The hotel had 5-6 floors and was built on the side of a cliff. Despite the fact that the architecture does not predispose to positive, it had a stunning view of the city harbor. At 9am, we went for our breakfast enjoying this view...
Our breakfast was classical Turkish: tomatoes, cucumber, egg, salami, olives, cheese, yellow cheese, jam, honey, butter and chocolate spread chocolate. Of course we had the choice of coffee or tea. Almost in all accommodation served the same. The guys were not particularly thrilled, but it was that we needed to get forces and start our day.
The current program we had not set. We wanted to be able to get up to Marmaris, but it would be difficult. Generally, the area of the coast has many attractions, a visit which takes considerable time. We thought that we had to choose only one of them in order to be able to continue our trip, without having to start going faster. So we felt it would be better to focus on the very basics and especially those that could not find in our country or elsewhere. Of course everything is unique but it could not be otherwise.
Being relatively late, we started at 10:30am, with destination the ancient city of Priene. Following the signs originally to Soke (30km), we drove down a street with moderate pavement but in many parts of the scenery was very beautiful, consisting of pines. After spending the Soke, a little later we met the crossing for Priene & Milet, and followed a secondary road, probably worse than the previous one.
In a few miles we arrived at the village Gullubahce (15km), which was relatively close to the archeological site. After paying the entrance fee (5TL/person), we started to head towards the ruins of the ancient city. Unfortunately, the heat made it difficult for us, but for our good fortune, the area had some pines, giving us a few moments of relaxation and rest.
The ancient Priene is one of the 12 Ionian cities. Built by the Greeks 1000B.C. and is known for 2 reasons: the first is the Temple of Athena and the second -most important- and how it was rebuild. Its layout includes parallel and perpendicular streets between them, which many modern cities would be jealous. Priene, because of its close relationship with the Greeks, degraded by the Romans after its capture by them, leading to decay. The positive thing is that in this way was able to maintain the Hellenistic character.
The heat that prevailed did not leave us room for detailed itinerary. However we got a good picture of the ancient city. Then we returned to the nearby village to rest but, especially, to cool down in the shade of a huge plane tree at a local cafe. We left the area along the road to Milet (Miletus) who abstained 24 km. Determined that we will not visit the interior of the site, we preferred to see the mosque of Eliabey that was found within walking distance (3-4km.) of the ancient city. We wanted to see something different.
So we continued after-Priene-a narrow path that ran in its biggest part of the cultivated land. Once we arrived at the archaeological site of Milet -to be honest-I thought-external-that it was more beautiful than the Priene, in the contrary to the guide-book. Nevertheless, we decided to visit only the mosque of Eliabey.
Thus leading to a dirt road 300-400m., we were at the entrance of the mosque. This Islamic place of worship that is open to the public without a ticket. It has been restored very well. Its specificity is the colored marbles of the walls. As for its story, it is a building that formerly was the forerunner of kuliye (Islamic temple of worship and an area for community service). The existence hamam and many complementary areas, many supported the view that the previous use was kervansaray or medresa.
We scrutinized for quite some time the area and then we took the road to Bodrum (120km). After a few miles (20km) the road passed beside the lake Bafa golu which is one of the most beautiful lakes in the area. Unfortunately the road works were in the street, did not allow us the flexibility to enjoy the ride. However, from the few pictures we managed to shoot, we found ourselves this beauty! The route continued in a landscape with many trees and olives. Arriving in town Milas (Mylasa) turned to Bodrum (53km) leading a more wide street with many trees. At some point after the route followed the coast making the landscape more spectacular!
At 5.30pm., we arrived in Bodrum (ancient greek Alikarnassos). It is perhaps the most famous seaside resort in the country. There are many who call it "Turkish Mykonos" and may not have been wrong! From the moment we approached the area near the port, we saw the great tourist development. Crowds circulated everywhere. Tourist shops, restaurants, hotels.
We met the road leading to the marina where there is the most important attraction of the city's Castle of St.Peter. Making a small mistake in some way, we had to do circles, thus wasting valuable time. Unfortunately the time to visit the castle was till 7pm. and the time had already reached 6.15pm. It was impossible to manage to see it.
So we decided to spend the night in Bodrum. The truth is that we had originally decided to avoid this, as the city is both accurate, the other does not fit the character of our trip, as it has mostly nightlife, clubbing, etc. But our desire to visit the castle changed our plans. So we started looking for inexpensive accommodation. The effort was rather futile. At least, in the phase where we were, despite our efforts, we managed to find a hotel (Hotel Maya) the price 180TL/triple room with breakfast, which fortunately was near the marina. We took a bath and went out for dinner to a restaurant that suggested by our hotel. I cannot say that our choice was successful, but what the hell...
Overall, the 2 days we were in Turkey we were moving in-maybe-the most touristic area of the country. Touristic development has altered somehow the character of the area. I was hoping as we continue to change the situation somehow. It really was a pity that the guys would not know the Turkey that i know... The Turkey with the real and genuine hospitality...