Bodrum, Turkey

Bodrum doesn’t offer much other than the beach. And tons upon tons of designer knockoffs for sale. But, the beaches were pretty and we stayed at a beautiful resort so it was a nice, relaxing trip.

There are two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. There isn’t much left of either of them. I went to see the Mausoleum but because it doesn’t have much to see and it was far from where I stayed, I skipped the Temple of Artemis.

These two videos show a little of the party atmosphere that is standard at the beach club part of Nikki Beach, where we stayed. For the most part, I sat in the quiet area near the seaside and avoided the pool party. But occasionally it was fun to sit and people watch.

The below phots and video are the view from the balcony of my room. It was stunning!

Mykonos

Stunning! There is something really appealing about the barren hunk of rock, glittery turquoise water and white and blue architecture. But, I highly recommend coming here with a good friend or romantic partner because there isn’t much to do alone.

Mykonos offers beautiful beaches, good restaurants and a hopping nightlife. That is about it. Thank goodness I like to read and don’t really mind being alone.

The only things to go visit are the windmills (that takes about five minutes) (There are currently 16 windmills on Mykonos of which seven are positioned on the landmark hill in Chora. Most of them were built by the Venetians in the 16th century, but their construction continued into the early 20th century. They were primarily used to mill wheat. They were an important source of income for the inhabitants. Their use gradually declined until they ceased production in the middle of the 20th century. The architecture of each of them is similar, all have a round shape, white colour and a pointed roof and very small windows.)

and the island of Delos (Delos is a Greek island and archaeological site in the Aegean Sea’s Cyclades archipelago, near Mykonos. The mythological birthplace of Apollo, it was a major religious center and port during the 1st millennium B.C.)

I would have liked to explore Delos but the boats all left between 9-12 and I work from 9-12 and didn’t have a weekend day this trip. I did go kitesurfing one day and horseback riding another, which I enjoyed.

My mode of transport was a scooter (shh, don’t tell mom) and I did some scoot trips exploring the island. It’s not a very big island and there isn’t much to see inland. Of course, the beautiful coastline is jam packed with buildings and traffic. I enjoyed poking along and seeing the sights.

There are a ton of tiny churches (over 300) and, upon asking, I was told that, when the island initially got modern amenities such as electricity and water, the government would run those amenities to any church that was built. So, you see tons of tiny churches (barely even chapels, I’m talking capacity two people) with huge villas just behind them. But, they are pretty little buildings and I found myself enjoying spotting them.

Anyway, the architecture is typical of the Cyclades islands. They are simply constructed of natural materials and the flat roofs have lips around them for water collection.

As piracy was a problem in the Aegean when the islands were being inhabited, many of the houses were built high on the hillsides to have a good view of anyone arriving via boat. In addition, Mykonos Town, on the sea, is a maze of narrow, winding streets. This was to prevent easy access by pirates. It now serves to trap unsuspecting tourists in the over-priced shopping area!

Enjoy the beauty in the photos. I took way too many and had to edit down. Every time I turned around, I saw something more beautiful than the last thing I took a photo of.

I’ve always a had a fascination with pretty or interesting doors and windows. This is a good place to indulge that.

My goal each day was to seek out a non-tourist beach. I found many beautiful hidden coves such as this one.

The style above came into being on the island due to the conquering sultan’s (Turkish, if I remember correctly) of the time having a fondness for eating pigeon. Apparently pigeons roost in these. (My driver for the horse riding trip is a history teacher during the school year, he was a wealth of knowledge and told me a million things, I remember the one about the pigeons, go figure) It has become a common decorative style in the architecture here.

Back to Lebanon ❤️

I’m behind in my summer travel update. I went back to Lebanon for nine fabulous days! Saw some great friends and some new places.

The beauty of the country and the absolute commitment to having fun sucks me in every time. And shorts me desperately on sleep! I’m caught up now and currently on Mykonos, a stunningly gorgeous little island! Will try to post photos from here before I leave.

On the balcony of my friend’s grandfather’s house in Hammana. The view from here is fabulous and it’s a bit of a tradition to take a photo on the balcony.

The below three photos are from Harissa looking down onto Jounieh. The traffic is pretty from above…much less so when you are stuck in it!

Beirut went crazy when Germany won the match

The below photos are of عيون السمك (aiyoun al samak or eyes of the fish) it is a small village with a large waterfall. The trip up there was a long and the last stretch of road wasn’t in the best shape but it was pretty and had been on my list for a while.

The above photo and the following ones of food were taken at Hallab. I went with three friends to see the waterfall and we stopped at the original Hallab (yummiest Lebanese treats) restaurant on the way up and had lunch and sweets.

Below are photos of my friend’s uncles “house.” He built himself a castle in Lebanon, complete with suits of armor!

I got to spend an afternoon in the mountains in a Jeep, which is a favorite pastime. My friend’s brother in law owns the Jeep and he set me up on a few good rock climbs to see if I could do it. I think I surprised him! The reality is that the Jeep is geared low so it does the climbing on its own. You just have to steer and be confident enough to hold your course. We also did some shooting. I still suck at hitting clays but I managed to get a few of them. I’m in the wrong attire because I went up to their house for lunch…then ended up joining the boys in the mountains.