.
We are at the horse market. If you have imagination, you can still hear horses. It is here where the Hippodrome used to stand, it was a racing circuit for chariots of four horses. The race took place every year and the Caesar attended it every time. The audience divided into two groups, greens – regular citizens; and blues – nobility.
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