Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bodrum Day Three

After such a long day, everyone ended up sleeping in. I awoke around 10am and lounged around waiting for everyone else. I ended up writing a few postcards which I had picked up during the cake hunt the day before. Everyone ended up getting up around noon, and we started cleaning right after breakfast. At around 3, they told me that if I wanted to see the Underwater Archeology museum I should leave on the 3:20 dolmus. Lonely Planet touted the museum as being one of the best underwater archeology museums in the world. That's quite a compliment considering its competition with museums in London, France, and Germany. I packed all my things and took my luggage with me as we were going to take the bus back to Ankara at 9pm.

I got to the museum at around 4, leaving about 2.5 hours to check everything out before it closed. The entrance cost is 10 YTL, and you get a shnazzy ticket that has a picture of the museum on it. In fact, all the museums in Turkey, that are run by the government, use the same type of ticket which allows entrance after a machine scans it. Maybe I'll post a picture of one of them at some point.

The museum was a little disappointing. The guidebook indicated there there were two self-guided tours you could take. The green arrows are for the short tour, and the red arrows for the long one. Well, it's a good thing they mentioned that because otherwise I would have had to look at the ground at the right time to see the arrows there were marked with long and short, otherwise I probably would have been confused the whole time. So after all that, I basically forgot about the arrows because they weren't consistent and they lead to weird places where things weren't marked. Anywho, there were several cool things about the museum. The first being the replica of a merchant ship that was excavated near Bodrum located in the chapel. The artifacts that were excavated were displayed around the chapel, and the ship was free to be walked on. The really nice part about each building is that they are all air conditioned. So, it made the chapel that much better.

There are two other standard buildings at the museum that house exhibits. One houses an in detail look at the excavation of a Greek merchantship. There is a video in there detailing the excavation but it's in Turkish. The next room houses a scale replica of the excavation site. It was fascinating to see where and how things were located. Dispalyed in the following room were some of the artifacts recovered, including a bust of Nefretiti. The display in that room that I found most fasinating was the bulk glass ingots there were carried on the ship. I never really thought about how raw materials were moved in ancient times. I know that wine, olive oil, and other foods were moved about, but I always assumed that you made glass objects if you had a supply of silica and not by importing it from some other location.

The second building houses glassware that was excavated amongst the numerous ancient near Bodrum. The room was really dark, making photography dificult, but I was able to capture the following picture. With the darkness and air conditioning, this was actually a nice haven from the intensely bright and searing sunlight outside.

There have been several towers built over the years, I think five in all. Each of the towers houses a different exhibit, but all of them were open. As a side note, there are two exhibits that are not included in the price of admission, one is Glass-Shipwreck exhibit and the other is the artifacts from the tomb of Queen Ada, a Carian queen (according to Lonely Plant). Anyways, they weren't even open for me to go in. Actually, they are only open during the week, so go figure. Anyways, in the English tower is another exhibit of an excavation of a fishing boat. At the entrance, there were two artisans selling their wares. The first was a woman who was selling hand made jewelry she was making right there. Her pieces were pretty but none of them really caught my eye. The second however was an elderly man who was painting with water colors. There was one in particular that I found fascinating. So someone is getting a present when I get home...

The view from the castle over looking the harbors, the Aegean, and Bodrum are worth the admission alone. The castle sits right on the pennisula that separates the two harbors that make up Bodrum's waterfront. The Knights Hospitallar built the castle in 1402 to defend the city (also from Lonely Planet). Obviously wanting to see things from afar, the castle offers amazing views. By exploring, you can walk the perimeter walls and capture some lovely photos while listening to the waves lap at the shore. It didn't seem like most of the tourists were willing to wander as I did, so in general I didn't have to fight for elbow room everywhere I went.

I think the funniest thing I encountered on this whole trip happened while I was exploring the northwest corner of the castle. I was walking along the upper perimeter when I saw this guy taking pictures of this dome with glass fixtures embedded in it while using his hand to cast a shadow. Now, I don't know what he was actually doing, but it looked like he was trying to cast a shadow on the nipple looking glass fixtures. :) Yes, I know I have a dirty mind, but it was really amusing because I couldn't think of anything else it could be. Well, not wanting to pass up an opportunity, I did the same thing. I think he found it amusing that I was trying to do the same thing as him, whatever that was, so we had a good laugh together.

I finally found my way back out of the museum, and was glad to meet up with Canan and Mert after a little while. They hurriedly got McDonalds for dinner, and we ended up having to rush to the otogar to catch our 9pm bus back to Ankara. Apparently the dolmus that was running between the development and Bodrum were full, so they had to call for a second one which made them later than they anticipated. Basically, it just gave us a workout as we hurried back.

Overall, the trip was absolutely amazing. It was a really nice break from the large amount of work I have been doing over the last two months. I really hope the rest of my travels in this country are as nice. Next week, I will be traveling to Malatya for a Turkish chemical engineering conference that my group is attending. As part of the conference, there are two different tours I will be taking. One of which will take me to the town of Urfa, which is 40 miles from the Syrian border. Apparently, it will give me an authentic taste of Middle Eastern life. So, I'll have lots to report when I get back!

1 comment:

Anne said...

I am aghast at your dirty mind! By the way, I've paid your Playboy subscription for two more years, sending to your new address. lol No, really! hmmmmm I'm wondering who the watercolor is going to.