Milas and Bodrum
Trip Start Feb 08, 2008
154Trip End Sep 11, 2009
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Coming from my previous days in Kapikiri to the north of Milas I was fortunate in that the day I chose to move on was coincidentally the day of the Tuesday market in Milas. And my pension host, Emin, was going to the market, thus providing me not only a ride out to the highway at Bafa, but a ride the rest of the way into Milas. I intended to stay in a hotel in Milas and make a couple of excursions into Bodrum. My only real objective in Bodrum was to visit the "famed" Underwater Archaeology Museum.
Money-wise it was probably a draw, the perhaps more expensive pension in Bodrum vs. the four mini-bus trips between them.
But, I saw the Tuesday pazar in Milas. And it is huge. But, I didn't take much time to walk around in the market, which like water, seeped up to the front steps of the hotel I was to stay in. Nothing special about the hotel. But after checking in, Emin went shopping with me for a new "baseball" style cap, as I had left my previous one on a bus--the most recent in a suitcase load of stuff my absent mind has left "roadside."
First Emin took me to some name brand shops. There you might get a cap for, say, 27 Turkish lira; and it has someone's corporate logo splashed across it. I'm an old crank and I don't like being a walking advertising billboard. And have to pay for the experience. So I told Emin that the last cap cost me 5TL in the Edirne pazar. He took me back into the Milas pazar, found the proper area, and I got a solid black cap for 5TL.
Then we said our good-bye, and I caught a mini-bus for Bodrum to have an afternoon look around.
The next morning I had a real delight. The market was cleared of the congestion of the pazar, and before heading for Bodrum I walked straight up the street from my hotel--only maybe a quarter of a mile--and there took delight in a structure called the Gemuşkessen. Gemuş (hard g, ge-MUSH) is Turkish for silver. As I'm writing I don't have my resources for kessen. But, it's a tomb. It might be the most complete 1st century Roman structure. I don't know. But I reveled in finally seeing a pretty complete ancient structure, and one so pleasantly designed. It is said to have been inspired in its design by the long gone Mausoleum in Halicanarssus (present day Bodurm). Furthermore, it is preserved in a small but respectful little park. Probably not many tourist see it.
There was an attendant, who whiles away his time in one of the portable plastic cubes one sees all over Turkey for such purposes. He was sweeping the grounds when I came in, saying hello to him. Later he brought out to me a couple of English language brochures telling of other sights in Milas, including some 19th century houses called the Hungarian Houses, as they were designed and built for european businessmen.
But then it was off to Bodrum for the Undersea Archaeology Museum.
Bodrum is not my kind of place, so I had only the objective of visiting the museum before moving on. Bodrum is by my lights a place for the wealthy to play. The modernized harbor is a port for gazzillion dollar, euro, lira, yen--whatever--yachts. and the laid-back lifestyle.
I actually have an aversion to saying this (ever since in 1970, I think, I overheard someone say it of the Acropolis in Athens), but I was disappointed in the Undersea Archaeology Museum. Disappointment, I concluded since that time, occurs when one's expectations are too high and erroneous. But the museum's promotions raised my expectations.
The museum is in the old castle which juts out from the town into the harbor. I seem to recall that when I last visited Bodrum in 1970, I slept in my sleeping bag next to the castle wall. Now one has to pay 10TL to get into where I think I once slept. Furthermore, two exhibits cost extra money (each) once inside the castle. And another couple of exhibit areas were closed, perhaps because it is still "off season." It all contributed to putting me off the place.
In any case, I liked the peacocks. The "regular" peacock was nothing special. But how often can you photograph one next to a Corinthian capitol? And, the white (albino?) one. You'd think it was female, in a wedding dress. But I think it's the males with the big fans. Maybe this one is just in drag . . . .