I've been back from Turkey for a week now. Things have been pretty busy. Turkey was amazing, the weather was beautiful and the people were hilarious.
It was our "last family holiday" with my Grandparents. I've never seen two people consume more eggs and tea in my life.
Over the two weeks I rode a camel, swam in the ocean and into a cave, and got harrassed by so many men I lost count.
The markets were amazing, tonnes of fresh fruit and veg and people were buying it in masses! We felt a little inadequet only buying six tomatoes when the man next to us bought enough the feed an army.
However, not only were the markets filled with mountains of produce, but heaps of Turkish men who set about nicknaming me "Barbie" and "Shakira". Safe to say I resemble neither of which, with the exception of my hair colour. I found myself not being able to walk three feet without a gentleman shouting "HEY LADY!!! HEY SHAKIRA!! Come buy my T-shirts, I give you good price!" To which I'd respond with an apologetic "No thank you" ...but, by this time they'd bagged the t-shirt and thrust the unwanted garment into my hand, and demanded ten lira. I could also walk the length of the fruit stalls having been gifted enough fruit to feed me for lunch. This matched with the "deals" shouted at us such as: "Cheap as Chips!", "Cheaper than Tesco!", "Cheaper than Barbie!". All this occurred every time we visited a market and it became very entertaining...
We did visit some touristy places way north of Bodrum. Ephesus, (one of the 7th Wonders of the World) was apparently one of the things not to miss. Personally I was unimpressed... This amazing ancient city has been ruined by tourism and the people swarmed around the ruins like ants. It destroyed the atmosphere you would expect a place like Ephesus to have.
...Following this we visited the last resting place of the Virgin Mary. Although not massively religious myself I found the experience calming and a far cry from the tourism horror that was Ephesus. Well, until my Dad decided to take pictures of my Grandma, my Mum, my Sister, and I coming out of the toilet... (No I do not know why he did it, and yes it was totally innappropriate at the last resting place of the Virgin Mary...) Unfortunatly for me I emerged first and had to endure my Dad standing there, camera ready, pointed at the door of the toilet, waiting to capture the moment the rest of my family emerged... I don't know who I felt more embarassed for - myself or he poor girl my Dad photographed accidently thinking it was my Mum...
Clothing wise in Turkey, admittedly, I wore maybe a third of the clothes I packed; but I managed to wear every pair of shoes I took except the red sandals. The weather was too hot for most the clothes I'd brought with me and I spent a large majority of my time in denim shorts, back less tops, and bikinis.
The above outfit is all H&M (dress and bra) except the gladiators which are Zara. This dress became my most versatile piece as I wore it as a dress and folded it down to wear as a skirt on our last night.
Geographical wise we were located just north of Gumusluk in Bodrum. It is a very beautiful place, clear blue waters, stunning islands and hills. Luckily some parts remain untouched by tourists, but it is obvious in a few years time Bodrum, and it's surrounding towns will be full of holiday makers.
The sunset in Gumusluk was stunning. It's like something off a post card (actually I'm pretty sure they had one...). This photo was taken from the restaurant "Limon". I strongly recommend it. This establishment is barely visible from the road, but once you enter the restaurant it goes further and further back, out in the open into a quirky, bohemian paradise. The eating areas are outside, but in place of your traditional table are chairs are thrones, elegant arm chairs, rickety mismatched dining room chairs, and long dark benches with plush cushions. The tables were a jumble of long coffee tables, pinic benches, dramatic solid wood, and small stylish tables for two. Adding to the atmosphere were floral prints, a crazy selection of old fashion single standing and smaller lamps and fairy lights that created a relaxing calm as night fell. It was truly beautiful. I really wish I'd taken more photos. The photos I have really do not do it justice.
My sister and I couldn't resist sitting in a couple of the chairs...
An amazing cocktail: Kurant Cosmopolitan. This was the perfect cosmo with a hint of blackcurrent.
Overall, Turkey was a stunning place to visit, the people were friendly - despite the harrassment, and the weather was gorgeous! The only thing I can think of now after returning to the dissappointing "summer" weather that is in England, is how amazing it's going to be to live in California in the blazing sunshine most of the year round!
I can start applying for my visa on Wednesday! After that all I have to do is book my plane ticket!! Only two months until the start of the real adventure and I really can't wait!