Don’t you ever think that you will depart as you’ve arrived
The ones before you made that mistake too
They have all left forgetting their hearts and souls in Bodrum
The Fisherman of Halicarnassus
The above poem was written by a famous poet, Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli. He is better known as The Fisherman of Halicarnassus. He was a journalist and exiled to Bodrum in 1925 after publishing a story about death sentences on an Istanbul newspaper and his punishment turned into an eternal love for the beauty, culture and history of this small town.
I am planning to prepare a separate article about him, so I don’t want to go in detail at the moment. However, you must see the shiny look on the eyes of the indigenous people when they hear his name, The Fisherman, after almost 90 years.
It is not
possible to disagree what he thought years ago. There have been many more
poets, writers, musicians, artists who left their souls and hearts in Bodrum
after The Fisherman. I am neither the first nor the last one caught the attraction
of this siren town but I am glad I did. Aegean culture calls!
My own Bodrum story has begun years ago, when I was in the university and searching for a summer job in any of the popular holiday destinations of Turkey.
I think I was the only one who had never been in Bodrum among my friends. I was curious and decided to spend my summer there. I took a train to Izmir first, then arrived there early in the morning by hitchhiking.
When I first saw it, one of the most striking things was its unique little white houses with no more than two stories high. Most of them have gardens and patios filled with orange, tangerine and lemon trees, as well as jasmine and Melissa flowers, with their pleasant scents.
Then I saw the castle for first time, under the orange color of the rising sun. There were some distant lands behind it. I didn’t know they were the Greek islands yet but it was so impressive – and still it is!
I didn’t have money or a place to stay. I sat by the sea side and watch the rising sun for a while, wondering my next move. Then that move found me. Two men walking on the streets came across right behind me and started a chat.
One of them was complaining about his new business. He was having difficulties to find employees for his new bar. Can you believe it? I hesitated to say something because I didn’t know what to say. It was going to be my first job ever. I whispered; “I can be your employee”. And my first boss heard me.
It can’t say it was the beginning of my engineering career, but eventually I found a place to stay, beer to drink and a lot of dishes to wash.
That summer went fast without traveling the peninsula because I was working 16-17 hours per day in the bar. At least I have learned that if you are looking for partying, this town never stops. So I left Bodrum undiscovered after two months of hard work.
It took another 15 years for me to go back. One of my best friends has decided to move there and spend the rest of his life as a holiday. I had to visit him and I did. That was the time when I realized there are much more than the understandable rush of a seasonal visitor running from one attraction to another.
It was an Aegean Autumn; mild and rainy but still I was able to swim for the most of the time. The streets were not so busy. Almost all of the locals had returned their daily lives after a hard work in the peak season and enjoying the calm atmosphere of the town.
In Aegean towns, you don’t need to look for an opportunity to make a chat. Just start a conversation and the rest will follow. Different stories from different people reveal different experiences. So I decided to search for my own Bodrum and took all the chances to visit again and again.
I love being around and learn about the culture, I like to meet new people and I want to learn about web stuff. I like challenges too. As a result, TheBestofBodrum.com idea came to my mind. I just wanted to share my experiences and thoughts with the people all over the world to turn their vacation into a cultural discovery!
You may consider my site as a kind of travel guide, even it is not completely true, and I hope I would be able to provide some hints for you to make it more personalized and satisfying...